The Smart Workspace Design Summit is an experience-based event bringing together those who strive for better workspaces. SWDS is where people, place and technology come together to start building the human-centric office of the future, today…
Exclusive pre-event interview - Sultan Al Hajji
Sultan Al Hajji shares his view on the changing role of HR in MENA region and strategies for optimising human capital
Sultan Al Hajji
VP & Chief Strategy Officer
Fleming.: In your opinion, what is the role of HR with respect to the U.A.E Government’s plan to foster the social and economic growth?
Sultan Al Hajji: The HR is at the heart of economic, social and growth development for any society. Happy individuals and happy communities make content society and flourishing economy. UAE takes pride in making the HR development and Emiratization as its priority. HR in UAE is defined to empower people with competency so that they can bring improvement to their quality of life and their communities.
Fleming.: How do you think the HR industry is benefiting from Digitization?
Sultan Al Hajji: Digitization for HR industry means the difference of to be or not to be, A huge progress has been made by developing all kind of tools for better recruitment, development , career , etc.. But still, a huge number of organizations are yet to take advantage of digitization. For example, less than 10% of organizations use social recruiting while 85% of Y - generation is checking companies they want to work with through Social media. We need a paradigm shift to close the HR norms of doing things in the past and fast forward to digitization. But we keep in hand the one to one relations with each and every work force from the recruitment to exit. That makes the difference between successful or unsuccessful organizations.
Fleming.: The need of career development strategies for the millennial workforce – your opinion.
Sultan Al Hajji: We need to change the way organizations and people management works today, the average seniority for any millennial employee will be about 18 months in 2020. If we need to optimize their motivation we adapt the organization to their style of working, expectation and development. They are looking for adding value while they expect life-work balance. Not long term career, but specialities and experts, Mobile and distance workers.
Fleming.: Do you think there is a growing need for non-conventional HR strategies and reward practices? If so, Why?
Sultan Al Hajji: Yes, the corporates and CEOs are facing economic downturns. They expect HR to play strategic role because in many cases the HR cost is about 45% of total operating costs. HR is expected to optimize this while keeping the integrity, quality and image of the company intact.
Fleming.: According to you, what would be one’s key takeaways from this conference?
Sultan Al Hajji: HR at this moment facing challenges that have not been known before, recession, digitalization, millennial work force, unemployment and mismatching skills. All need to have hard fact findings and solutions to turn around and make profitable companies and content society.
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