“I am optimistic towards 2017-18 for an economic upturn”- Rahul Phadke – Director and Head of HR – Havelock AHI

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Rahul Phadke – Director and Head of HR – Havelock AHI

Rahul Phadke – Director and Head of HR – Havelock AHI

In this interview with Naukrigulf.com, Rahul Phadke, Director and Head of HR at Havelock AHI, an interior fit outs and manufacturing of high quality furniture company, Head Quarters in Bahrain, talks about company culture, employment trends and working in Bahrain. Here’s what he had to share:

Please tell us a little about your professional and academic background?

I competed my masters and post masters specialization in HR, before starting my active working career in 1999. My master’s was more focused on personnel and industrial relations, while post-master’s towards HRD and OD, thus providing a good academic foundation for a specialized career in HR.

What prompted you to choose HR?

During late 90s, HR was emerging as a prominent management faculty and it attracted significant attention from industry and academicians. For me it was quite fascinating and my interest grew to a level that I decided to pursue my master’s and subsequently post-master’s in HR.

I strongly believe that a well establish HR function encompasses all aspects of management which contribute to the growth of an organization. It offers exciting business learnings and most importantly; an opportunity to serve the talent pool; which makes any organization successful. HR function enriches the organization culture and serves as a vital link for synergizing relationship between management and its employees.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

On a broad level, I can categorize a typical day in three key categories: The first one which is challenging and simultaneously exciting is; the strategic aspect of the role; which typically comprise of: designing an intervention / program / policy or support management by providing human resources advice. Discussing business issue, counsel, and decisions or providing guidance to my directs and sometimes attending external meetings.

The second category is tactical in nature and includes Plan, direct, and manage all human resource initiatives. Analyse information and analysis, budget development of HR programs. This category also includes attending interviews, internal meetings, reviews and periodic calls. The important one in this category is to overseeing my teams as they progress on various aspects of the function and to help and guide them as appropriate.

The third category includes transactions those need to be accomplished, viz. signing of contracts or letters, emails, approvals and submissions etc.

A standard work-day is a mix of these three broad categories and proportion varies based on business / functional priorities.

What are your predictions for trends in the hiring and training in the Gulf region in the next few years?

There is a bit slow down observed in the region in past couple of years, due to various socio economic reasons. I think this has provided a unique opportunity to many organizations to introspect; re-strategies and re-organize themselves for new market realities. Like everything else in this universe, business too is cyclic in nature and I am optimistic towards 2017 – 18 for an economic upturn.

What are the top three things you for look in candidates when making a hiring decision?

For all aspiring candidates; it is imperative for us to assess “what will make them successful in the job” and as you can imagine the list would vary depending on the position and the role. However; top 3 common aspects would be:

  1. Culture and environmental fit. While cultural fit would be an alignment of individual values and work ethics to that of Havelock. Environmental fitment is to share the same frequency of work style which is prevalent in the particular team w/ work location.
  2. Technical ability and job knowledge. Being a manufacturing and contracting company, it is very important that aspirants have an in-depth knowledge and skills of their respective trade; required for on-job performance.
  3. Attitude and aspirations. This is tough terrain… to accurately gage an individual’s attitude in a limited interaction. However, we make best of our efforts to assess an attitudinal fit and also use tools such as psychometric analysis, panel interview technique etc. Aspirational alignment is also crucial, if the organization is growth oriented then you look for a more ambitious type of profile, who can deal with spontaneity and swift change. 

What is your favorite way of distressing after a long day at work?

Spending time with family. Good food and company of like minded friends on weekends certainly helps to refresh. A long walk, a good chat, a book adds to the vitality.

What aspect in HR do you really enjoy most?

While all aspects of HR are exciting; however with my current role and responsibility; the strategic side is more appealing. As mentioned earlier, a well establish HR function encompasses all aspects of management and instrumenting it to contribute to the organization’s growth, is certainly fulfilling.

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