“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." The Wizard of Oz.

As I had the opportunity to express recently in the framework of the Human Age Institute, this quote from that immortal film summarizes with success and simplicity some theoretical statements about reputation. Professionals and companies depend on what others think of them; we all depend on what they think of us; of what we ‘love’.

There is a critical aspect that has not been approached during the toughest years of the economic crisis. Now that the market seems to be improving, this aspect has become the 'elephant in the room'. I am talking about the weight of reputation in companies when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

It is easy to retain the talent when it has nowhere to go. However, in the current situation of progressive improvement of the labor market, we find ourselves in a war scenario for falling in love with the best professionals.

To present some figures, 78 percent of managers consider the retention of talent as an urgent matter; 80 percent of Spanish workers consider the option of a change of position and only 13 percent of the workforce feels committed to the company[1].

The question that assaults immediately after attending to these figures is: why? I do not believe there is an answer, but we can analyze an apparent factor, such as the change of talent expectations.

Talent is behaving more and more like a consumer. They make their employability decisions like purchasing decisions, which makes it easier and harder for companies to find and convince the best. This leads us to the following reflection: if we have talked about the customer journey for years as a way to systematize the study and the work we have to do to get a buyer to buy us, why don’t we talk about 'talent journey' to do the same with talent?

Companies today depend on their reputation to ensure that talent goes through all the talent journey phases successfully. First, companies need to be recognized for their talent. Once it is known, the employer brand must encourage that candidate to make the decision to be part of their talent. Once inside, a good job of engagement should make that professional feel committed to the company’s purpose, make him feel happy, and allow him give the best of himself while he is fulfilled through his work. Finally, the company should accomplish that the worker actively promotes his company when working there as well as when he becomes an alumni–if it happens.

In this path, where the talent performs and companies have to pave the way, there are three main gaps: rational, emotional and credibility / authenticity. The three can be entailed in the idea that talent needs more than good corporate words to really trust companies. Companies that have been pilgrimage for years like Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion or the Tin Woodman looking for what they needed; something that, in reality, they carried inside, like companies, from the first moment.

Companies have sought out their reason, their emotion and their authenticity without realizing that they had everything inside: in their own employees. The employee advocacy or employee ambassadors are the solution to the three gaps. Professionals are the true repositories of credibility and those who interpret the rational and breathe life into emotional. They have the key to loyalty and attraction.

Let's not go crazy, let's not look far for what we have near us.

As the protagonist of our story said: "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."


This article is a fragment of a masterclass at the Human Age Institute by José Antonio Llorente on February 7, 2018.

[1] Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2017, Guía Salarial Hays 2016 and The Worldwide Employee Engagement Crisis 2016 (Gallup).