In a poll conducted by PwC Middle East in 2022, fifty percent of respondents agreed that HR professionals must become talent champions and change agents. This wasn’t always the case, though. Long ago, human resource specialists’ job was limited to the service provider and keeper of business rules. This was not specific to the Middle East but was standard worldwide. The particular issues posed by COVID-19 were essential in altering the conventional understanding of HR duties. As the epidemic disrupted typical work practices, firms and workers alike turned to HR services for assistance in navigating the unfamiliar world.
The Evolving Function of Human Resources
Before the epidemic, the change in human resources was already in progress. While urbanization and demographic shifts had a part in the digitization of the HR function, the quick rate of technical progress and broad dissemination of cell devices also set the tone. In this context, the introduction of the epidemic and the general disturbance of regular life have placed human resources in the driver’s seat of change.
From 2020 to 2021, human resource personnel functioned in crisis mode. On the one hand, they had to engage with the C-suite to execute their ideas to keep operations operating, while on the other hand, they had to devise a means to provide emotional and physical health care to staff. This was only achievable via a fundamental reinvention of the function and an unprecedented embrace of digitization. Even though the digitization of HR as a service had already started, the pandemic expedited this shift.
Accelerated Digitalization of Human Resources
Without question, the Middle East is on the verge of a digital revolution. According to Gartner, IT expenditures in the MENA area will reach $1.7 billion by 2022. During a recent power lunch organized by Young Arab Leaders (YAL) and Darwinbox, the quickest-growing HR tech unicorn, members from a variety of industries, as well as the Darwinbox team, discussed how digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation can transform the workforce and workplace efficiency in the UAE.
Several HR-related proposals that surfaced were as follows:
- Encourage an Innovation Culture
Ms Heba Syed, a YAL member and successful entrepreneur at IBM, believes the key is to foster a culture of creativity and problem-solving inside the company. According to Ms Syed, firms with a problem-solving mentality are the most effective at finding answers to emergent issues.
- Keep a Flexible Mindset
According to H.E. Khalfan Belhoul, agility and an openness to new technologies are essential to adjust your firm to the fourth industrial revolution. While every technology innovation brings a host of benefits, we must also be prepared for the obstacles that come with embracing the most recent technologies.
- Invest in Digital Marketing and Continuing Education
Ms. Dua Al Toobi, a YAL member and HR leader in the financial system, said that in today’s environment, the digitization of HR is not a luxury but a need for the survival of your organization. Companies must invest in an effective digital strategy. Ms. Toobi believes that reskilling the workplace is the way ahead from a talent viewpoint.
Historically, the HR department has not commanded the lion’s share of an organization’s technical budget, but this is increasingly changing. As firms realize the favorable association between HR indicators and business KPIs, HR will play a different role. Technology will enable HR to be central to a sustainable company strategy. In order to develop a digital organization and embrace the upcoming work in the Middle East, a new attitude is necessary.
Global Human Resource Management experts at Soundlines handle the complexities of critical processes that frequently consume the time and attention of leaders, allowing you to direct your energy and resources toward long-term goals and, most importantly, your people.
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