Dear Friends, Dear customers, Dear partners,

The year 2019 starts for Alhambra International and I want to thank you for your loyalty.

During 2018, we continued our development in Europe and carried out Executive Search assignments in Germany, Austria, Benelux, France and in the United Kingdom. We especially focused in the food industry, raw material processing industry, industrial capital goods, software editors and business services. We handled strategic management roles (Country Managers, Technical Managers, Sales Managers) in Quality, Research & Development, Production, Engineering or Supply Chain. We have also expanded our presence in South East Asia, which allows us to strengthen our expertise and our knowledge of companies’ requirements in this highly industrialized area, also facing a consumption booming.

The European Union remains our main market. Employment has recovered, with nearly 12 million jobs created since 2014. Investment has increased in Europe, thanks in particular to the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which generated € 335 billion in public and private investments. We observe, in some markets experiencing full employment (especially in Germany, Benelux, Austria, United Kingdom …), increasing tensions with difficulties to identify, select and convince the good candidates. France remains dynamic in the executives’ market, while the country’s growth has slowed in 2018 (it will be around 1.5% versus 2.2% in 2017). The hiring trend is mainly driven by IT, R&D, engineering & consulting and business services, while other European countries are more industry driven.

During this year 2018, we contributed to several economic publications on the following topics:

  • The importance of team coaching to improve team performance: over the past decades, companies have focused on improving their overall productivity, with individual performance as their main lever. New concepts and techniques frequently emerge to train leaders, improve their effectiveness and help them make relevant decisions in a changing environment. Leadership development and especially team performance become fully fledged disciplines, and organizations need to integrate them into their overall strategy.
  • An analysis of the impact of digitalization in industry and particularly on jobs: our presence at Hannover Messe, the largest industrial technology fair in the world, allowed us to reveal the figures on this industrial transformation and the impact of robotization, automation and software solutions in production processes. Studies by the German Institute for Job Market and Occupational Research suggest that job creation will offset all alarmist tendencies predicting the end of work …
  • Management of remote teams: remote work with a dispersed workforce generates positive effects for both employers and their employees (saving time and money, living comfort, reducing the carbon footprint) but it implies the adoption of new models, different from those existing with collaborators located in the same place. These models apply to communication, professional relationships, to the control and supervision of assigned tasks and to the performance’s monitoring.
  • Optimization of recruitment interviews: are traditional recruitment interviews still effective? Faced with this question, we chose to comment a Linkedin study and the new interpersonal skills assessment techniques, interviews, informal meetings, virtual reality, video interviews … recommended to improve the model of the classic interview model; the idea is to make them complementary to the latter, rather than to oppose them.

Lastly, we continued to bring our expertise in human resources topics, notably by analyzing onboarding trends & tools and highlighting how it associates and develops the engagement of the new collaborators in a context of talents’ war.

This year 2018 has been rich in assignments and insights on HR issues in terms of recruitment, commitment and individual and collective performance. It was also thanks to the continued growth in the European Union (more than 2%), stronger in Asia (around 4%) and in the United States (over 3%). However, uncertainties persist on the global economy in 2019, with the tightening of financial conditions brought about by the end of monetary easing policies (Quantitative Easing) of the BCE and the FED, also with the likely slowdown in growth, particularly in Europe, the decline in some emerging markets, global impacts of the appreciation of the US dollar, trade tensions between China, the United States and the European Union and debt sustainability at state (sovereign debt) and corporate levels . A quick resolution of the trade dispute seems unlikely, with already some impacts via a slower growth in container traffic (which accounts for 80% of the world’s traded goods) of 2% in 2018 versus 6% in 2017. However, global growth will remain positive in developed economies, the risks of inflationary pressure low and the average employment rate will remain high. The global context remains solid although disturbance compared to previous years …

Given this new context, we have chosen to consolidate Alhambra International’s development in Europe by operating on the strongest markets of the European Union and to continue our immersion in the Asian markets, either independently or with partners, and to meet our clients’ needs for rapid deployment to penetrate these high growth markets.

Although recruitment techniques are evolving strongly with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and new methods of evaluation and interview, we are still convinced of the relevance of a tailor-made approach to executive search thanks to the expertise and industry knowledge of our consultants and their ability to convince candidates to join our clients’ teams. A service of excellence remains a core and sure value and our clients and partners are our best allies in the constitution of efficient teams.

I wish you, on behalf of the entire Alhambra International team, a very happy new year 2019 full of health, happiness, prosperity and growth!

Anne-Charlotte Vaillant