Market Intelligence & Talent Mapping

Economies are cyclical, and we’ve lived through many economic cycles. Mission-critical in any economic decline is protecting bottom-line performance. Our experience through past disruptive cycles has confirmed the following evolving process:

  • Urgency: right-sizing and cost containment
  • Stabilization: people, product, process
  • Recovery: growth and market share gain

As leaders forecast for the economic impact of these potentially disruptive cycles, the way in which we respond will prove critical in positioning our companies in the path of an evolving market. Having a clear strategy and speed of execution is paramount. But to be most effective, you need the market intelligence to inform your decisions and you need the right people who can leverage the current environment — enter talent mapping.

At Morgan Samuels, we understand that people are the foundation of any great organization. After all, people have been our business for more than 50 years. Our primary objective is relentless commitment to analyzing, understanding, and helping to improve results for our clients. Our culture of innovation and excellence drives our passion to deliver outcomes aligned with our client’s strategy and key business objectives.

While Morgan Samuels’ core service continues to be our comprehensive executive search, we have always been flexible in providing customized offerings to fit our clients’ current business needs and future goals. As all businesses are challenged to adapt to changing economic environments, we are committed to tailoring our services to meet an evolving demand. We understand that companies who strategically position themselves to compete in these new environments will outpace the competition and gain market share.

Talent Mapping Projects

Our Talent Mapping projects provide a unique approach to identify competitors and their top talent in specific operational areas of our client’s business.

Regardless of your specific need, our Talent Mapping process provides the following:

  1. Define the problem. What are the key business issues our clients are looking to solve?
  2. Co-create Key Business Objectives and Candidate Must Haves. 
  3. Define the scope of the Talent Mapping project, focusing on the 10-30 most relevant competitor companies.
  4. Within the course of 30 days, deliver to the client our findings and present a slate of qualified and interested candidates defined by the Project scope.
Executive Search Market Intelligence & Talent Mapping at Morgan Samuels

Talent Mapping Examples

Below are several examples of Talent Mapping projects recently completed:

As the markets recover, execution capacity is rarely the key business issue. As costs have been normalized, best-in-class companies focus on sales and related revenue. Our Talent Mapping process will identify top sales professionals in key sales segments, positioning them to recruit the best talent that matches their culture.

This laser-focused Talent Mapping process reduces talent acquisition costs and dramatically increases speed to market.

Client Challenge:

  • Need to identify top sales talent in a specific U.S. geography
  • Need for entrepreneurial mindset
  • Cultural alignment with client’s mission was critical

We partnered with a Fortune 500, fraternal insurance and financial planning firm to identify the regional sales talent capable of opening their independent channel in the southeastern United States. Further, these sales leaders needed to bring an entrepreneurial approach, and be supportive of their faith-based, organizational mission.


  • Canvassed relevant talent at primary competitors from Virginia to Louisiana through research and active networking
  • Utilized existing network of executive leadership to identify field talent with the right cultural attributes

Result: Mapping led to the hiring of a Regional Vice President in Atlanta who was subsequently promoted to Senior Vice President of Key Accounts after 15 months.

We understand the need for diversity, inclusion, and belonging throughout an organization and the competitive advantage that a diverse executive team may offer our clients. Despite much progress in the last decade, many of our clients still find their leadership teams concerningly homogeneous. When organizations have limited options to diversify through internal promotion, they turn to us to understand the external marketplace and the best approach to diversify talent.

Client Challenge:

  • Desire to increase the level of diversity within the finance leadership team.
  • Need for relevant industry expertise.
  • Uncertainty about which function to prioritize for a diverse hire.

We conducted a mapping study for a Fortune 100, personal lines insurance carrier to identify diverse, executive level talent within the Treasury, Tax, and FP&A functions. We broke out current leaders in those areas as well as step-up talent within their 30 primary competitors in the home, auto, and life insurance sectors.


  • Utilized a set of internal and external databases in conjunction with active networking.
  • Identified tax as a relatively diversity-rich function within insurance on a national basis.


  • Mapping resulted in the placement of a female, Korean-American Chief Tax Officer.

Client Challenge:

  • A Private Equity client had concerns about the leadership team of a target acquisition, namely that they would have difficulty in acquiring additional companies because of leadership dynamics
  • This was a very niche market, primarily run by family patriarch, so traditional back-channeling was not as effective


  • A custom list of all owners and CEOs in the market identified 15 target companies with multiple contacts each. Contact information was included for the leadership team and where not available, a series of networking calls often lead to the targeted individual.
  • Cold calls were made, often catching the references unscheduled.
  • During these one-off calls, open ended questions were asked about the leadership team of 3 target companies in order to tease out candid market perspectives. By expanding to 3 companies, the target individuals were not highlighted in conversations. Questions included:
    • How are they perceived by peers in the industry?
    • Would a business owner be comfortable selling to them? Are they perceived as fair/reliable/do what they say, or not? Are they good stewards of the businesses and their employees?
    • What are their strengths and weaknesses (sales growth, M&A, operations, etc.)?


  •  Dozens of calls were made producing 8 material information transcripts for the client
  • We conducted weekly meetings to discuss additional color and context, including tone and implied perceptions in the market
  • This intel gave the investors enough data and intel to validate their decision which was ultimately to not invest in the potential asset.

Client Challenge:

  • Our client was a PE-backed mid-tier behavioral health services company. Through the talent network, the CEO met and interviewed a viable COO candidate.
  • While talent networks are often a great resource for portfolio companies, the PE fund and CEO wanted to ensure that the market didn’t surface additional, better talent for the company’s COO.


  • Morgan Samuels mapped the potential COO market outside of the company’s network/connections.
  • We further vetted and assessed several additional candidates (utilizing Morgan Samuels proprietary process and assessments).


  • In doing both steps in parallel, when our team identified areas for concern with the network candidate, we could easily launch into a full search for a COO since the market had been mapped.
  • Morgan Samuels identified over 200 candidates in less than 30 days.
  • The CEO met 7 additional candidates and hired one – 78 days after the mapping project was launched.