7 skills every successful Talent Lead needs

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Talent Leads are responsible for crafting the talent strategy for your growing organisation. The role is crucial to your business’ growth, so it’s important that Founders ensure they hire the right person for the job. 

To support your talent recruitment journey, this blog covers the top skills that a candidate needs to excel at the Talent Lead job. 


What does a Talent Lead do?


Talent Leads are responsible for outlining forward-thinking, achievable goals that align with business objectives. By doing so, they ensure that the talent strategy not only responds to current needs but also anticipates future challenges and opportunities. The role plays a crucial part in ensuring that the gears of the talent machine are always running smoothly. 

Here are the top seven skills a Talent Lead needs to be successful: 

  1. Commercial acumen 
  2. Wider cultural awareness 
  3. Credibility and trustworthiness 
  4. Data-driven decision making 
  5. High emotional intelligence 
  6. Growth mindset 
  7. Ability to inspire 

Keep reading for more information on each skill and how they make a successful Talent Lead. 


1. Commercial acumen

Firstly, Talent Leads need a strong understanding of the business landscape in which your company operates. Candidates should stay up to date with the following: 

  • Market trends 
  • Competitor analysis 
  • Financial metrics  

Each area will influence the company’s business strategy and, therefore, talent strategy. By understanding the commercials, Talent Leads can better align HR initiatives with business objectives. This ensures that all of their strategic decisions contribute to the company’s profitability and sustainability.  

This knowledge should be demonstrated in a Talent Lead’s CV. They should be able to articulate how their talent management activities have impacted the bottom line and driven business success in previous roles. Communication is key to demonstrating that HR is not just a support function but a central, integral part of the strategic business plan. 


2. Wider cultural awareness

It is equally important for Talent Leads to have an understanding of the company and industry culture. A wider cultural awareness is key to creating and improving your business’ company culture. 

There are two areas to consider when assessing a candidate’s understanding: 


Diversity in thought  


Talent Leads must be aware of the existing diversity gaps both in the market and within their own organisations. Recognising that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) are not merely trends but essential elements for innovation and growth is crucial – especially at the early stages of company growth. 

This involves understanding varied perspectives and identifying systemic issues that may impact hiring and workplace culture. 


Diversity in practice  


Beyond acknowledgment, Talent Leads should actively implement DE&I strategies into their recruitment and management practices. This includes developing policies that minimise bias during the hiring process and fostering an environment that celebrates and supports a diverse workforce. 

The earlier the adoption, the better. However, it’s also important to remember that DE&I strategies must change and develop alongside your business to ensure you’re always creating an inclusive culture. 


3. Credibility and trustworthiness

In order to make a real impact on a business, Talent Leads must establish themselves as reliable and principled leaders. This involves consistently demonstrating integrity and maintaining high ethical standards. By taking these steps, Talent Leads establish trust and respect among colleagues, improving their ability to implement change. 


4. Data-driven decision making

In the modern workplace, being data-driven is a non-negotiable skill for most roles. So, you shouldn’t be too surprised to see this skill make the list. 

When thinking about Talent Leads in particular, candidates should be adept at using technology and data analytics to inform their decisions. Understanding key metrics and interpreting data trends should guide strategic planning and help improve processes and outcomes in talent management. 

Data-driven candidates will include stats and figures on their CV to show how their work has impacted a business’ profitability. 


5. High Emotional Intelligence

Having a strong Emotional Intelligence can improve a Talent Lead’s performance in a number of aspects. For instance, the ability to effectively understand and manage their own emotions – as well as empathise with others – facilitates more productive conversations. This skill ensures smooth conflict resolution and will support the development of strong team dynamics. 


6. Growth mindset

As hinted above, the ability to embrace and drive change is essential for a successful Talent Lead. We’ve all seen how quickly the dynamics of the workplace can change overnight. Being able to adapt and react to changing circumstances is key. This includes an interest in: 

  • Exploring new technologies 
  • Staying abreast of the latest hiring trends 
  • Always seeking ways to improve 

A growth mindset helps maintain strong employer branding and ensures that the employee experience meets evolving expectations. 


7. Ability to inspire

Inspiration is a powerful tool for any leader but is even more important in the HR world. Talent Leads need to be able to inspire the next generation of HR professionals as well as the broader business to appreciate the strategic value of the Talent function. Inspiring others can lead to greater investment in talent initiatives and recognition of their impact on the company’s bottom line. 


Hiring a Talent Lead? 


Do you need to bring a Talent Lead into your growing business? We hope that this blog provided some insight into the skills you should be searching for in your candidates. 

If you’re struggling to identify the right talent for the role, get in touch with Seekhr! Working with our recruitment agency will grant you access to our consultant’s extensive networks of HR and Talent professionals looking to make their next career move. 

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