In this interview with Naukrigulf.com, Tarek Jalal, HR Head of a construction company based in Saudi Arabia, talks about company culture, employment trends and working in the Gulf. Here’s what he had to share:
Tell us a little about your academic and professional background.
I have a business administration degree from AUC University in Cairo, Egypt. I did additional studies like SAP, HCM, Technical analysis, etc. My MBA is from Nottingham University.
What prompted you to choose a career in HR?
In an MBA, you have an overview of all types of management. I have experience in finance and inventory but HR appealed to me as it is a modern science. In addition to this, I like interacting with people. We, in HR, treat people like human beings and not like machines or just any number. This is also the basic principle of HR, whose definition is HUMAN. We have financial resource, machine resource and human resource. The HUMAN in HR is the basis of its science. I see the person behind the contract, or number, or money. I develop this human being, this person to achieve my target and make him a gainful resource for the company.
What does a typical day in your work look like?
Usually it involves resolving issues or taking necessary decisions related to previous day, manage any problem of my staff, and prioritize issues. Then it’s the usual routine of paperwork, making policies for the betterment of the future of the company. Again, like I mentioned before, Human Resource is dealing mainly with Human Beings. As you know there are variations and flexibility in human beings. I regularly review policies, actions, market trends, how we can fulfil projects with maximum power. Not minimize the manpower but with the exact numbers to achieve our goals in terms of profit and revenue and reduce the cost in a humane way. This is our vision that we work towards.
How do you de-stress after a hard day’s work?
Fishing! It’s a favourite past time of mine.
What are your predictions about trends in hiring in the Gulf?
These are difficult times right now in the gulf, especially for the expatriate employee. They have suffered due to the reduction of manpower and saudization. In my opinion, only the very highly skilled employees will be retained in the gulf region.
The more established companies have finance departments. They increase the cost of the expatriate labour for only those that are required.
How to manage issues and still go forward with suitable progress between company, employees, and market is a difficult situation these days.
What are the main skills that you look for when you hire a candidate?
I look for motivation, and the candidate’s attitude. He might be optimistic or pessimistic. I read onto the psyche of the candidate .Will the candidate wait to take action until an incident happens, or take action to avoid an incident. This is what is important to me and one the first things I look for.
Secondly, the candidate’s skills are looked at and the talents that he is capable of.
What is your experience with Naukrigulf?
We are a company in the construction industry and specializing in tunnelling. The Naukrigulf database comes in handy for that. Though more candidates with specialization in tunnelling are needed in the database!
What is your advice for HR professionals?
Be a human being and try to satisfy the small time employees before the larger employees, and everything would be good. If the staff is satisfied so then will the company which will move forward effortlessly.