How Talent Mapping Supports Workforce Diversity

5 mins

In today's dynamic business landscape, which has been marked by seismic shifts such as climate change, geopolitical disruptions, and technological advancements, the need for organisations to adapt and thrive has never been more pressing. Amid this complexity, workforce diversity is a key driver of a business's success, and talent mapping has proven instrumental in supporting businesses in building representation and inclusivity. 

As the corporate world evolves, diversity and inclusion will continue to be critical for sustainable success. Embracing a wide range of perspectives, whether it be gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, empowers organisations to make more informed decisions, innovate faster, and create an environment that nurtures creativity and collaboration. 

While the importance of diversity and its many benefits to businesses are well-known, many organisations still lack workforce diversity and inclusion. At Armstrong Craven, we are committed to supporting businesses to develop and implement effective diversity talent strategies so they can reap the rewards. 

In this guide, we will explore why diversity is so crucial for talent strategy and the future of business and how talent mapping can provide you with the data you need to drive diversity and inclusion in your workforce.

Why is Workforce Diversity Crucial for Your Business's Future?

It is well known that diversity and inclusion create a more innovative and creative workplace, and of course, moral issues are also at play. However, it is quickly becoming vital for businesses to be able to future-proof themselves and ensure their financial success. Here are four key ways a lack of workforce diversity could be affecting your business.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

When a business gets behind its EVP strategy, it sends a powerful message that people from all backgrounds are welcome and valued for their unique contributions. By taking this inclusive approach, companies can create a vibrant and positive workplace where workers feel empowered, have a sense of belonging, and have increased trust in the business and its leaders, leading to increased engagement, higher morale, and improved retention. 

In addition, a diverse workforce reinforces a business's commitment to ethical business practices and social responsibility. In today's socially conscious and interconnected world, clients and customers increasingly seek firms that drive diversity and inclusion. An EVP that has a significant focus on diversity can attract outstanding talent and, at the same time, resonate with consumers who want to align themselves with businesses that share their values.  

By embracing diversity, businesses can cement themselves as a forward-thinking sector leader and position themselves for resilience and sustained growth in the ever-evolving global market. 

So, how do you review your EVP? Examine your business's mission, culture, policies, and values thoroughly. Reflect on whether your existing EVP inadvertently marginalises individuals from specific groups. As part of this reflection, asking yourself these three crucial questions is valuable.

  • Do your benefits and compensation packages meet the needs of all employees?

  • How does your business communicate your work and commitment to diversity? 

  • Are your recruitment processes supportive and inclusive of people from all backgrounds?

These questions help reveal areas where changes and improvements must be made. With these talent insights, you can then formulate a plan of the actions you will take to address these issues. 


With the rise in the importance of ESG, especially around crucial issues such as diversity and climate change, a lack of action in these areas could hinder future investment in your business. 

Research by the Principles for Responsible Investment revealed a growing trend among global investors: they increasingly emphasise the significance of diversity and inclusion when deciding whether to invest in a company. Among the investors surveyed, 21% specifically emphasised the importance of an organisation's commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce when determining their investment strategies.

Appealing to Gen Z

Diversity is vital for companies attracting and retaining Gen Z candidates. They are set to be the most populous and diverse generation in history and have the potential to impact the world of work significantly. By 2025, they will account for 27% of the workforce. As Deloitte stated: 

'Entire industries and businesses will rise and fall in the wake of Generation Z.'

83% of Gen-Z said they consider a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion when deciding where to work. 75% would have second thoughts about applying for a role if they weren't satisfied with the organisation’s efforts to promote DE&I. 

To attract future talent, businesses must ensure their workforce, brand identity, and leadership reflect diverse cultures, genders, and backgrounds.

How Can Talent Mapping Drive Workforce Diversity? 

Talent mapping is vital to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. By building an understanding of the current talent landscape, businesses can refine and elevate their DE&I recruitment strategies so they can be best placed to attract outstanding diverse talent and create an inclusive environment. Here are the key ways in which the talent mapping process supports businesses. 

Strategic Outreach 

Once you have identified underrepresented groups, talent mapping then empowers your organisation to proactively seek out and engage with the required candidates. This could be in the form of targeting other industries not previously considered, universities and colleges, recruitment fairs, and locations where certain groups are prevalent. By broadening your candidate pool, you increase the likelihood of unearthing diverse talent that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Diverse Candidate Development 

Identify high-potential individuals who may not be an immediate fit for current roles but possess the potential qualities, skills, and attributes to contribute significantly in the future.  

