Federica Assandria: “HR is and will continue to be a key player in any organization”
03 de June de 2020
03 de June de 2020
With an audience of over 5,000 people and the participation of more than 20 experts, HRDay: The New Normal, an online human resources congress, welcomed professionals from all over the world, who discussed the importance and challenges of business talent management in the so-called ‘new normal’. Federica Assandria, a graduate of the Master in HR Management at EAE Business School and member of EAE’s Professional Careers department, took part in the event with a talk focusing on the importance of digital tools for boosting employability in the new employment context.
Federica, tell us about yourself. We would like to know about your educational background, professional experience and HR areas that you currently specialize in.
I graduated from EAE Business School’s Master in HR Management a few years ago, when the School was smaller and very different from how it is now. I have over 10 years’ experience in HR and Talent Management Departments, always focusing on the areas of development and training, and on a more generalist basis in the last few years. I have been lucky enough to work in companies in the retail, financial, telecommunications and pharmaceutical sectors, and now in the field of Education. Moreover,
Turning to the online congress HRDay: The New Normal, what did it involve? What are this event’s objectives in a situation like the one we currently face?
PDA International is a Careers Partner with which we have been collaborating for the last few years. As it specializes in developing and implementing technological tools and innovative programs for comprehensive talent management at a global level, they saw the opportunity to create a platform for tackling the new challenges faced by HR in the current situation we are experiencing. And when better to hold such an event than 20th May, International HR Day?
Moving on to your talk, can you sum up the key points that you covered and the message that you wanted to convey to the audience?
I structured my talk around what we are experiencing within the Careers Department because, since March, we have been developing a series of strategies in response to what is happening in the market, but which continue to give students access to meaningful networking activities with companies and leading figures in the field. With this in mind, my talk focused on the question of which digital tools are being used nowadays to ensure that the talent looking for new opportunities continues to have platforms for generating an impact and achieving their professional goals.
In a short space of time, I wanted to convey a message of how crucial it is to take full advantage of the platforms that are being generated and enhanced to an even greater degree at the moment, but in a virtual and digital format, so that anybody looking for a new professional challenge can make the most of these platforms to generate an impact, make an impression on the potential recruiter or key person that we want to reach so that they remember us and later successfully select us to join the company.
Faced with an uncertain labour market, with most selection processes on hold, talent acquisition specialists are continuing to work to recruit passively, building a pool of talent that we have identified so that we can be more agile in terms of incorporation whenever things start getting back to normal. As I said in my talk, every crisis brings about a revolution. We cannot be caught sleeping. We have to make the most out of every situation which, in this case, means focusing on our networking.
Which are the most important digital tools nowadays?
We have too many tools at the moment. LinkedIn, for instance, is a tool that we must not lose sight of because its shares so much content. Content creation on this platform has grown by 60%, which is a really important indicator, because it does just cover topics of interest such as Covid-19, but also courses, events and conferences that help boost networking while also give you insight into the current reality.
You emphasize that it is important to make an impression on the recruiter. How do you achieve this nowadays?
By being fully active, attending events and not only as an observer, but rather getting involved, asking questions, sharing experiences, reposting content, including recent acquaintances in your networks of contacts, writing to them afterwards, etc. In my opinion, there are currently lots of ways to start enhancing your personal brand virtually.
You took the Master in HR Management at EAE Business School. How did it influence your professional training? What tools did it equip you with?
The Master gave me a more global overview of what companies were doing thanks to the lecturers I had, who worked in HR in companies alongside their teaching role. In addition, the courses on HR consultancy were really important for later taking on the different generalist/HRBP positions that I held.
Looking more closely at the topic of the event, in your opinion, why is it important to analyse the role of HR in what people are referring to as the ‘new normal’?
After Covid-19, all companies in the world will have to adopt new business strategies (in every single area), but the first challenge we had to face was working from home, which some companies were used to while, for others, it was a completely new experience. Therefore, since day one of the pandemic, HR has played a key role in business continuity and, from that point onwards, we have to keep working on this aspect. The challenge that lays ahead is huge but, in my opinion, it is an excellent opportunity to continue demonstrating that HR is and will continue to be a key player in any organization.
Without a doubt, the role of Talent Management will be increasingly important in the future. In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges in this respect? What about allies?
The greatest challenge will be implementing so many changes so quickly. I also think we face the challenge of finding talent with the competences and training we need, both in terms of technological and digital profiles, and with respect to the required competences such as adaptability, learning fast, self-leadership, problem solving, applying methodologies and a command of Design Thinking and Agile approaches. Not wishing to be repetitive, in terms of allies, I have to say technology. All the platforms that are emerging will be a big help in each of the phases of Talent Management.
Returning to the issue of employability, what are the key differences in our approaches to employability before and after the pandemic?
The main difference is the impact that the pandemic has had on the labour market, cancelling or postponing internship and employment opportunities. In the Careers Department, we have worked tirelessly to adapt the service and minimize the pandemic’s impact so that our students can keep counting on our support to develop their employability, ensuring that they have all possible possibilities to continue benefitting from the SET & GO stages to achieve their professional goals.
With the digital boom, how will networking change? What about personal branding?
Digital networking is already a reality and will probably continue to be so as it enables us to reach beyond the local/national level. Lots of companies are running webinars, conferences and events virtually, even in relation to recruitment, which are really no more than platforms for expanding our network of contacts and capitalizing on these new connections.
Without looking any further, at EAE, we are also adapting. After two in-person editions of our Building Leaders Hackathon, this year’s edition will be completely digital, making the most of the technologies we have, which enable us to keep moving forward and I would even be as bold to say surpassing our goals in terms of both participating companies and students. For the first time in the Hackathon, companies from Latin America are taking part, with the aim of recruiting our high-potential students. And there are many more surprises to come.
Lastly, why would you recommend studying HR Management in the current climate?
Because it is one of the key departments for tackling the new situations that we face. Generating an adapted and powerful employee experience in each company will be a key factor in succeeding now, tomorrow and in the future.