Eight keys to harnessing the talent of over 50s

Generation Savia, an initiative developed by the Endesa Foundation in collaboration with the Mshumano Foundation and which brings together more than 28,000 senior professionals and 400 organizations, presented a Guide with 8 strategic keys to promote a correct management of the talent of more professionals. 50 years in times of crisis.

The presentation of this Guide, with its strategic and operational content, took place within the framework of a digital meeting to which businessmen, journalists, HR managers and unemployed people over 50 participated, in which the participants participated Gloria Juste, project director of the Endesa Foundation, during which a round table was organized with experts in the field: Jos Miguel Roca, director of the Knowdle Foundation and co-author of the series of reports on the management of senior talents in IBEX 35 companies the Compromiso y Transparencia Foundation; Marcos Gonzlez, founding president and editor-in-chief of Corresponsables, its Foundation and the Observatory for responsible communication “Observer”; and Jess Castells, strategy consultant, mentor manager, writer, entrepreneur, teacher and influencer in employment and entrepreneurship.


According to data from the latest Labor Force Survey (EPA), more than 1.2 million people over the age of 50 are unemployed in Spain, a figure that could be significantly increased due to the current crisis. It is estimated that around 50,000 “senior” workers are already affected by ERTE. This raises fears that the unemployment level of these people will worsen if this group is not protected and these ERTEs become layoffs or forced regulations.

The readjustments of companies continue to prioritize age over professional qualification, which is not only unfair discrimination, but above all a serious strategic error, because it means wasting the talent of professionals who have a high level of knowledge, extensive management experience. crisis and, unlike a fairly widespread subject, sufficiently prepared and trained to work in digital environments.

In the words of Gloria Juste, project director at Fundacin Endesa, “Faced with a crisis like the one we are currently experiencing and which is hitting companies hard, the art of governing and managing talent requires a strategic outlook that preserves fundamental pillars of the organization, both to overcome the current situation and to ensure the process of recovery and growth later ”. According to the deputy director of the Mshumano Foundation, Toms Pereda “All of this requires competing for the best talent available, a significant part of which is a senior. Therefore, intelligent management of senior talents must become a strategic variable in adjustment and restructuring plans ”.

During the roundtable, the experts debated different points of view on the management of senior talent in companies in times of crisis like the current one. According to Jess Castells, strategy consultant and mentor manager, “Senior talents need to be trained while they are in the company and keep abreast of new technologies. On the other hand, you should never stop working with the network of contacts and networking because it is very important to join the job market ”. For his part, Jos Miguel Roca, director of the Knowdle Foundation, on the retirement of seniors “companies must prepare their employees who are going to retire to take the next step, for this change the legislation is very important” . According to Marcos Gonzlez, founding president and editor-in-chief of Corresponsables and its foundation, “During the pandemic, senior talent has shown that he can adapt perfectly to changes and, in particular, technological changes. And with reference to the relevant role played by the media in making this reality visible, we must show examples of what senior talents bring to society ”.


1. Demographics in business strategy

Spain is fast becoming one of the most sustainable countries in the world, attracting a society whose citizens live longer and enjoy better health conditions, even to stay active and extend their working lives.

This fact, added to the low birth rate in our country, which slows down a generational change between seniors and young people, forces us to rethink the employment structures within organizations.


Include on the agenda of governing bodies, and more specifically within the Commission for Sustainable Development, the demographic issue and its commercial impact.

2. High talent on the agenda of governing bodies

Professionals and leaders in an organization must understand that managing “senior” talent is strategic; and they will do so to the extent that they perceive a clear position on the matter from their CEO.


Ask companies to make a diagnosis of the age pyramid of employees and put in place measures that strengthen the generational diversity ratios in the company. These master plans should include specific objectives and monitoring KPIs.

3. Cultural change in the service of generational diversity

It is necessary to eliminate the prejudices against professionals over 50 years old. Companies and talent recruiters continue to discriminate on the basis of age, based on what a society often fueled by prejudices and prejudices thinks and feels.

Now is the right time to promote a change management process that goes beyond a culture based on prejudices and stereotypes generated throughout the 20th century.


Make the organization aware of the value that generational diversity brings to the company.

4. New models of collaboration and professional career

Untouchable working paradigms are exploding in the wake of the pandemic. This crisis contains an opportunity and opens a window to build new organizational models that have been knocking on the door for a long time: remote working, new forms of unconventional collaboration and many more to come.


Design new professional career paths that meet the expectations of valued senior professionals and analyze their possible organizational and legal (social and fiscal) capacities adapted to the professional development of senior talents within the company.

5. “Lifelong learning”: continuing education

There is no scientific evidence showing that senior professionals as a whole or most of the knowledge demanded by the digital economy, both in its technical dimension and in skills and attitudes, or that they cannot be recycled and easily acquired.


Implement “requalification”, “crosskilling” and “development” plans in which the knowledge essential to the organization is identified. Open up and expressly invite “senior” professionals to actively participate in retraining and learning processes, if they need to, without age-related bias or prejudices.

6. Robotization and work teams

In parallel with automation and artificial intelligence, we must focus on greater generational diversity, greater wealth and greater performance. A multigenerational team is not only the coincidence of professionals of different generations in the same group, but also involves the creation and the conscious and specific management of a team with these characteristics.


Learning and implementation of the concept of intergenerational teams for the management of specific or transversal projects as accelerators of post-pandemic cultural transformation.

7. Talented restructuring

The health crisis caused by Covid-19 may lead many organizations to reduce their fixed costs and reduce their staff through voluntary layoffs and early retirement. Age should continue to be which brands that are consumable? Fewer and fewer people 55 years old, after 52, 50 or even … 45?


Introduction of new eligibility criteria in early retirement schemes (professional contribution, knowledge to be preserved, etc.) which dilute the age factor as an essential criterion and avoid continuing to reinforce prejudices against it.

8. Employer brand for seniors

What kind of emotional and professional bond can we create between the professionally disengaged “senior” professional and their organization? Can you find formulas that allow the continuity of professional collaboration between the two parties?


Identify new cost reduction formulas that allow, on the one hand, to obtain savings in labor costs in the fixed structure and, on the other hand, to create the possibility of continuing to maintain a relationship with the “senior” professional who satisfies the interests of both parties. Create a “senior employer brand” strategy in order to attract, develop, empower and retain “senior” talents of high professional value.

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