UAE – Delegates at the HR Tech Saudi Summit taking place between 20-21 November in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, will get to discuss how government investments worth SAR 8.3 billion will pose new opportunities for businesses to transform HR practices.
The government of Saudi Arabia pledged the multi-billion Riyal investment under Saudi Vision 2030, supporting a number of advancements in people and workplace development across key growth sectors. Addressing how these developments will transform business, the HR Tech Saudi Summit will include discussion on such pertinent topics as implementing Performance Management, selecting HRMS systems, leadership strategies and crucially, the relationship between HR and IT.
Ahmad M. Alsalem, Chief Corporate Services Officer, SALIC, who will speak at the HR Tech Saudi Summit, predicts the investment will trigger a reallocation of labour and increased demand for training, as well as changes at the top for most organizations.
He commented, “Organizations will have to focus on training for the new tools and technologies they use. They must also face up to the fact that labour markets are being reshaped and there will be drastic changes in how we utilize Human Resources. At the top, companies should appoint IT experts to senior management and board level to ensure technological capability is at the core of all drives for innovation and efficiency.”
He added, “There is no other way other than through Vision 2030 to reform the Saudi Economy and this reform will definitely change the workplace. The roadmap is there, the vision is crystal clear, the challenges and KPIs are determined. To create a sustainable and competitive Knowledge Economy, Saudi Arabia must implement the latest technology available, and adapt as trial and error improves its application.”
Successful adoption of new technology is dependent upon a culture of innovation. To keep pace with the key transformations that lie ahead, companies must demonstrate their ability to innovate the mechanics of day-to-day HR functions, proactively addressing issues that are likely to arise as the economy continues to shift, such as motivation, re-training and engagement.
Sharing examples, Mohammed Aied Al Hoti, General Manager of Human Resources for Tawuniya, said, “Recent research concludes low engagement both internationally and regionally, which to me highlights the importance of two-way communication. Transparency is a corner stone of engagement across the workforce, increasing confidence in the company and motivating employees to feel invested in the organization. The creation of internal communications and new channels of information, which can be disseminated via the new technology, will be paramount to raising staff awareness of company activities.
“Additionally, the provision of professional development and coaching creates a culture that will lead to innovation and business development. Companies should look at people development as an investment, not a cost. The more an organization invests in a worker’s future and skills, the higher the level of engagement. The HR Tech Saudi Summit is a timely event as the Kingdom continues to navigate a dramatic economic and cultural transformation as part of Vision 2030 and this has already created impact on the labor market as well as HR departments.”
When implementing the required technological capabilities to attain the KPIs set out under Vision 2030, HR departments face many challenges, from professional development to reshaping perceptions of their own department.
Nawaf Dhubaib, Head of HR Transformation, Ministry of Finance, said, “The top challenge facing HR professionals when implementing technology is the requirement to change perceptions of the HR function from a transactional to strategic element in the organization. The combined effects of globalization, increased IT capabilities and the change in global climate will challenge all existing business models. Vision 2030 is the Kingdom’s answer to these transformational forces.”
Hesham Ismail, Vice President of HR for Saudi Cable Company, named adaptability as the top challenge facing HR departments. He said, “With the implementation of technology there will be a definite need for resizing the organization, mainly within HR departments. HR professionals must be ready to face this challenge. My advice to those companies who are just starting to innovate on traditional HR practices is to quickly adapt to the needs of the millennial generation, to avoid a talent shortage in future.”
Sessions scheduled for the two-day summit will cover: the Kingdom’s digital strategy, practical ways to achieve engagement, employee learning experiences, Saudization, recruitment and the digital transformation of the workplace.
Sidh N.C., Director, QnA International (pictured) said: “As Saudi Arabia implements key milestones under the Saudi Vision 2030, all organizations will have to face and adapt to a new business landscape and many new realities in HR and workforce management. Many business leaders at this time are looking for effective solutions to boost productivity, retention and overall performance of their organisation in a changing workplace and the development of those solutions is dependent upon intelligent fact-finding and debate with peers.
‘The HR Tech Saudi Summit is an essential platform for successful leaders to share their experience and best practice knowledge with those who are currently in a transitional phase, in order for them to turn challenges into a call for innovation.”