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Retention and talent management

Retention/talent management: area of work

Graduates in careers in retention and talent management help large organisations to attract, retain and develop the best people.

Retention and talent management professionals are tasked with attracting and retaining the most talented individuals for their business. Many large organisations (typically multinationals, and most commonly in the finance sector) have created posts concerned exclusively with retention and talent management.

Rather than dealing directly with employees' personal issues or being involved in recruitment interviews, for example, professionals in this role will come up with strategies for getting the most out of their talented staff and for ensuring that they are satisfied with their jobs. Retention managers must also take into account the needs of the business. They will need to manage talented employees' expectations and make sure that they are focused on and engaged with the organisation's goals.

A retention and talent management professional will:

  • research employee satisfaction levels and identify areas that need to be improved upon
  • ensure that training and development is focused and beneficial
  • look at succession planning and fast-track promotion schemes
  • help to design and implement leadership development schemes
  • ensure the preferred image of the organisation is reflected in order to attract the best individuals

This is an HR-related role that's extremely business-focused, which can mean more time analysing data and speaking to senior board members, rather than dealing directly with employees themselves.

What's required

It will help you to have a CIPD qualification and/or a degree in HR or a related subject, such as psychology. In such a strategic role, more than a year's relevant experience will probably be required as well.

You'll need strong analytical and problem solving skills; the ability to communicate with people in all levels of an organisation; strong presentation and report writing skills; a high level of business acumen and good management skills.

You will be at an advantage if you can get HR experience at a large organisation with a designated talent management and retention department. But all HR departments will focus on this area in one way or another and will allow you to gain experience if you tell them it's a particular interest of yours.

Get clued up

For specific roles you'll need to look at the high-end HR and recruitment press for job adverts, such as the CIPD's People Management magazine. It is also worth researching large organisations across a range of business sectors, particularly within the finance industry, and checking their websites for vacancies.

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