Talent cannot be just bought with money

Talent cannot be just bought with money

Monday, 10 september 2018 | Brenda Rodríguez López

In the current working situation, which is marked by technological transition, companies have to be more prepared than ever to face new challenges. They need to have professionals who are up to this difficult task, who are committed to their company's goals and who are able to adapt to the complexity and volatility of the environment. This mission does not just involve the searching and hiring of the ideal talent, but its conquest as well. If the hiring is not followed by a good work atmosphere and satisfactory conditions, the mission fails. Talent is subject to free will, and when it does not like what it sees, it goes away. The key to wooing talent is not economic, but emotional.


The economic retribution is an important factor when it comes to motivating a worker, but, reducing the compensation to their work and effort only to a monetary factor may be a serious mistake. Professionals increasingly give more value to other key elements of their work routine. The conclusions that are obtained in reports such as the last one published by Randstad are a proof of that. According to the Human Resource Consulting  firm, 727,100 workers would be willing to work fewer hours for a salary proportional to this reduction. In fact, in a recent report, "Randstad Employer Brand Research 2018", the company pointed out that Spain was the second country in the world that valued work-life balance most when it comes to choosing a company to work for.

Another study carried out by the same company, and which is more disturbing, shows that 27.5% of Spanish workers (more than 5.3 million employed workers) are considering the possibility of changing jobs after returning from vacation. 43% of workers would even be willing to move to another city to access a new job. Of course, among the decisive factors that trigger this ambition for change is the desire to receive a higher wage. Nonetheless, this factor is followed by other significant working conditions such as the balance between personal and professional life, the opportunities to grow as a professional, a greater security and stability and other alternatives that allow an improvement of labor flexibility. On the other hand, it is fair to point out that 73% of Spanish workers admit they feel satisfied with their job according to Randstad. In fact, Spain is the only country in southern Europe that is not below the European average.

Randstad is not the only company that publishes analysis about the relationship of professionals with work and that invites companies to reflect on what remuneration is appropriate to win talent over. According to the study "360º Wellbeing Survey 2018" carried out by Cigna, 74% of workers in Spain have gone to work being sick once, this is a much higher percentage than the ones from other countries like the United Kingdom (57%), Germany (49%) or France (42%). Health and welfare conditions are one of the points that workers value most when choosing a company. In fact, this factor is decisive for three out of four professionals.


Talent cannot be just bought with money

The secret ingredient for the talent conquest

Just to provide a context for the world of work faced by today's professionals and clarify the concept of what we understand as a VUCA environment (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), we would like to quote one last study: Kaspersky Lab's one. This research was carried out with the aim at discovering what Spanish students thought about their future professional career after university. 31% of survey respondents answered that they believed they were preparing for jobs that do not exist yet. Therefore, labor uncertainty joins this long list of labor concerns that have been cited.

It is not surprising that in a scenario like the one described, professionals not only seek an appropriate economic reward as a compensation for their work performance, but also conditions that could reduce their concerns about the future. On the other hand, the aforementioned studies have also proved that benefits, circumstances, work environment and professional fulfillment are important aspects to achieve the effective conquest of company's talent.

At this point, it is important to explain that not all salaries are paid at the end of the month. Beyond the economic wage, there is another type of retribution: the emotional one. This new concept, that of emotional salary, refers to those benefits with which the professional is rewarded and that they may not have a monetary character. Its main goal is encouraging and motivating  workers. There are many types of alternative compensations: the training of workers, the performance of activities that foster a good work environment, the promotion of a sound culture of values that is similar to the talent that makes up companies, the recognition of a well done job, flexible hours, work-life balance and a long etcetera.

Offering a different kind of compensation does not mean that it is less necessary to pay a salary that is proportional to the work which is done. The agreement on a fair salary is crucial for the retention of talent. However, thanks to the emotional salary, companies now have more resources to boost the commitment of professionals and get them really motivated. These alternative actions do not require a large budget, but rather a determined will. That is precisely the secret ingredient for   retaining talent.

At The CEU IAM Business School, we are aware that a change in the leadership and management of people is taking place simultaneously, and in order to ensure that this transition is successful, it is necessary to rely on the right professionals. Sign up for our Master's Degree in Human Resources, the Management of Talent and Leadership and become one of them.