How HR fuel growth for business

Exclusive insights from business leaders of Tuscany.

Entrepreneurship, work and new challenges are the 3 main areas of topics at ‘Il futuro delle aziende toscane fra volatilità ed incertezza: nuove sfide’, which took place in Florence at October 19th.


A group of business leaders in the region attended the event, Fabrizio Bencini, Partner of Kon, Gabriele Franceschini, Executive Global HR Director of Baker Hughes, Luca Lastrucci CEO and Co-Founder of Powersoft, Giorgio Moretti President and Founder of Dedalus Healthcare System Group, all shared their insights on the aforementioned topics. 

The event was moderated by “our Florentine” Claudia Paoletti, Managing Partner of Kilpatrick Executive Search, Ms. Paoletti organised the day along with Invest in Tuscany.


After a long absence of physical meetings, this event marks the beginning of normalcy. In addition to the speakers, a representation of Tuscan entrepreneurs, managers and professionals. We introduced a new hybrid model of combining a digital and physical way of meeting, the organization has given the name PHYGITAL to this method. A small group of audience in attendance, and over 100 entrepreneurs and managers connected via live streaming. The results suggest that this is just the beginning of a new way of organising events for the future. 


The labour market in Tuscany after the height of pandemic

Filippo Giabbani of Invest In Tuscany, Head of the International Activities and Investment Attraction Sector of the Region of Tuscany, explained in detail the role of the Region in attracting investment, and in managing existing investments (to date, Tuscany has attracted more than780 foreign-owned companies in the region), Mr. Giabbani gave us a concrete idea of the current status in our region, also based on the IRPET update, the Region’s economic planning institute, showing a robust growth in industrial production in comparison to other regions in Italy. The main drivers are exports but also domestic consumption. Although an estimate of 8,000 less jobs than 2019, we are witnessing a strong increasing demand in the labour market. These elements indicate a faster-than-expected exit from the crisis.


Sace’s Export Report also provides positive indications that create confidence: in 2021, export growth in Tuscany will be in double figures, driven by investment goods, foodstuffs and intermediate goods. 


Mr. Giabbani also spoke about the Eurobarometer presented in Brussels which, unfortunately, declares a hole in the Regions’ finances of 180 billion euro, certainly due to restitutions but also to the collapse of tax revenues. From this it can be deduced that, almost certainly, there will be less public intervention in the future. Mr. Giabbani advises companies to seize the opportunities that are on the table at the moment. More than 50% of the resources allocated are focused on innovation and modernisation of the industrial system and on climate and digital transitions. This is an opportunity for many realities but we must be aware that it will also bring down some realities operating in the “non-green” sector.

Followed by the opening, Claudia Paoletti of Kilpatrick, gathered  the leading figures of the Tuscan business world, from different sectors to engage in an open dialogues and exchange of ideas and insights, also involving the online participants of the event.  


From Tuscany to the world: the importance of HR to company’s growth

Giorgio Moretti  told his own story of leading a company, Dedalus, leader in the field of healthcare IT. Mr. Moretti grew the company from zero to the 6200 people of today around the world, through acquisitions and underwent significant changes. He shared the various stages of the company, from internalisation to opening up to external investors and, consequently, grew into the company today with structured management. Mr. Moretti previously succeeded in attracting managers to Tuscany with skills that enhanced the growth of the company, also mentioned the possibility to hire Italian expats from overseas, shared his experience and advice. He also stressed the importance of having adequate c-1 level managers which are the most difficult figures to attract and retain.


Gabriele Franceschini of Baker Hughes, offered perspective from the role of Human Resources Director in a multinational reality, from outside of Tuscany. The change in recent years has been so significant that Mr. Gabriele gave an in-depth overview of the changes in the group, from the change of name and governance, transforming business towards new technologies for a cleaner, safer and more efficient future in the energy sector.

It is intriguing to discover that the skills and the role of the human resources function are fundamental to the strategy of a company. Mr. Gabriele was keen to emphasise how indispensable and strategic the role is even in less stable companies in the area.


A Tuscan Jewel

Luca Lastrucci represents Powersoft, a dynamic and leading Tuscan company in the field of professional audio amplification systems used for large concerts and private and public events. Powersoft was founded in a garage by Florentine entrepreneurs, recent graduates and music lovers who, over the years, have been able to dare and surround themselves with the right people to grow and innovate. A true Tuscan jewel, with 95% of sales abroad, 8% of revenues reinvested in research and development, and an award as an influencer in the professional audio sector at world level.


The ‘recipe’ for a successful entrepreneurial project

Finally, Fabrizio Bencini of Kon in the panel of speakers of the financial advisory company that supports entrepreneurs preparing to open to the external financial market, or to the listing, furthermore he spoke about the evaluation phase for corporate acquisitions. Mr. Bencini gave us the “recipe” for a successful entrepreneurial project: having a clear-defined strategy, well-structured and abundant finance, adequate human resources and coherent ideas for the future.


‘Made in Tuscany’

The event focused on the Tuscan territory, to better understand the opportunities and difficulties in the region. The strong attractiveness of “made in Tuscany”, the misalignment of skills and salaries, the shortage of large companies and therefore of process management schools that churn out human capital with skills that align with the rest of the world. The topic of young people and the gap that often exists between the university and the corporate was also discussed. It is important to create a culture for young people as early as high school in order to bring them into touch with the outside world and still preserve the “ Tuscaness”. 


Private and public sectors must work together to build a successful future

Paolo Tedeschi concluded the event, he recognised the value of bringing the private sector into dialogue with the public sector. Mr. Tedeschi gave practical examples, also referring to the companies present in the room, of how the administration can support the company’s requests, the steps forward made in recent years and the opportunities to be capitalised on. There are success stories in Tuscany and they create thousands of jobs, but they must be built and cultivated together.


Tedeschi summarized with two provocations:

  • On the Human Resources factor, he asked Kilpatrick Executive Search to bring to Regione Toscana the mismatches between what companies ask us for and what we find in the territory from a human capital point of view. In fact, it is necessary to understand and have advice and suggestions directly from the people who deal with this matter on the territory. 
  • He asked the companies to organise public/private comparison tables. A close comparison between public and private actors is useful to speed up the process and to generate results. Taking inspiration from past experience, it is easier to create projects by working together and, if necessary, to provide national funding to accompany them.

The round-table yielded excellent ideas on how to proceed  in the future, with a vision of collaboration between Tuscan companies and the Region. Kilpatrick gladly accepts Paolo Tedeschi’s proposal on working closely  with the local HR Directors, to fill the gap between demand and supply of labour suggested by the business leaders in Tuscany.


Missed the Phygital event? Watch it here.

Click here for the article in Italian.