What Is Talent Management? 2024 Career Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Considering a career in talent management? Learn about different talent management jobs, skills you need to succeed, and talent management courses you can take.

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As a talent manager, you'll be responsible for identifying, attracting, and retaining your company's best and brightest employees. The job market is competitive, and the search for top talent is fierce. The average cost for a company to recruit for an executive-level position is $14,963. Companies are turning to social media and artificial intelligence (AI) to help them recruit and retain talent. 

To start a career in talent management, you’ll need to have a keen eye for spotting talent and be able to sell your company to potential recruits. You'll need to negotiate salaries and benefits and be able to handle difficult conversations with rejected candidates. If you’re interested in these responsibilities, then a career in talent management could be the perfect fit for you.

What exactly is talent management?

Talent management is the process of developing and retaining employees with high potential. It includes identifying, assessing, and developing talent within your organization. Talent management also helps your organization plan for succession by identifying future leaders and ensuring they have the necessary skills and experience in key business functions.

What are the responsibilities of talent management jobs?

As a talent manager, you’ll be responsible for recruiting, interviewing, and hiring employees for your company. Your goal will be to find the best possible candidates for each position and help them grow within the company. You’ll also work with managers to identify future leaders and help them develop their skills. 

The high-level responsibilities of the role include the following:

  • Establishing a high-performance workforce: As a talent manager, you'll be responsible for establishing a high-performance workforce. This will involve attracting top talent, increasing productivity, retaining talent, and ensuring growth and innovation.

  • Attracting talent: To attract talent, you'll need to identify the skills and competencies that are most important to your organization. You'll also need to create a recruiting strategy that targets the best candidates.

  • Increasing productivity: To increase productivity, you'll need to develop systems and processes that help employees work more efficiently. You'll also need to provide training and development opportunities to improve employees' skills and knowledge.

  • Retaining talent: To retain talent, you'll need to create a work environment that's supportive and motivating. You'll also need to negotiate with new and existing staff and offer competitive compensation and benefits packages.

  • Ensuring growth and innovation: To ensure growth and innovation, you'll need to encourage creativity and risk-taking. You'll also need to invest time in research and development initiatives

  • Developing staff competencies: To develop staff skills and competencies, you'll need to identify your employees' training and development needs. You'll then create programs that help employees excel in their roles.

Read more: What Is a Human Resources Manager? | Your Guide

Why is talent management important and beneficial?

Talent management is essential because it helps identify, assess, and develop the skills and abilities needed to perform a job. By effectively managing talent, your business can ensure it has the right people in the right roles and that employees can reach their full potential. In addition, it provides these benefits:

  • You can align your company's talent management strategy with its business culture goals to create better staffing strategies.

  • Talent management can help your company identify and develop your internal talent pool, which is essential for long-term success.

  • Talent management can also help your company attract and retain top talent from outside your organization.

  • An effective talent management strategy can give your company a competitive edge in today's marketplace.

  • Talent management processes can also improve employee engagement, and motivation and reduce staff turnover.

Required skills for a career in talent management

Certain skills are necessary to build a career in talent management. Firstly, you need to have excellent communication skills. This is important because you'll be dealing with people from all walks of life, and you need to be able to communicate with them effectively. You'll need strong interpersonal skills to build relationships, as you'll be working closely with other coworkers. 

Second, you must be able to think strategically. You’ll need to see the big picture and understand how different factors impact the overall goal. 

Third, you must be highly organized and detail-oriented. You'll be responsible for managing a lot of data and information and have multiple streams of work running simultaneously. 

Alongside these core skills, you'll need:

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and HRIS software

  • Interpersonal, counseling, and negotiation skills

  • Presentation skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Analytical and critical thinking skills

  • Knowledge of recruitment methods, employment law, and regulations

  • Competency with full-cycle performance management programs

Read more: 9 Key Management Skills: How to Show Them on Your Resume

Talent management courses and programs

As a talent management professional, you'll find that the field is constantly evolving. To stay ahead of the curve and boost your resume, consider pursuing one or more of the following courses and programs.

Talent Management Practitioner (TMP)

This course is for those who want to learn the basics of talent management. You'll learn about topics such as workforce planning, recruiting, selection, and retention.

Exam fee: $625

Senior Talent Management Practitioner (STMP)

This course is good for those who want to take their talent management skills to the next level. You'll learn advanced topics such as succession planning and leadership development.

Exam fee: $850

Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD)

This credential demonstrates your knowledge and proficiency in talent development principles and practices. To earn the APTD, you must pass an exam, have at least three years of experience working, and have completed 28 hours of professional development in talent development.

Exam fee: $499 (members); $699 (non-members)

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

The CPLP is a comprehensive certification covering all learning and performance improvement aspects. To earn the CPLP, you must pass a knowledge exam, submit a "work product" for assessment, and have at least three years of experience working in the field.

Exam cost: $900 (members); $1,250 (non-members)

Online courses and professional certificates

Many online talent management courses are available that can help you boost your talent management skills. These courses cover topics such as job analysis, performance management, and training design and delivery. Many professional organizations also offer certification programs to help you demonstrate your expertise in talent management.

Read more: What Are Certificate Programs? A Guide

Job titles of talent managers

A career in talent management can be very rewarding. As a talent manager, there can be a variety of job titles; here are some positions and their annual US salary (base pay + bonuses, commissions, and other additional pay):

  • Talent acquisition manager: $110,678 [1]

  • Talent development manager: $99,862 [2]

  • Talent management consultant: $99,988 [3]

  • Organizational development manager: $108,175 [4]

Consider an online talent management course

If you're interested in taking the next step into a career in talent management, consider taking an online course on Coursera. The Managing Talent course, offered by the University of Michigan, is a popular option for those looking to learn more about this field. The course covers topics such as recruiting, selecting, and developing employees.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “How much does a talent acquisition manager make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-talent-acquisition-manager-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,29.htm.” Accessed November 27, 2022.

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