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What is a Talent Development Manager? Job Profile & Salary

Talent management covers the full scope of HR, including how to attract, onboard, motivate, engage, and retain top-performing employees.

This HR specialism, however, takes a positive, driven, forward-thinking people professional who is willing to dig deep to the roots of any organisation to develop and nurture a workforce that will grow, thrive, and excel in their individual roles.

If you’re an aspiring or experienced HR professional looking for new ways to support and elevate the employees in your organisation, then becoming a Talent Development Manager might just be the next best career move for you.

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What does a Talent Manager Do?

Talent management is the strategic practice of attracting, onboarding, developing, motivating, and retaining employees so they can grow to become the happiest, most productive employees they can be.

While the day-to-day responsibilities of a Talent Development Manager will vary depending on their particular industry and place of work, there are some common core functions of the role across the board. These functions include:

1) Onboarding Management

Once you attract the best talent with well-formatted job descriptions and a stand-out recruitment process, the next step is onboarding the successful candidates in a way that feels safe, inclusive, and informative for everyone involved.

When done right, the onboarding process helps to identify top talent (i.e. those with high potential), determine the level of workplace knowledge and skills, and what amount of professional support is needed to effectively engage new hires. The process should also:

  • Make new employees feel welcomed and valued
  • Help employees feel connected to their peers and the brand mission
  • Provide employees with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful in their roles
  • Give employees insight into the organisation’s cultural norms
  • Communicate clearly what employees need to do to be productive and excel on the job, and
  • Motivate them to put their best foot forward each day 

2) Conducting Talent Assessments

One of the most common responsibilities for Talent Development Managers is conducting talent assessments for their organisation’s existing and potential employees.

Talent assessments are used to help employers identify individuals that will be a good fit in their company or in an advanced role.

While these assessments are done in a various number of ways, many Talent Development Managers use pre-employment testing to assess whether a candidate’s personality, work ethic, skills, and knowledge are a good match for the available position.

HR will also utilise leadership development strategies and processes ( and mobile assessments) to identify additional employee strengths and training needs - ultimately acting as a means to fill any clear skills gaps while gauging employee eligibility, sustainability, and any glaring retention risks.

3) Driving Employee Engagement

Perhaps one of the most important elements of being a Talent Development Manager is driving employee engagement to keep employees invested and involved at work. The key here is utilising engagement strategies that promote this, such as:

  • Providing mentoring and coaching opportunities within each department
  • Promoting and encouraging core values (i.e. diversity, inclusion, and equity)
  • Mapping out career paths and growth opportunities for each individual employee
  • Succession planning for employees with high leadership potential 
  • Advocating and practicing workplace transparency between senior leaders and their teams
  • Allowing room for honest feedback (for both management and team members)
  • Holding employees accountable and giving them credit when it’s due
  • Consider the office space and how it contributes to workplace culture and productivity (i.e. open-concept vs. isolated cubicles)

Considering that 94% of employees say they’d stay at their job longer if they felt their organisation made a genuine effort to invest in their individual careers, it’s no surprise that employee engagement is an essential and fundamental item on any Talent Management checklist.  

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4) Developing In-House Training Programmes

Designing and implementing effective training and learning and development programmes is a big-ticket item on any Talent Development Manager’s agenda.

In conjunction with corporate leadership and the rest of the learning and development team, it’s their job to identify individual learning initiatives that give employees a structured, monitored way to effectively facilitate their career development so that it aligns not only with their personal goals but the long term strategic goals of the company.

Every employee values the opportunity to refine and develop their skill set, however, talent management is about making these training opportunities informative, engaging, easily accessible, and delivered regularly.

The method of training delivery, as well as the quality of the content, is also closely monitored to ensure that as the market evolves employees will be in a good position to help the organisation be successful both at present and in the future - especially as new technologies emerge. 

5) Measuring Training Effectiveness

One of the more administrative functions of talent management is establishing ways to measure the overall training effectiveness of all L&D training programmes by carefully monitoring and reporting on training data, metrics, and statistics. Some common ways to measure training effectiveness include:

  • Post-training quizzes
  • One-to-one discussions and catch-ups
  • Employee surveys
  • Training participant case studies
  • Certification exams

On the more strategic side of this item is that Talent Development Managers will often also conduct regular performance evaluations to help employees better understand their role and responsibilities while giving them a chance to supply their own feedback on training initiatives.

To this end, after analysing training data and touching base with employees on their progress, managers will then focus on strengthening employees’ skillsets to help the existing workforce continue to thrive. 

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Skills & Qualifications

As is the case with any job, before applying you’ll want to ensure you have the right skills, competencies, and qualifications you need to be successful in a Talent Development Manager role. These likely include:

  • HR generalist skills (i.e. communication, adaptability, and confidentiality)
  • Collaborative leadership skills (i.e. the ability to work with stakeholders to develop effective talent development strategies)
  • A strong understanding of adult learning methods and instructional design
  • The ability to collect and analyse data, identify skills gaps, and present cohesive actionable items upon review of results
  • Comfortable using Microsoft Office Suite (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) as well as experience with Learning Management Systems
  • A degree in HR, business, education, communications, or a related field
  • A relevant CIPD HR or L&D qualification (or equivalent) on your CV

What salary does a Talent Development Manager earn?

Finally, now that you know what a Talent Development Manager is and what they do, you’re probably interested in learning how much you can expect to make should you decide to pursue this exciting career path.

According to Glassdoor, a Talent Development Manager in the UK can expect to earn an average of upwards of £58,000 per annum, with salaries ranging from £42,000 to £78,000 per annum depending on the industry, company, your level of experience, and qualifications.

We hope that this blog has helped clarify any questions you may have about becoming a Talent Development Manager, and that it has inspired you to move forward in a career that will allow you to help organisations and their employees to reach their full, untapped potential - ultimately, making a real difference at work.

Start your journey towards becoming a Talent Development Manager by enrolling on a 100% online CIPD HR or L&D qualification with us. 

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