The digital transformation through the use of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud, Robotic Process Automation, Data Analytics is the main evolutionary scenario that characterizes and will increasingly characterize the labour market.
The topic is one of the most debated: philosophers, scientists, linguists and economists have been discussing for years the progress of robotic systems, which are now able to compete with human capabilities in many respects.
Artificial intelligence, in particular, allows systems to understand their environment, to act in order to achieve a specific goal or to solve complex problems.
These transformations have had a strong impact on companies, which have been forced to adapt to the new challenges posed by the world of work in order to improve their performance.
In this scenario, the rationalization of the internal organization, based on new business and leadership models, and the investment in human capital represent fundamental and unavoidable assets.
From this point of view, the Artificial Intelligence applied to the world of work has allowed the creation of new paradigms underlying a real cultural change of pace where the employee, seen as a valuable resource of the company, needs technical skills to which soft skills are also strongly added.
In order to analyse the specific field of Artificial Intelligence applied to Human Resources, we spoke with Emiliano Maria Cappuccitti, HR Director of Coca-Cola HBC and member of the Corporate Advisory Board (CAB) of Rome Business School, who said:
“In this particular historical moment dominated by the knowledge economy, the use of artificial intelligence in recruiting can be a facilitator of the process. For example, in order to reach 700 interviews at least 4,000 CVs have to be examined: in this case an algorithm can be entrusted with an initial screening of the CVs.
In my opinion, however, interpersonal relationships cannot be replaced by machines because the empathy factor is crucial. Technology is an aid, a tool that must always be governed by man, and it is man who programs the software to which AI refers. A key issue related to recruiting is data protection. Data privacy management is a key topic for all companies in all markets and sectors.”
Hiring an employee is always a major investment, perhaps the largest item on a balance sheet. Management’s attention is currently focused on enhancing the value of people, because the real element of distinction between excellent companies and those with a competitive disadvantage is precisely the investment in intellectual capital, the bearer of a value framework that must coincide with the company’s mission and vision.
New technologies and the Covid 19 pandemic have revolutionized the world of work, and HR professionals have the task of managing these transformations, without affecting the organizational processes of companies and supporting the professional growth of employees. In fact, HR managers are the most involved in planning actions aimed at overcoming the concept of management based on a vertical, downward channel.
“Today we have to overcome the concept of hierarchy, otherwise we risk losing contact with the outside world and becoming self-referential. It is important to provide continuous, flexible feedback based also on a bottom-up system. It is important to change the culture of the boss, who must be perceived as a coach. This is especially true for the younger generations, who are difficult to retain, and who can be motivated through projects and investments dedicated precisely to their professional growth. In addition, it is necessary to diversify the paths according to the segments and not adopt mass market policies, as in the past.”
As mentioned above, the modern concept of strategic human resource management derives from the view that a company’s employees are an asset and no longer just a cost, indicating a change in the role of personnel within the organization.
“Today, professional skills, hard skills are no longer the only requirement in the eyes of a recruiter: soft skills, personal skills play a key role, and the combination of the two makes a candidate’s personal profile complete. Adaptability, the ability to work in uncertain contexts, empathy, the ability to organise work, a predisposition for growth and ambition, understood as the will to make a positive impact on the group, are some of the qualities that can no longer be ignored. Hard skills are acquired over time. Soft skills are inherent in man, representing his natural inclinations”.
In a scholastic context such as the Italian one, based on training paths conceived as the acquisition of increasingly refined but purely theoretical disciplinary contents to the detriment of a pragmatic methodology, Business Schools can make the difference in training. Here, didactics is conceived as an area of mediation between the different languages and paradigms linked to the new business models, allowing students to acquire analytical, operational and strategic skills. Students are led to train their critical thinking by acquiring the fundamental skills of problem solving.
“In the Business School we teach teamwork, how to build solid interpersonal relationships, how to interface with team members and refine soft skills. We study company case histories, real-life cases, in order to become familiar with the realities of business. Students acquire the skills to adapt to different international cultures and are trained with the vision of general management, which is a plus in their training.”
The next few years will be very important for the world of work in Italy. Also thanks to the resources of the PNRR, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, opportunities will open up especially for those who represent the new managerial class. In a dynamic market, it is essential to have a pro-active attitude in order to be aware of one’s own role in determining one’s career path. Of course, transversal mindsets based on traditional training and lifelong learning should not be ignored, because up-to-date skills that meet the needs of the market make a worker attractive and irreplaceable for a company.
“It is very important that those who are at the beginning of their careers have initiative and look for opportunities that match their skills and aspirations. But you have to be very careful because not all companies are the same. It is necessary to distinguish between those that respect people and those that do not. Choosing a job, especially a first job, is a very delicate step because the imprinting of a wrong company can influence an entire career’.
Currently, Director of Human Resources for Coca-Cola HBC Italy, he first joined Fiat Auto Mirafiori as HR Manager for the Assembly Unit, then became HR Manager for Fiat Auto China based in Nanjing. After returning to Italy as HR Manager for Leasys (a joint venture between Fiat Auto and ENEL), he joined the FMGC as Sales and Marketing Training Manager for Coca-Cola HBC Italia, then joined Vodafone as HR Manager and later in the role of Head of Commercial HR. After an experience as Human Resources Director Birra Peroni SABMiller, he returned to Coca-Cola HBC Italia as HR Director. He has published “Il valore delle persone in azienda” with Ugo de Carolis, “La gestione delle persone in Cina” with Giorgio Sacchi, “Oggi mi laurea… domani che faccio?” with Giulia Matrigiani, “Cerchi lavoro?” with Simone Petrelli, “Lazio-Inter 2-3” again with Simone Petrelli and Massimo Picca. He has recently published “Cosa vuoi di più dalla vita?” with Francesco Vena.