3 Key Talent Acquisition Jobs Explained

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Talent acquisition jobs come in various shapes and sizes. In this article, we zoom in on three of them, including their requirements and key duties.

Contents
Talent acquisition job characteristics
Talent acquisition manager
Talent acquisition specialist
Head of talent acquisition
Before you go
FAQ

Talent acquisition job characteristics

Regardless of the exact role, talent acquisition jobs all have certain characteristics in common. We can look at the definition of talent acquisition (TA) to distinguish several of these characteristics: 

“Talent acquisition refers to the process of identifying and acquiring skilled workers to meet your organizational needs. The talent acquisition team is responsible for identifying, acquiring, assessing, hiring – and increasingly also onboarding – candidates to fill open positions within a company. Employer branding, future resource planning, diversifying a company’s labor force, and developing a robust candidate pipeline are the cornerstones of talent acquisition.”

The skillset of successful talent acquisition professionals usually includes sourcing strategies, candidate assessment, compliance and hiring standards, and fluency in employment branding practices and corporate hiring initiatives.

In terms of talent acquisition job characteristics, we identify the following:

Analysis and strategy

Whether you’re a talent acquisition manager, specialist, or head of TA, your work will be based on an analysis of current and future hiring needs that will help the company build the workforce that it needs to realize its business goals.

The results of this analysis will lead to the creation of a talent acquisition strategy – and it’s this strategy that will serve as the guide to your TA role; sourcing strategies will be created based on it, employer branding efforts will take it into account, as will the company’s succession planning.

A strong interest in the hiring process

Initially, I was going to say a strong interest in the candidate experience, but it’s more than that. When you’re working in talent acquisition, every aspect of the hiring process should be of interest to you, regardless of your specific function.

This includes:

  • Being keen on following the latest trends in talent acquisition and developments in TA technologies
  • Being willing to embrace new types of identifying, acquiring, assessing, and hiring candidates
  • Always being ready to question the ways in which your organization is hiring and not being afraid to change things

A strong desire to get the right people in the right place

Yes, talent acquisition is about finding the right people to help you meet your organizational needs. As a TA professional, however, you want to go beyond simply meeting business needs. You want to find talent that can help the organization grow further, but you also want your talents to grow individually and for them to be able to truly flourish in their role.

Alright, since we’ve looked at some of the characteristics that all talent acquisition jobs have in common, we can now take a closer look at 3 of those TA roles.

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When you work in Talent Acquisition, you should have a strong commitment to helping people find success in your company.

Talent acquisition manager

A Talent Acquisition Manager is responsible for finding, recruiting, hiring – and retaining – talented candidates. They’re in charge of planning, developing, and implementing an effective Talent Acquisition strategy for their organization. This includes (co) building a strong Employer Brand.  

In smaller companies, the talent acquisition manager is usually an experienced recruiter who handles all the company’s recruitment needs, regardless of the function or level. In larger organizations, the role becomes more of an actual management position overseeing a team of TA professionals.

A talent acquisition manager should have the following qualifications:

  • A degree in Human Resources Management, business administration, or a relevant, related field
  • Prior experience as a Talent Acquisition Manager, or similar experience in an HR role
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Knowledge of human resources laws
  • Knowledge of job posting sites and professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn
  • Ability to multitask
  • Knowledge of various interviewing methods

Job duties include (non-exhaustive list):

  • Create a sustainable talent acquisition strategy
  • Design, plan and execute employer branding activities
  • Perform analysis of hiring needs and provide employee hiring forecast
  • Use systems and tools such as an HRIS
  • Plan procedures for improving the candidate experience
  • Assess the needs of current employees
  • Adjust employee benefits according to observed needs
  • Conduct employee satisfaction surveys
  • Visit career and job fairs at schools or universities

Talent acquisition manager salary (US & Netherlands)

A talent acquisition manager salary will vary depending on specific duties, level of seniority, company size, and location. In the US, according to Indeed, the average salary for a senior talent acquisition manager lies around $97,000.

In the Netherlands, according to PayScale, the average talent acquisition manager salary lies around €51,000.

