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Job description: Head of talent

Written by: Hazel Mason
Published on: 22 Aug 2019

The head of talent is expected to be a highly knowledgeable and capable HR professional who is adept at working with business partners to understand the company objectives and construct plans and strategies to improve recruitment performance and talent management.

Job description head of talent

Hiring talent, and more importantly retaining it, is incredibly important to all businesses, meaning that the head of talent has a key role to play in the success of the organisation. So, if you’re interested in progressing into a head of talent position, we delve deeper into the role and its responsibilities.

What are the duties of a head of talent?

The head of talent’s first order is to understand the business, its goals and priorities. Once they understand where the business is looking to excel, they can begin building talent strategies that work towards this. Ultimately, the head of talent is concerned with attracting and retaining top talent and diverse candidates across all levels of an organisation.

Key duties may involve:

  • Identifying an organisation’s needs and working to create and implement an efficient talent acquisition strategy to improve recruitment and business performance
  • Managing a highly-skilled team to assist with talent development and acquisition
  • Organising and overseeing individual and team training programmes
  • Planning regular employee performance reviews and feeding back to the business
  • Developing and implementing employee retention programmes or strategies
  • Understanding workforce planning and resource forecasting
  • Developing effective strategies for identifying skills gaps within the workforce
  • Understanding the current recruitment trends and your organisation’s markets to identify the impact upon the business
  • Anticipating the organisations future and working with senior executives to advise on recruiting tactics that will help to sustain the company’s success 
  • Developing and implementing strategies to attract diverse candidates to all areas of the business
  • Monitoring and reporting on staff turnover rates 
  • Managing and delivering reports and data when required

What salary can you expect as a head of talent?

As a first time head of talent, you could expect to earn £48,000 in the UK, rising to £97,000 as you gain further experience. The average UK salary for a head of talent is £69,107.

What personal qualities and skills are required to be a head of talent?

As head of talent, it goes without saying that you will need to be a highly-skilled HR professional with experience of talent management and resourcing. However, you will also need to be strategic, influential and confident in building relationships with employees at all levels. You will need a commercial mindset and to be analytical in your approach. Strong communication and leadership skills are a must.

The key skills and personal qualities required of heads of talent are:

  • Experience in managing a team with a strong understanding of talent acquisition, management and development
  • Ability to be strategic and tactical when making decisions
  • Great interpersonal and motivational skills
  • Analytical and able to interpret data 
  • Brilliant at influencing employees at all levels to support your strategies
  • Familiar with performance management and relevant software
  • Experience delivering employee training programmes
  • Understanding of labour legislation 
  • Ability to use the relevant Human Resources tools
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

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What qualifications does a head of talent need?

You do not usually require any formal qualifications to move into a head of talent role, but they can help your application. A Bachelors or Masters degree in Human Resources or relevant field is definitely beneficial to your career progression. As would an industry-recognised qualification, such as CIPD.

Whether you decide to study at university, with the majority of courses incorporating a professional qualification into the degree, via an apprenticeship programme funded by your employer or within your own time, there are many options available to help you in your career progression. These include:

Or you can search for shorter specialist courses here.

What is essential for any head of talent is that they have considerable experience and knowledge of HR, in particular the key areas of talent acquisition, management and development.

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