What is a Talent Acquisition Manager and Why You Need One

by Mike Tannian on March 31, 2022

Is your organization suffering from a talent drought? Learn how a talent acquisition manager can secure skilled employees to help your organization thrive.

Article Highlights

You’re struggling to find and maintain talent for your organization. It seems that no matter what you do, you can’t hire for the skills your organization needs. To make matters worse, skilled employees keep leaving your organization for other opportunities. 

But despite recognizing how important it is to cultivate proper talent strategies, you simply can’t find the time. You’re too busy picking up the slack from employee departures, posting recruitment ads, or putting out fires.

Given your challenges, one of your coworkers mentions that maybe you should hire a talent acquisition manager. But you’re too embarrassed to ask the question that’s swimming around in your head: “What is a talent acquisition manager?” 

So now, you’re here. And we have answers.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of talent acquisition, including what a talent acquisition manager does, the average talent acquisition manager salary, and why your organization needs one. We’ll also provide context around global talent acquisition given our increasingly connected world. 

Ready to build a sustainable talent acquisition strategy? Keep reading. 

What is Talent Acquisition? What is Global Talent Acquisition? 

Before we clarify the role of a talent acquisition manager, let’s first answer an even more basic question: what is talent acquisition in the first place? 

In short, talent acquisition is the process of bringing key skills to your organization. This often takes the form of hiring qualified candidates to work for your company. But talent acquisition isn’t relegated solely to active recruitment and hiring cycles. 

Rather, talent acquisition is an overarching, long-term strategy that involves numerous considerations, from developing internal talent to making those external hires. 

There are a few reasons why the right talent acquisition strategy is key to the success of your organization. First, and perhaps most obviously, filling your organization with talented professionals enables your company to provide better services and products for its customers. 

Less obviously, the right talent saves you money in the long run. That’s because high-performers aren’t just better at the work they do – they’re also more efficient. A high-performing employee is 400% more productive than an average employee

If you’re in a more complex field, that difference in productivity doubles to 800%. In other words, it pays off to cultivate the right talent in your organization. 

And in today’s marketplace, you don’t need to be constrained to local talent, either. 

Global talent acquisition is the process of looking beyond your city, state, or even country to overcome skills shortages in your organization. Considering international candidates is especially helpful since, over the last decade, the United States talent shortage has more than tripled

But don’t be mistaken: global talent acquisition isn't as straightforward as posting a job ad on an international job board. Both local and global talent acquisition require specific strategies and approaches to be successful. 

And a talent acquisition manager can help. 

What is a Talent Acquisition Manager?

A talent acquisition manager develops and acts upon strategies to find the best talent for your organization. In doing so, he or she reduces the likelihood you’ll have a failed recruitment.

A failed recruitment can result in several outcomes, none of them good. A failed recruitment may mean that your organization makes no hire at all. Or worse, it may mean you hire the wrong person, which can end up costing your organization 30% of the new employee’s annual salary.  

Talent acquisition managers have skills that help prevent those possibilities from becoming reality. Let’s find out more about their roles and responsibilities below. 

Roles and responsibilities of a talent acquisition manager

A talent acquisition manager wears a lot of hats. In essence, he or she performs both human resources and talent management work to recruit and retain talented employees on behalf of an organization. This may include undertaking tasks such as: 

  • Conducting an organizational skill gap analysis
  • Developing workplans for existing employees 
  • Networking at a job fair or other event
  • Promoting an employer brand to attract future talent 
  • Sourcing and recruiting candidates to fill skill needs within the organization 
  • Maintaining an applicant tracking system to streamline the hiring process 
  • Building professional development opportunities to upskill current employees 

Successful talent acquisition managers must be skilled in strategic thinking so that they can develop an overarching talent strategy. They do the legwork of understanding the skills needed in an organization and then develop the strategy to fulfill those needs. 

Since much of a talent acquisition manager’s work involves networking and communicating with prospective employees, they should also have strong interpersonal skills. An important role of talent acquisition managers is providing a great candidate experience throughout the hiring process. 

This increases the likelihood you’ll be able to bring that talent to your organization since candidates who are pleased with their experience during a recruiting process are 38% more likely to accept a job offer. 

Many talent acquisition managers have backgrounds in human resources, recruitment, and/or business administration. These experiences equip talent acquisition managers with the qualities necessary to conduct successful interviews that assess a candidate’s technical and soft skills, reducing the likelihood of a bad hire.  

