What Is Talent Management? 2024 Career Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about different talent management jobs, skills you need to succeed, and talent management courses you can take.

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The job market is competitive, and the search for top talent is fierce. As a talent manager, you'll identify, attract, and retain your company's best and brightest employees. You play a pivotal role in your employer’s success in recruiting and retaining talent.  

To start a career in talent management, you’ll need to know not only what the job involves, key skills, and what background employers look for when looking for the (ahem) talent to manage their talent management efforts.

What exactly is talent management?

Talent management is the process of developing and retaining employees with high potential. You’ll work to bring new people into the company. So, you’ll need to have a keen eye for spotting potential talent and also 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.

Talent management also includes identifying, assessing, and developing talent. You’ll also help your organisation plan for succession by identifying future leaders and ensuring they have the necessary skills and experience in essential business functions.

You may also encounter talent management that refers specifically to recruiting entertainment industry talent and negotiating their work arrangements. While that’s a valid subset within the field, this article focuses on the broader cross-industry view of talent management. 

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 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 team. Your role includes 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 organisation and 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 supportive and motivating work environment. 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 and 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.

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 best people in the right roles and that employees can reach their full potential. In addition, it provides these benefits:

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

  • Identifies and develops the internal talent pool, which is essential for long-term success.

  • Attracts and retains the best and brightest from outside your organisation.

  • Gives your company a competitive edge in today's marketplace.

  • Improves employee engagement and motivation to reduce staff turnover.

Required skills for a career in talent management

Specific skills are necessary to build a career in talent management. Firstly, you need to have excellent communication skills. It is critical 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 also need strong interpersonal skills to build relationships, as you'll work closely with coworkers. 

Secondly, you must be able to think strategically. You’ll need to see the big picture and understand how different factors impact the overall goal. A big part of talent management is aligning the hiring, development, and retention strategies with overall business objectives.

Thirdly, you must be highly organised 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, counselling, 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

Talent management courses and programs 

As a talent management professional, you'll find that the field is constantly evolving. Consider pursuing a qualification to stay ahead of the curve and boost your CV.

Many online talent management courses can help you boost your talent management skills. These courses cover job analysis, talent review, succession and career planning, and training design and delivery. Many organisations also offer professional qualification programmes to help you demonstrate your expertise in talent management.

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 UK salary (base pay + bonuses, commissions, and other additional pay) according to Talent.com, May 2024:

  • Talent acquisition specialist: £36,909 [1]

  • Talent acquisition manager: £47,347 [2]

  • Talent development manager: £52,500 [3]

  • Talent management consultant: £57,500 [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 is popular for those looking to learn more about this field. The course covers topics such as recruiting, selecting, and developing employees.

Article sources

1. Talent. “Talent Acquisition Specialist average salary in United Kingdom, 2024, https://uk.talent.com/salary?job=Talent+Acquisition+Specialist/” Accessed May 16, 2024.

2. Talent. “Talent Acquisition Manager average salary in United Kingdom, 2024” https://uk.talent.com/salary?job=Talent+Acquisition+Manager” Accessed May 16, 2024.

3. Talent. “Talent Development Manager average salary in United Kingdom, 2024, https://uk.talent.com/salary?job=Talent+development+Manager” Accessed May 16, 2024.

4. Talent. “Talent Management Consultant average salary in United Kingdom, 2024, https://uk.talent.com/salary?job=Talent+management+consultant” Accessed May 16, 2024.

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