Talent is, according to the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the “ability to perform something”, although a later meaning explains that it was the “currency of account of the Greeks and Romans.” Its origin comes from the balance plate that was used to weigh the merchandise and that, therefore, was the means to calculate the price. In other words, in both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, talent marked value.
Today it is one of the great assets of companies. Many are defined by the talent they are capable of employ, empower and retain. “It is probably the most important thing, better than a good brand or good patents”, argues Carles Brugarolas, director of the Department of Strategy, Leadership and People at EADA Business School. “Talent is having the ability to generate those patents or to make that brand grow. In the end, everything is going to be moved by people ”.
The knowledge that a professional has about one or several fields to which he dedicates his work is part of his talent, but also his personality, his ability to decide and to anticipate risks and identify opportunities, in addition to his creativity, your motivation, your attitude and your experience. In short, all the resources that allow you to carry out your work within the business structure.
What does it mean that a professional has talent?
To find out what is best for each of you, it is essential to experience it. “Talent arises from action, without action there is no talent but a promise of it. To discover it, it is necessary to try many things to find where there is an interest with ability ”, assures Arancha Ruiz, talent scout, author of several books and who will lead webinar Now or never: keys to developing your talent and boosting your company, organized by HUB Banco Sabadell Company.
Sign up for the webinar Now or never: keys to developing your talent and boosting your company, by Arancha Ruiz, talent scout, teacher, lecturer and author of three reference books on talent. Date: Tuesday, January 26 at 4:00 p.m.
Every professional has two types of skills, the so-called hard skills (hard skills), which are those that are acquired through training and experience, such as a lawyer’s knowledge of law. Your talent will depend on how you have internalized the content of those studies. But also soft skills (soft skills) that are predominantly social, returning to the case of the lawyer, would be emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize and develop interpersonal skills. The set of hard and soft skills make up talent.
“Surely the most critical skills are soft, but these alone are not going anywhere. You need to have the skills hard and put them into play in a sustainable and intelligent way together with the soft”, Assures Brugarolas. An issue that was analyzed in the last report of the World Economic Forum, which recorded the capacities that they considered to be most relevant in 2025. Topping the list was critical thinking and innovation, was followed by active learning and learning strategies and the resolution of complex problems closed the podium, all of them constant in the reports since 2016.
While the hard ones, such as the ability to program or the languages in which one is able to express oneself, can be learned in a course, a degree or a master’s degree, the acquisition of the soft ones takes more time and they do not depend so much on a formal education . “Develop skills soft it is much more difficult and may require practice, reflection and development over many years, ”says Nick van Dam, professor and director of the Center for Corporate Learning Innovation at IE University.
It is the human resources departments that are in charge of finding out, first of all, the skills that your company needs, and, above all, of recognizing those people who have the ideal skills for the job and who could develop them.
Human resources managers value the candidate’s personality, interests, future prospects and adaptability, but now they are also beginning to take into account other relevant competencies at a time like the present, characterized by the uncertainty caused by the crisis of the coronavirus.
“You need people capable of reinterpreting the situation because it is completely new, the previous patterns are not being repeated. A Leader With the characteristics that are needed, he understands what is happening, is able to explain it and mobilize people towards a better path ”, says Brugarolas.
How can a professional develop his talent?
Companies must be the first interested in attracting, developing and retaining the talent. “Research shows that there is a gap in productivity significant relative to job performance and complexity. Talented people in highly complex jobs are seven times more productive than the average worker, ”argues Nick van Dam.
Spain does not have a good reputation in valuing and retaining talent, according to experts. “There are many reasons why talent is wasted. First, a large number of companies still do not have a culture that recognizes and rewards talented people. Second, there is a lack of implementation in modern talent management practices, including their development, ”reasons Nick van Dam.
The ideal is to create and foster talent among the employees of the company itself. As the report shows Talent Trends 2020, prepared by the human resources services company Randstad, 90% of the human resources managers consulted understand that betting on one’s own talent is effective or very effective, especially in times of crisis. A somewhat premonitory fact since this study was carried out at the end of 2019, when the coronavirus pandemic had not yet exploded.
To develop internal talent there are two processes. On the one hand, professional recycling (reskilling) that seeks to train the employee in new skills to adapt him to a new job. An example is digital skills, which are increasingly in demand. Then again, there is the additional training (upskilling), whose mission is to teach new skills to optimize the performance already performed by the professional. To carry out both strategies, the development of training programs is essential, as well as favoring self-learning and mentoring (mentoring), the transfer of knowledge from people with more experience.
In addition to economic incentives, today, to retain talent, you must take into account the policies of conciliation, a favorable work environment, as well as fluent communication between all team members, non-economic rewards that are part of the emotional salary.