First, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope your dreams and aspirations are fulfilled in 2017.
I won’t sugar-coat it, 2016 has been without a doubt quite a tough year. Ask a common person in the street about the year, and chances are the answer will start with a deep sigh. Corporate leaders and entrepreneurs alike seem to be entering 2017 just like a
punch-drunk boxer would enter the championship round of a boxing match after being floored several times during the fight. Tired, beaten up, bruised and hopeful the round would turn their way by some lucky punch. In retrospect, the corporate community in the region has every reason to feel that way. Businesses have had to deal with challenges posed by a blend of regional and global economic and Geopolitical uncertainties. While people -or Human Capital as the HR community fondly likes to call them – were confronted with the resulting implications, such as slow creation of jobs, downsizing by some companies in the region, employers holding back salary increases and incentives, mergers, etc.
On a more encouraging note, 2016 has seen a number of growing trends in relation to the human capital practice in the gulf region that should provide reason to be optimistic of what the future holds (Yes, I confess I’m an idealist which makes me a sucker for any signs for optimism).
For example, governments as well as private sector institutions are showing strong interest in ‘enabling entrepreneurship’ and ‘innovation’ as a necessity rather than “things that are nice to show support for” or “give lip service” to. Local university graduates and job-seekers are also demonstrating eagerness to not only become entrepreneurs, but also innovate.
A growing number of employees I have been speaking to who are un-engaged or
demotivated in their workplace are no longer keen to push on with their companies and instead are increasingly taking the ‘leap of faith’ and start their own ventures (also known as the refugee-effect in academic circles).
The public sector in the gulf which had earned a notorious reputation of –in a lot of instances- hiring local and expatriate “dead weight” (Yes, I said it) has become more vigilant and selective about their hiring process as well as who they keep. In fact, the public sectors in countries such as the UAE have been making significant strides in becoming as competitive, lean and innovative as the private sector and at times even more so.
There is an increasing interest in adopting technology across the human resource ecosystem and at every stage of the Human Resource journey in organisations.
Last but not least, the education sector and industry are having a more serious
conversation with each other with the aim of bridging the gap between both sectors. One example of a succesful platform doing this is the Sheraa Entrepreneurship Centre which was launched in 2016 in Sharjah. (see pic inset)
What have you seen as emerging trends in the employment and Human Capital markets in 2016 which can potentially have a positive impact going forward in 2017? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Note: The following link is an interview I had with Abu Dhabi TV last week (It’s in Arabic), where I discuss some of the thoughts and Ideas I shared during the ‘Nationals in the GCC Private Sector Forum’ in Dubai. I had shed light during the forum on some of the interesting programs and solutions I offer employers to help with some of the challenges they face when adopting Nationalisation in their companies. In brief they are:
- How we help employers identify and design their own unique Nationalisation Strategy that is long term, inclusive and has buy-in across all levels. Also how we use this to enable the Nationalisation Manager to deliver on their goals.
- What is the ‘bottle neck’ standing in front of implementing nationalisation in organisations, and how are we addressing it (hint: It’s the Manager)
- How are we looking to answer the age-old popular question posed by many fresh graduates: “How can I be experienced as required by employers, if NO one gives me a chance to gain experience?”
Feel free to drop me a line on LinkedIn or reach out to me on my email: Talib@talibbinhashim.com if you are keen on learning more about what we do.
My interview segment starts at the 32nd minute of the video, so press forward to view it: Click on this link