Talent Development Manager Job Description

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Every business benefits from employing skilled, highly trained personnel. This means recruiting and hiring the right people and ensuring that employees have every opportunity to hone their skills and optimize their abilities. Developing in-house talent can help a company achieve its productivity goals while also enhancing team morale and employee retention.

The role of a talent development manager is to provide opportunities for employees to cultivate their skills while ensuring alignment with broader business goals. Those who desire to succeed in this position may benefit from having a strong educational background, including training in organizational psychology.

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What Is Talent Development?

The role of a talent development professional is to help develop and expand the skill sets of an existing employee base within the parameters of the company’s needs and goals. Those who work in managerial positions may use principles of psychology to retain talent and ensure that employees feel like the company is investing in their long-term success.

Talent Development Manager Job Description

The duties associated with a talent development manager may vary from one organization to the next, but a typical job description looks something like this:

  • Evaluating employee performance, assessing areas where upskilling or cross-training can have the most impact
  • Creating employee training programs that address skills gaps as well as broader institutional goals
  • Providing direct leadership and training via classes and seminars or enlisting the appropriate instructors as needed
  • Collaborating with the human resources (HR) department to develop plans for boosting employee engagement, morale and retention
  • Reporting to C-suite members and other executives about progress in employee upskilling and team cohesion

Becoming a Talent Development Manager

Those who are drawn to the field of talent development will need to hone some skills of their own, obtaining the right education and hands-on experience before they can assume manager-level positions. Consider the basic career trajectory for this profession.

Earning an Undergraduate Degree

To start cultivating foundational skills, a bachelor’s degree is imperative. Most talent development positions require an undergraduate degree in organizational development, business administration, psychology or a related field.

Obtaining Professional Experience

Gaining experience working directly with employee engagement, retention and development programs is also important. This typically means seeking entry-level or mid-level work in an HR or employee benefits department.

Pursuing an Advanced Degree

Going on to receive a more advanced degree, such as USC’s Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MAPP), can lead to increased skills, including critical leadership and managerial abilities. Those who earn a more advanced degree typically command a higher salary and have the opportunity to move into senior and managerial positions.

Seeking Certification

Another way to prepare for long-term success in talent development is with certifications. While certification isn’t typically necessary, it signifies an advanced level of expertise and can lead to higher-paying positions or roles of greater responsibility. Common certifications include Associate Professional in Talent Development and Certified Professional in Talent Development.

Cultivating the Right Skills

Through education and experience, aspiring talent development managers should focus on a few especially relevant competencies. The most essential skills for the role include the following:

  • Communication. Because managers often serve as instructors and report to senior-level leaders, having clarity in both written and oral communication is crucial.
  • Leadership. The role of the manager is often to develop and implement a new professional development program, which requires setting a vision and obtaining team buy-in.
  • Strategic thinking. A good talent development manager will also be able to evaluate skills gaps or retention issues within the organization critically and develop the right strategy to meet those needs.

How Much Do Talent Development Jobs Pay?

The median salary for training and development managers was about $120,000 in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Several factors can affect the salary range for talent development jobs, including geographic location, level of education and years of experience.

The BLS projects job growth of 6% for the field between 2022 and 2032, about twice the projected growth for all careers in the U.S.

Choosing a Career in Talent Development

Organizations naturally want to have employees who are well equipped with a broad set of skills. Employees, in turn, want to know that their employer is investing in their long-term success, providing the resources necessary for them to thrive. A role in talent development caters to both sets of needs, making this a critical position within the broader business environment.

To make a positive impact in the profession, it’s imperative to obtain a solid educational foundation, including training in organizational psychology. USC’s online Master of Science in Applied Psychology program (MAPP) provides extensive opportunities for professional development. The USC MAPP degree can lead to success in a wide range of fields, including talent development, by providing exposure to organizational psychology principles, leadership concepts, communication skills and more.

Discover how USC’s applied psychology degree can contribute to long-term success in talent development.

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Association for Talent Development, “What Is Talent Development?”
Chronus, “What Is Talent Development and Why Does It Matter?”
Forbes, “What Is Talent Management? Everything You Need to Know”
People Managing People, “9 Best Learning and Development Certifications 2023”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Training and Development Managers”