Talent acquisition specialist

A Talent Acquisition Specialist (TAS) focuses on the full life cycle of recruiting, including succession planning, sourcing, candidate screening, management training, legal compliance, and reporting. The TAS works with line management and the Human Resources department to plan for hiring and internal candidate development. 

A talent acquisition specialist should have the following qualifications:  

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  • Industry experience, either in a line role or in an HR/ recruiting capacity
  • A solid understanding of current employment law and the ability to learn and follow new developments
  • Experience with applicant tracking systems
  • A bachelor’s degree in Business/Human Resources or a specialized field or equivalent experience

Job duties include (non-exhaustive list):

  • Job description creation
  • Candidate sourcing
  • Candidate screening
  • Advise management on interviewing, hiring, and candidate evaluation
  • Handle all administrative tasks related to the candidate cycle, including reporting to governmental agencies and internal clients
  • Serve on the succession planning team
  • Work with the compensation department to determine a market rate salary for each new hire.
  • Provide guidance and forecasting for future hiring needs

Talent acquisition specialist salary (US & UK)

Salaries can vary widely depending on industry, workload, location, and experience. Payscale estimates the average salary for a US-based Talent Acquisition Specialist is $56,309, as of April 2020. However, an experienced TAS in New York City has an average salary of $71,216, with a $9,500 bonus

Glassdoor says that in London, the average TAS salary is £37,873 (or $46,815.76 in US dollars.) That’s a considerable difference in salaries.

The Head of Talent Acquisition has a deep understanding of the organization’s plans and priorities and uses this to create and implement talent strategies. He or she builds and manages a diverse and skilled talent team and oversees aspects of the resourcing and recruitment teams. The head of talent acquisition works closely together with the HR business partners and other members of the HR department.

A head of talent acquisition usually has the following qualifications:

  • A degree in Human Resources Management, business administration, or a relevant field
  • Experience in managing and overseeing a talent acquisition team and evidence of transforming the recruitment function within an organization
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills
  • Strong commercial and analytical know-how
  • Strategic thinker
  • Able to build relationships with employees at all levels

Job duties include (non-exhaustive list):

  • Identifying the organization’s needs and working to create and implement an efficient talent acquisition strategy – including Employer Brand efforts – to improve recruitment and business performance 
  • Developing, managing and maintaining a highly-skilled team to assist with talent development  
  • Understanding workforce planning and resource forecasting by working with the resourcing team to feed into recruitment timelines
  • Developing and retaining a diverse talent acquisition team 
  • Partnering with the broader talent acquisition team for shared use of tools and resources
  • Managing and delivering reports and data when required

Head of talent acquisition salary (US & UK)

In the US, the average salary for a Head of Talent Acquisition is almost $145,000 according to Salary.com. Salary ranges, of course, vary depending on factors such as industry, type of company, years of experience, etc. The range typically falls somewhere between $128,000 and $165,000.

In the UK, the average base salary for a Head of Talent Acquisition is around £76,365 according to Glassdoor. Salaries can vary quite a bit here too, ranging from just above £40,000 to almost £135,000.

Before you go

There isn’t one right way to go about talent acquisition. Every company can determine the best way to approach TA, depending on their specific situation. This list aims to inspire you and to give you an idea of the roles you might want to consider to help your company with its talent acquisition efforts. 

FAQ

What are talent acquisition jobs?

Talent acquisition jobs revolve around the process of identifying and acquiring skilled workers to meet your organizational needs. The talent acquisition team is, among other things, responsible for identifying, acquiring, assessing, hiring, and increasingly also onboarding candidates to fill open positions within a company.

What are examples of talent acquisition jobs?

Examples of talent acquisition jobs are the talent acquisition manager, the TA specialist and the head of talent acquisition.

What does a talent acquisition manager do?

The Talent Acquisition Manager is responsible for finding, recruiting, hiring – and retaining – talented candidates. They’re in charge of planning, developing, and implementing an effective Talent Acquisition strategy for their organization. This includes (co) building a strong Employer Brand.  

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