Talent Acquisition Manager: Salary and Job Description

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In today’s economy, focus on effective talent acquisition is crucial to a business’s success. Due to factors like the rise in remote work technologies and ongoing conversations about economic justice, many employers have faced pronounced challenges in maintaining their workforces.

With the onset of phenomena such as “quiet quitting” and the “great resignation,” more and more organizations are experiencing workplace shortages. These issues can result in higher operating costs and rising inefficiencies — challenges that can impede a business’s operations but that can be dealt with through effective hiring strategies and practices.

The role of the talent acquisition manager is to identify and address staffing needs while also promoting employee retention, all through effective recruiting methodologies. To find success in this position, and to achieve a competitive talent acquisition manager salary, it can be useful to obtain advanced training in organizational psychology or a related field.

Woman talking to another woman at a desk

What Does a Talent Acquisition Manager Do?

Businesses function best when they have stable teams composed of qualified and well-trained individuals — personnel who are not just a good fit for their specific roles but also for the company’s broader team culture and mission.

To help develop these teams, talent acquisition managers focus on strategies for finding, hiring and training the proper job candidates. Additionally, talent acquisition managers develop strategies to help retain top talent, preventing organizations from experiencing costly turnover.

What Is the Talent Acquisition Manager Job Description?

In terms of day-to-day duties, the work of a talent acquisition manager may vary. Some of the most typical responsibilities include:

  • Participating in job candidate interviews and hiring decisions
  • Assessing internal employees for promotions or new assignments within the organization
  • Attending career fairs to identify qualified candidates and educate them about potential opportunities
  • Developing effective strategies for recruitment, including efforts to optimize job postings and employer branding efforts
  • Providing job candidates with information about salary, benefits and the culture of the organization

How to Become a Talent Acquisition Manager

To succeed in this role, it is first necessary to gain the proper level of skill and expertise, which involves both classroom learning and on-the-job experience. The career path for the talent acquisition manager may vary from person to person, but it generally follows a common trajectory. Earning an undergraduate degree is a prerequisite. Additional steps — such as earning a master’s degree or obtaining professional certifications — can lead to more competitive job opportunities.

Earning an Undergraduate Education

To develop foundational skills, it’s vital to pursue an undergraduate education. This may involve earning a bachelor’s degree in a field such as psychology or business. While pursuing this degree, it’s also wise to take human resources management courses whenever possible, gaining exposure to some of the field’s core principles.

Seeking a Graduate Degree

Moving ahead with an advanced degree program can be one way to gain a higher level of mastery. Applied psychology degrees such as USC’s Master of Applied Psychology (MAPP) program can be especially useful. Note that not every talent acquisition manager role requires an advanced degree, but obtaining one can be a good way to earn a more competitive salary or gain a position of greater responsibility.

Gaining Entry-Level Experience

Another way to pursue a competitive talent acquisition manager salary is to gain some entry- and mid-level experience in a human resources department. You can seek to pursue roles like human resources specialist or human resources assistant in larger firms, or find work as a human resources coordinator for a smaller organization. A varied HR resume is one of the best tools for earning a high-paying talent acquisition job.

Seeking Relevant Certifications

Finally, it can be worthwhile to pursue professional certifications, which act as a sign of high-level knowledge and training. Certification is not always required, but it can open the door to more competitive positions. Any certification related to hiring or HR can be beneficial.

Talent Acquisition Manager Salary Range

How much can the typical talent acquisition manager expect to make? According to June 2023 data from the compensation website Payscale, the annual salary is approximately $86,000. Those earning in the highest ten percent may command a salary of around $122,000 or more.

Several factors can affect the expected talent acquisition manager salary range. These include a candidate’s level of education, years of experience, certifications and credentials, as well as the geographic location of the job. The size of the organization may also be a contributing factor. Generally speaking, more sizable organizations with more active recruiting departments will invest more in their talent acquisition professionals.

Take the Lead in Shaping Effective Staffing Success

In recent years, it has become more and more difficult for companies to build and maintain effective, cohesive and engaged teams. This has a major impact on an organization’s bottom line, affecting all phases of business, potentially increasing turnover rates, decreasing organizational productivity, souring company culture and hurting customer service and satisfaction. When it comes to addressing these concerns through strategic staffing, the role of the talent acquisition manager cannot be overstated.

Education can prepare you for success in this role. Consider the USC online MAPP degree, which provides exposure to core principles in organizational psychology. Mastery of these principles can be incredibly useful when developing comprehensive and strategic solutions for recruiting, hiring, onboarding and retention challenges.

Learn more about the program today, and take the first step toward long-term success in talent acquisition.

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BetterTeam, “Talent Acquisition Manager Job Description”
Frontiers, “Talent Acquisition and Technology: A Step Towards Sustainable Development”
Gallup, “Is Quiet Quitting Real?”
Indeed, “Talent Acquisition Manager Responsibilities and Skills”
Payscale, “Talent Acquisition Manager Salary”
Society for Human Resource Management, “What Is Talent Acquisition?”