Given their skills and background, talent acquisition managers aren’t cheap. The average talent acquisition manager salary is $122,106 in the United States. But based on everything we’ve discussed, they’re well worth the cost. 

What is a global talent acquisition manager?

How do the roles and responsibilities discussed above differ for a global talent acquisition manager? The primary difference is that a global talent acquisition manager undertakes many of the same tasks without being confined to one geographic region. 

But that doesn’t necessarily make the job any easier. That’s because other countries may have different labor laws than the United States that need to be taken into consideration. Additionally, 

international job seekers might not recognize your brand like candidates in your native country do.  

A global talent acquisition manager can help you navigate all of this by: 

  • Navigating cultural norms (so as not to accidentally offend qualified candidates) 
  • Abiding by local labor laws on behalf of your organization 
  • Providing insights on attractive compensation and benefits packages for the region 
  • Maintaining salary equity across the organization 
  • Marketing your company culture and employer branding 

In short, a global talent acquisition manager increases your talent pool while taking into account the unique business, legal, and cultural dynamics of a global recruitment process. 

Does Your Organization Need a Talent Acquisition Manager?

Whether or not you need a talent acquisition manager depends a bit on your industry and organization. Larger companies with more far-reaching labor needs may benefit from a talent acquisition manager (or even a dedicated talent acquisition team) to secure talent at all levels of the organization. 

Other organizations, like local governments, may not have the resources available to hire such a specialized position. But public sector HR professionals can still benefit from the same underlying talent strategy, including promoting a positive candidate experience and cultivating numerous professional development opportunities.

When determining whether you need a talent acquisition specialist, reflect on how your recruitment process has been going. Below we’ve listed some questions to jumpstart your thinking. 

  • Are you satisfied with the performance of employees you’ve hired in the past six to twelve months? 
  • Can you compete in a competitive market or are qualified candidates choosing to pursue work at other organizations? 
  • Have you recently experienced high turnover within your organization, especially of highly productive employees? 

If the answers to any of these questions are less than stellar, don’t be alarmed: you’re not alone. A whopping 82% of companies don’t think that their organization hires highly-talented people. A talent acquisition manager can help you work on your recruitment and retention strategies so that you’re securing the talent necessary for your organization to succeed. 

Talent acquisition managers are also particularly helpful during competitive job markets because they have a finger on the pulse of the market as a whole. As such, they can help your company adapt to the changing needs of job seekers while using employee retention strategies to avoid a talent exodus. 

Difference Between Talent Acquisition and Talent Management 

As we close out our conversation, you may have a few lingering questions about the relationship between talent acquisition and talent management. Put simply, talent acquisition falls under the larger umbrella of talent management. 

But let’s dig a little deeper. 

Talent acquisition most often starts at the beginning of an employee lifecycle and involves actively recruiting employees with certain skills to your company. Talent management then ensures an organization is making the most of the skills it acquires while also providing opportunities for additional skill development. 

After all, what would be the point of hiring talented professionals only to allow their skills to go unused (or worse, deteriorate) within your organization? 

Talent management is fundamental to the success of any talent acquisition strategy. That’s because employees who have access to professional development opportunities and training are more likely to remain with an organization

So, a proper talent acquisition strategy works hand-in-hand with your talent management strategy. Talent management includes taking actions like: 

  • Holding regular performance reviews so employees are recognized for their accomplishments and given feedback on areas for improvement 
  • Developing customized work plans so every employee has opportunities for skill development 
  • Offering professional development opportunities within the organization or paying for external training 
  • Encouraging and incentivizing professional certifications (i.e. paying for PMP certification) 

Software systems like NEOGOV’s Perform and Learn help organizations actualize these talent management goals. Perform is a performance management platform that automates things like annual performance reviews. Learn is an e-learning platform that allows employees in your organization to easily access professional development courses and training.

Together, these systems create space for human resources, hiring managers, and employees to discuss short and long-term skill development needs/goals and then take the requisite actions to meet them. 

Final Thoughts

We’ve provided you with answers to a wide variety of questions, from identifying the roles and responsibilities of a talent manager to clarifying the difference between talent acquisition and talent management. 

Now you won’t have to nod along when your coworker mentions these topics, frantically wondering, “Wait a minute, what is global talent acquisition?” Instead, you can focus on the important things, like developing a talent acquisition strategy to meet your business goals. 

NEOGOV is here to help. Schedule a demo to learn more about how Learn and Perform can take your talent management to the next level.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.