Dear friends, Dear customers, Dear partners,

The year 2020 starts for Alhambra International and I want to thank you for your loyalty.

During the year 2019, we have been very active in our Executive Search activity on the European market where we usually operate, particularly in Germany, Benelux, Austria, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, through a partnership with a local actor. We’ve also done some projects in Asia Pacific and in the Middle East. Our assignments were concentrated in the agri-food industry, and also in the pharmaceutical industry (laboratories, biopharma, biotech), software edition, business services, particularly in the world of the environment or early childhood. Though our missions, we strengthened our customers’ teams in the areas of sales and marketing management, financial management, R&D, plant management…

Our favorite practice is the industrial market in connection with digital transformation and development of artificial intelligence. France is a specific case, its economy is more oriented towards services, even if the industrial sector has partly been recovered in the last years, thanks to lower social taxes (Research Tax Credit, CICE, etc.) in order to improve its competitiveness. The current government must now continue on this path with lower taxes on production and incentives on investments in digital transformation. This will confirm the competitiveness of French industry, which is crucial to preserve its economic sovereignty.

In 2019, we have also continued to develop a new professional coaching activity (e-coaching) and engagement programs around leadership, soft skills and career management to enhance “employee experience” This range of programs via our brand SKILFI is innovative, it allows to democratize coaching programs and is carried out in partnership with a team of coaches and mentors who combine professional experience in operational key positions, international and multicultural dimension and successful experience in coaching.

During this year 2019, we contributed to several economic publications on the following topics:

  • The implementation of an artificial intelligence (AI) approach and its impacts in recruitment processes. In this publication, we demonstrate that AI methods are a new source of opportunity and help streamline recruitment choices, automate and predict their performance, accompanied with human approach and awareness of the technological limitations. Through advances in artificial intelligence, HR teams are improving their effectiveness by expanding the pool of candidates, accelerating the pre-screening of CVs and stimulating candidate engagement. These solutions offer potential especially on high-volume positions, AI’s potential lies in optimizing recruitment processes while in more strategic positions or requiring very specific expertise, key talent is in the hands of human consultants… via a tailor-made approach throughout the process
  • The contribution of new HR solutions in talent management. Talent Management as part of the HR process is one of the main challenges that organizations are facing worldwide. This publication provides an overview of key solutions with a skills-based approach, emphasizing the importance of the candidate’s soft skills. Workforce is also reshaping, as people tend to have different approaches to learning, working, collaborating and leading. We have classified these solutions into four categories: Detection of employee’s skills and employee’s support in internal mobility, Employee’s Learning and Development, Developing workforce, Employee’s engagement and well-being within the company. For each of these categories, we present the features and benefits of some of the most innovative talent management solutions on the market.
  • The Flow of New Human Capital Trends. When we talk about the career, the role as leader or the role of HR, winds have changed with the relentless acceleration of artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies and automation. When CEOs were asked to rate the most important measure of success, “the impact on society” is cited at the top in 2019. Under the new technology and acknowledgement of improving the communities where we live, three fronts must be reinvented in the dynamic of economic and social environment: the Workforce, the Organization and HR, based on the 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends.  This publication highlights these new trends which require quickly adaptive behaviours and leadership for workforce. These trends also emphasize the transparency in the company to motivate and develop employers’ performance. Continuous learning in the flow of work remains essential and combines online methods and physical in-person classroom setting in order to embrace Learning and Development evolution and to strengthen employee’s experience.
  • The importance of successful onboarding  with the development of an onboarding mindset throughout the entire company, not just in the HR department. Well-designed onboarding will cultivate unwavering employee productivity and stable retention rates. This publication shows that a good onboarding program wins the hearts of new employees and this directly leads to better working performance and higher retention rate. And you invest in future employee ambassadors through onboarding!

As you notice, 2019 was particularly dynamic around HR topics, Learning and Development is key for employability issues among employees, with an important range of face-to-face and distance learning programs, “Employee experience” is one of the major expectations expressed by the employees of a company and the organizations gradually move shifting from functional hierarchy to the enable[1] organizations.  The coaching methods that allow to assist people or teams with the aim of accomplishing and succeeding professional projects will now grow more in Europe and Asia, as they have been in recent years in North America.

However, the global economic uncertainties we mentioned in 2019 will persist in 2020. Worldwide economic growth is weaker today with a final landing expected at 2.9% in 2019. Foreign Trade is expected to increase by 1.5% in 2019 and by 1.7% in 2020 from 3.8% in 2018, well below the levels of the global economy. The US-China trade war remains, with a macroeconomic impact of the recently concluded agreement between the two major countries which will be globally weak. Brexit also remains a source of uncertainty for the European Union, eager to reach a balanced free trade agreement with our English friends. The American economy will continue to grow (about 2.2%) as well as China’s economy (about 5.9%), but at lower levels than those recorded in the last years. It will be also the case for the European Union, whose growth will be around 1.1% across the region. Levers exist in northern European countries which have budget flexibility to boost their growth by stimulating public investment and infrastructure’s renovation, but this is not the case for France and its neighbors in southern Europe.

Faced with this uncertain context for the worldwide economy, we have decided to accelerate our transformation by developing a diversified range of HR services in Europe and in Asia Pacific (South East Asia and Hong Kong). Executive Search remains our main activity, but today it will be completed by activities that answer both to companies’ requirements to attract and develop talents, but also to employees’ expectations to give meaning to their careers and be accompanied by inspiring leaders. A tailor-made approach remains at the heart of our commitment with our customers and partners, in a logic of transformation and optimization of the HR business lines and their organizations.

I wish you, on behalf of the entire Alhambra International team, a very happy new year 2020 full of health, happiness, prosperity and growth!

Anne-Charlotte Vaillant

Pierre Maurin

[1] Empower the employees to execute based on projects.