SHRM Presents Master Classes at Premier Middle East HR Forum

By Roy Maurer Oct 28, 2014

The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) presence could be felt throughout the Middle East’s largest and most respected HR conference, according to Brad Boyson, executive director, SHRM Middle East Africa (MEA), based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The three-day Informa HR Summit and Expo held in Dubai came to a close Oct. 23, 2014.

“SHRM’s expo booth was located prominently at the entrance to the main expo hall, and SHRM presented four out of the 10 total master class sessions,” said Boyson.

The summit attracted over 3,000 HR professionals from the Middle East and beyond, according to Informa, a global publishing and events company.

Keynote speakers included Marshal Goldsmith, touted as one of the world’s top leadership thinkers, Dave Ulrich, recognized as one of the most influential people in HR globally, and Liz Wiseman, author of the best-selling Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (HarperBusiness 2010).

In addition to the four master classes, SHRM presented three concurrent, standing-room only sessions on topics ranging from high performance HR to national HR standards, said Boyson. “Central at this year’s event, as well as being one of the concurrent session topics, was the regional introduction of the new certifications: SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP,” he said.

SHRM MEA also hosted a members-only reception on the first night of the conference and presented an HR advocacy award to business services firm Tanfeeth for efforts to advance HR best practices in the Middle East.

Global immigration law firm Fragomen and SHRM’s regional certification partner Morgan International were also prominent at the expo.

“Next year’s event promises to be even bigger and better, and 2015 attendees can expect an even more comprehensive SHRM experience,” said Boyson.

HR Showcase

The Middle East HR Excellence Awards were presented Oct. 21, recognizing the outstanding achievements of organizations that have contributed to the growth and development of the profession for four consecutive years.

The United Arab Emirates’ national air carrier, Etihad Airways, won the Employer of the Year award for “demonstrating superior people development strategies resulting in a productive, engaged and motivated workforce.”

The award for the Nationalisation Initiative of the Year went to Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank for its program developing the talent of Emirati women, enabling them to choose to work from, or near, their own home or in dedicated women-only centers.

Optimistic About Hiring

Employers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—expect to hire hundreds of thousands of new workers in the next year and also project an average 9 percent increase in salaries, according to a new study, released at the summit.

The MENA Labour Market Confidence Index revealed that while the majority of the 1,250 companies surveyed from the Middle East and North Africa region pointed to moderate recruitment strategies, collectively they expected to hire 421,250 new employees in the next 12 months.

Health care jobs lead the way in increased headcount expectations, followed closely by construction and hospitality, according to the survey.

This intention to expand the labor force comes at a time when the GCC countries are increasingly focused on accelerating the nationalization of labor, hiring more locals and reducing their historic reliance on expatriate workers.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him at @SHRMRoy

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