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How to Get a Job in Talent Management and Development

Talent management and development is one of the fastest growing areas in HR. With a range of fascinating specialisms, great salaries and fulfilling long-term career options, talent management and development is a popular choice for HR professionals looking to develop their skills.

If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck. Here’s our guide to how to get a job in talent management and development!

How to Get a Job in Talent Management and Development

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1. Define your career path

Even though at first look, talent management and development is a pretty niche area of HR, in reality it has a wide variety of sub specialisms that HR practitioners can explore. This makes it an area where there’s a lot of room for you to develop a rewarding career following your own professional interests.

That said, the sheer amount of choice available can make it quite tricky to narrow down your overall choices.

It’s a bit of a clichè to even suggest it, but one of the ways that you can avoid feeling overwhelmed is to focus your intentions and visualise your career development. This can help you improve your focus and really narrow down what it is you want in a role. Have a think about where you see yourself at the peak of your career, say in 30 years time, and then work back in intervals like 15 years, 10 years, 5 years, 2 years etc. from that point, filling in the gaps.

Visualising your career isn’t some kind of management-mumbo-jumbo, David Brent-esque technique: science has shown that it has the potential to focus your mind and enable you to better realise your goals when it comes to building your career.

2. Network

Far from being something pushy and rude, networking is an essential part of finding new opportunities and building a social infrastructure to find out about them in the future.

There can be a lot of mysticism spouted about it but networking is just about building relationships with new people, who you can then collaborate and share information with about professional opportunities – there’s nothing more to it than that to be honest.

It really comes into its own when you’re trying to find a new role in a competitive area like HR, and, in particular, talent management and development. Networking allows you to find those golden jobs that have great potential, aren’t widely advertised, and that don’t have that many people applying for them. Networking essentially allows you to find out about those opportunities before others,

And how exactly do you do it? Well, networking can be done the old-fashioned way, in-person (remember that?) or online, using social media. Here are some simple tips to help you get to grips with it:

  • Invest some time into building your social media profiles
  • Be polite to everyone you talk to or engage with – you never know when you might cross paths again
  • Think about your existing network and how you can build on it
  • Be authentic, friendly and have fun!

If you’re looking for some more advice, this Forbes article has some great tips too.


3. Find a mentor

One of the most effective ways to find out what specific skills and knowledge you need to work in talent management and development, along with the expectations that employers will have of you, is to talk to someone who already works in the field!

Mentoring is when a more experienced professional in your field shares knowledge, tips and advice with you, allowing you to enhance your skillset and develop your experience.

By speaking to that person and asking them to impart some of their knowledge to you through a mentoring process, you can really grow your skills, developing all of the attributes and insider-knowledge that you’ll need for a long-term career in the talent management HR niche.

  • Make a list of people you already know who could help
  • Research their professional background and see where you interests align
  • Grow through your list slowly and methodically, contacting each person and outlining what you want to learn, why you’re asking them and what is in it for them
  • Play the long game and be patient – mentoring takes a while!

4. Join a professional membership association

Every field of work generally has a professional membership association. And joining the relevant ones for HR and talent management can really help you to get your foot on the first rung of the career ladder. There are membership bodies that are responsible for maintaining standards and quality in the industry, looking after professional qualifications and ensuring that people in a specific industry have the right standard of skills and knowledge to offer great service.

Joining a professional membership association can help you in securing a good job in the HR area because it shows prospective employers that the quality of your skills meets an expected professional standard – you’ll usually have to meet a certain set of professional standards/requirements to be considered for membership.

In the HR field, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (or CIPD as it’s more commonly called) is the professional membership body that is responsible for regulating standards in the industry.

5. Study a professional qualification

Leading on from the previous point, if you’re serious about getting an exciting new role in talent management and development, studying a professional qualification can really help to improve your chances of impressing employers.

The power of a professional qualification lies in the fact that it provides evidence that your skills and knowledge meet an expected standard – very similar to the benefits that we outlined above about joining a professional membership association.

In general, the most useful professional HR qualifications to study are ones from the CIPD. They include qualifications like:

We hope you’ve found this blog useful and that it’s given you some useful ideas about how to start your career in talent management and development.

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