People development – Job perk or Investment?

We all know that great companies are always looking for talents and because everyone is doing the same… It becomes hard to differentiate and attract the best people. In the past, companies would rely on job stability and on employer branding to ensure candidates would consider them in their career options. Today, talents are motivated by complete different standards.

Many candidates I interview are motivated by “soft” factors not related to payments, career or status – They believe that they can make a difference, they want to work with other interesting people and they want to have challenges.

However, something that remains constant is the need to develop and learn.

Some companies observe this pattern and they use this as an attraction measure… They promote themselves to be the best talent developer and promote the development plans and measures they can offer.

I don’t see these as a perk, instead I see these as a fundamental measure for companies to succeed in their strategies. It is usually more important for the company to keep developing a talent than for the employee.

Can you imagine a world where you simply stop investing in people development? How will companies sustain their leadership pipeline?

I do believe that exciting working environments and interesting business challenges are much better attraction points for talents than whatever we can offer regarding people development. Also, I believe that people development should be aligned with Company strategy and not with individuals’ preferences or choices.

Investing on people is a management decision and not a “goodie” that you give away to keep people happy. If companies don’t have a larger purpose for the people development strategy than they are probably just wasting their money with little return.

The business environment is changing to a pace, faster than any time before and I start to observe how some people are failing to catch-up to the new fast pace… I guess we will once again observe the effects of natural selection in the business world. Only the very best will survive.

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