Álvaro Cárcel, Executive Search Director.

 Today I had the opportunity to read an article by Oriol Montanyà, published in La Vanguardia, which is a pleasure to read. Short, clear and direct.

And it is that in an era where we talk daily about the difficulties of attracting and retaining talent (with some reason), it is also time to stop, reflect and simplify. 

Maybe it's just about rewinding. 

How is talent retained?

According to the author: Living wage. Career plan. Good schedule. Competent boss. Internal promotion. "In that order". 

Seen this way, it doesn't sound that difficult. And in fact, I totally agree with the message conveyed by the author of the article. 

But the reality is that it's not that easy. In fact, it is quite complicated that all the variables occur at once, for different reasons: 

1. Living wage. More than a living wage, we should talk about a good salary (or at least, an above-average salary for the position in question). True talent (understood as people who make a difference in an organization) must be adequately compensated. This point, sometimes, is difficult to understand in organizations. There is a natural human tendency to try to pay as little as possible. I do not justify it, but let everyone think about how they consume and spend their own money. Everyone likes sales. 

2. Career Plan. In an ideal world, it should always exist. But for this, there must be a powerful human resources department (or at least a company management strongly oriented to people).  And in a country where SMEs represent 95% of the business fabric, this is not always possible. And beware, there are many SMEs that do an excellent job in this regard. But the truth is that, due to size and resources, they sometimes cannot compete with the sophisticated human resources departments of large multinationals and their attractive career plans.

3. Good schedule. In line with the previous point. In general, for there to be a good schedule (and here I take the opportunity to include other aspects such as flexibility or teleworking, which have become vitally important in the last 2 years) there must be well-worked policies, and it is not always possible for the reasons stated. 

4. Competent boss. Personally, I would talk about having the right person in the right position. Many organizations err on the side of improvisation when it comes to correctly covering their key positions. And this is due, in the first place, to a poor definition of the positions (both at the level of functions and at the competency level), which results in the second instance in making selection errors. And in team leadership positions, the wrong person can destroy a team in no time. 

5. Internal promotion. Closely linked to the existence of career plans, and again, it largely depends on a department that works correctly the growth of employees and succession plans. Again, it is not always possible.

By way of conclusion: I could not agree more that we should not overcomplicate our lives in terms of talent management, especially when it comes to retaining or retaining it. 

But for the 5 previous points to be fulfilled, we must start from a clear premise: either there is a management / ownership of the company ( usually in micro or small companies) with a strong orientation to people who row in the previous direction, or there is a strategic human resources function and attached to business that puts talent at the center (as it should be).