Talent specialists identify, engage, develop and retain talent within organisations, to improve the organisation’s performanceEvery organisation will define ‘talent’ differently. 

What does a talent management specialist do?

A talent management specialist will typically identify: 

  • what talent means for their organisation 
  • the talent populations needed 
  • the development path for the individuals who sit within these populations.  

‘Talent’ will mean different things in different organisationsFor some organisations, it’s about recognising everyone’s talentIn many organisations it’s about identifying what talent is needed (such as specific skills and expertise) and therefore the individuals that can be developed in that areaAnd in other organisations, it’s about identifying individuals that are showing high potential for a particular skill or capability, such as leadership potential. 

Talent specialists will identify talent populations according to their talent definitionFor example, this could be identifying people with potential to fill future leadership roles, or individuals with a talent for business critical roles Or it could mean identifying groups of individuals that have skills which the organisation needs to retainTalent specialists will support the development of those individuals (often in conjunction with colleagues in L&D), and consider how to reward and retain them in the organisation

Often these development programmes will be fast-track programmes or focusing on developing specific skills sets.  They will also develop succession plans for critical roles to ensure business continuity, and may work with colleagues in resourcing to identify external pools of talent that they want to bring in.

Your typical activities

Here are some of the activities you can expect to be involved in as a talent management specialist:

  • Creating definitions of talent
  • Creating assessment approaches to identify talented individuals or groups
  • Designing and delivering talent interventions such as development and retention programmes
  • Designing succession plans and contingency frameworks for business critical roles
  • Working with partner organisations and suppliers to identify external talent pools
  • Reviewing workforce planning data to feed into your talent strategy
  • Evaluating the success of talent programmes


Types of roles in talent management

Here is a shortlist of the types of job titles you might find in talent management. As you can see, talent management specialists are at all levels of experience and seniority:

  • Talent co‐ordinator
  • Talent management specialist
  • Talent coach
  • Talent manager
  • Head of talent
  • Director of talent

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