As companies continue to improve the experience of their employees, the challenges they face come in a complex historical period. Companies with a well-established reputation are under immense pressure to grow and innovate if they want to survive in an uncertain economy and defend their market share from newcomers, who are able to attract an increasing percentage of the most competent talents with the promise of a “greater purpose”.

The competition for Talents is not only between established companies and newcomers but also among the established companies themselves. As digital transformation takes hold in every industry, companies compete for data scientists, programmers, digital media experts, and other tech workers. This raises the question how and how these companies are able to differentiate between themselves to attract talent.

Companies are also shifting from the “pay and reward” approach towards an approach that puts the person at the center. This need arises from the desire of companies to provide an “employee experience” that combines mental and emotional satisfaction together with an adequate salary. Companies in the financial and consulting sector, which historically have attracted the best talent with high salaries, see the same talents accept less paid jobs in young companies that have built a solid brand empoyer and offer a more complete employee experience.

A more comprehensive approach to Talent management also benefits the company: wellness programs in particular are linked to increased productivity and innovation. The problem is to define whether these types of initiatives are effective: companies can not give each employee a fit band to show that they take care of their wellness. We need structured and time-honored programs that develop engagement among people.

Unlike money, which is purely a transaction, intangible recognition requires constant care and proximity to the needs of employees. It is a way for companies to demonstrate that they are genuinely involved in caring for their people. These activities have always been in the domain of HR, but today they have become crucial to attract, retain and inspire the best Talents.

HR teams are in the best position to facilitate these processes. They can combine their privileged point of view on human behavior with a growing amount of “Big Data” on employees: HR leaders can help their organizations develop programs and managerial approaches that put people – and therefore Talents – at the center .