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Fortune for today or fame for tomorrow? Mbappé and reputation

According to what we know from the professionals who have been in both clubs, it does not seem that the option taken by Mbappé is necessarily the best.

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Fortune for today or fame for tomorrow? Mbappé and reputation

According to what we know from the professionals who have been in both clubs, it does not seem that the option taken by Mbappé is necessarily the best.

"Everyone knows that 1 year ago I wanted to leave, I was convinced that it was the best decision at the time. But now the context is different: sports and professional terms are different. I don't know what will happen in 3 years." This is how the PSG player was dispatched at the press conference after his renewal announcement with the French club. Where I said I say, I say Diego.

In reputation management we use the theory of signals that comes from biology: decisions are, effectively, contextual (which does not necessarily mean short-term), and are based on signals that we send to others through our attitudes and of our behavior. There are two types of signals: the honest ones (they build mutual trust) and the dishonest ones (they destroy said trust).

The Mbappé case can be analyzed from two perspectives: that of the player (supply) and that of Real Madrid (demand). In 2000, Ridderstråle and Nordström pointed out that in the new digital economy, talent drives capital, not the other way around. The offer in the world of talent is what dominates the market today and not, as in the past, the demand. The great resignation or resignation in the United States is a clear example of this.

Let's look at it from the supply side first: Kylian was born in 1998 and is part of generation Z, the digital natives. According to experts, this generation is used to immediacy and values ​​the 'here and now'. He does not believe in long-term commitments and makes use of goods and services, he does not purchase them. Many want to be 'youtubers'. Everything is liquid for them, even money in the form of cryptocurrencies.

If we ask recruitment professionals from the technology or consulting sectors, the story will sound familiar to them: a recently qualified young computer scientist has several offers on the table. Which one does he choose? The one with the best conditions (salary, but also conciliation by hours, teleworking or proximity) in the present, not necessarily the best career projection (with too many sacrifices) in the future.

The scared, the 'ghosting' in the hiring processes, are increasingly common. Candidates have several offers at the same time and when it seems that they are going to accept, they disappear or say no without giving too many explanations. There is, therefore, little formality in the decision when assessing the offers, often very different from each other.

But so far the similarities between the case of Mbappé and that of the young professionals of his same generation who are currently entering the labor market. It is true that Mbappé has decided based on that context to which he referred in his statements: the succulent economic offer, on the one hand, and the proximity, to stay in his city, Paris, and in his country , France, on the other.

It is also true that he has done it thinking about now, about income, about being close to his family and perhaps about the ability to manage the locker room as he pleases. But the people from Human Resources of the famous 'big four', for example, would tell us that the candidates who do not enter or the employees who leave their career in the firm shortly after joining do so despite earning more money than in other sites. Hence, there is already talk of the need for a powerful 'inbound recruiting' to avoid it. The key is to attract the truly suitable candidates. In capacities and in values.

We know that the 'reviews' of third parties who have worked in the same company are the ones that weigh the most when making the decision: how good or bad is that site to work for. Not surprisingly, 90% of candidates would stop applying for a position if they read a negative opinion on networks, according to a study by the online recruitment platform CareerArc.

Based on what we know from the professionals (players and coaches) who have been at both clubs (Ancelotti's response to Valdano in a recent Movistar interview on this point is eloquent), it does not seem that the option taken by Mbappé is necessarily the best.

In fact, we know that the Internet generation increasingly prefers 'start ups' with a founder passionate about the business at the helm and not companies managed by financial funds far from the business. It is what the Madrid coach calls in that same interview a club run by a true football fan (he quotes Berslusconi and Florentino) and not by a pure 'businessman' (we don't know if he was thinking of a sheikh).

If we go to the analysis from the demand side, the same theory of signals in reputation tells us that the more expensive (the cost can be money, time, etc.) are the signals that the company sends to the candidate, the more it is transmitting its desire for a serious and long-term commitment. In nature the peacock does it with its long tail or the groom with his pretty ring. If it is the candidate who sends signals of a little or less costly decision, the reading will be the opposite: lack of commitment.

And this is indeed where we find a parallelism in the lasting negative effects over time on the reputation of a professional if his decisions are perceived in that sense, be it that professional Mbappé or a young 'techie': the 'data' of our Past behavior, if dishonest, not only works against the company, but also against the candidate. The veto in future processes is no longer only from the companies, but from the very algorithms used by professional social network search engines...

"No player is as good as the sum of all of them together." The phrase is not from Guardiola, nor Luis Enrique or Simeone. It belongs to Di Stefano, who, years later, as a Valencia coach, in training told Carrete to run the band and he, stopping, replied: "Let Kempes run it, mister, who earns a lot more than me". Sometimes fortune today can be a brake on fame tomorrow, especially in a team sport such as football and as are the company and life itself.

Ricardo Gómez Díez, dircom expert in Reputation and professor of the Master's Degree in Corporate and Institutional Communication at the Carlos III University of Madrid.

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