Once the talent mapping process has identified these high-potential people, it enables you to create bespoke development plans that cater to their strengths, needs, and career goals. These development plans can include mentorships, training courses, and exposure to different parts of the business. By investing in their career development, you nurture a pipeline of diverse talent that understands you are a business that champions equal opportunities for all its employees. 

Reduced Bias in Selection 

Talent mapping prioritises candidates' skills, qualifications, and potential cultural fit rather than making decisions based on surface-level characteristics. This approach moves the focus away from demographic factors that might arise in traditional selection processes that can lead to bias and instead emphasises the skills and qualities required for leadership roles. 

Networking and Customised Engagement 

You can build lasting relationships with diverse candidates through talent mapping long before specific job openings arise. This lays the foundation for a trusted connection, making candidates more inclined to consider future opportunities within your organisation.

It tailors your engagement strategies to resonate with the preferences and needs of different candidate groups, such as experience, education, language proficiency, age, and ethnicity. The talent mapping process provides insights into how best to reach out to certain groups. Are certain networking events, social media platforms, industry-specific associations, or affinity groups associated with people from a certain background?  

Making your outreach more effective and relevant to different groups will broaden your talent pool and make your company a more attractive proposition as it demonstrates an understanding of their needs and preferences. 

Inclusive Succession Planning 

Talent mapping feeds into succession planning by identifying individuals from diverse backgrounds with the skills, experience, and potential to take on leadership roles who may not have been previously considered. As we explored previously, diversity is lacking in major global organisations, and diversity talent mapping is an effective strategy to counter conventional notions of leadership and increase representation. 

Diversity Needs to Start from the Top Down

Improving your EVP, attracting Gen Z talent, and securing investment through your diversity can only happen if the leadership of your business drives it. However, despite the focus on increasing representation in the workplace, diversity in top leadership roles is still severely lacking. 

A study by DE&I consultancy INvolve looked at the current representation of leaders in leading UK companies. 15% of the new entrants to the AIM Index since 2020 have ethically diverse CEOs; this is compared to just 7% of the FTSE 100 and 6% of the AIM 100. These findings suggest that many leaders and talent in the UK are from underrepresented groups, but that representation significantly drops for the largest organisations. 

These figures are deeply troubling as the FTSE 100 and AIM 100 reveal a substantial lack of diverse senior representation. It highlights the need for organisations to remove barriers to progression and create a level playing field for employees of all backgrounds. Download our whitepaper to delve deeper into the D&I landscape among the FTSE 100 companies and gain actionable insights.

Final Thoughts

Workforce diversity is crucial for businesses to adapt and thrive in today's dynamic business landscape. Embracing a wide range of perspectives empowers organisations to make more informed decisions, innovate faster, and create an environment that nurtures creativity and collaboration. While the importance of diversity and its many benefits to businesses are well-known, many organisations still lack workforce diversity and inclusion. 

The talent mapping process is a strategic approach that can help organisations identify and map talent from underrepresented groups. Talent mapping emerges as a vital tool for creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. It enables organisations to identify underrepresented groups, engage with diverse candidates, and develop tailored candidate development and outreach strategies. By shifting the focus away from demographic factors and prioritising skills and qualifications, talent mapping reduces bias in selection processes and fosters lasting relationships with diverse talent.

Furthermore, talent mapping supports inclusive succession planning by identifying individuals from diverse backgrounds with leadership potential. However, it's essential to recognise that diversity must start from the top down. Despite progress in some areas, leadership roles still lack adequate representation from underrepresented groups. Organisations must work to eliminate barriers to progression and create equal opportunities for employees of all backgrounds.

By embracing diversity, businesses can cement themselves as a forward-thinking sector leader, build resilience, and achieve sustained growth in the ever-evolving global market.

Discover how Armstrong Craven's talent mapping service can support your business's talent strategy and give you a competitive edge. Explore our dedicated talent mapping page, or speak to one of our talent research specialists for more information.

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If you want to learn a little more about what we do and how talent research can help you make better-informed business decisions, our team of talent research and consulting specialists are happy to help.