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Flashback: HR Leaders Conference 2016, Egypt ~ Day 2



Written By: Mahmoud Mansi

Over 100 HR Professionals from different fields attended the HR Leaders Conference & Expo. There were HR managers from schools, universities, governmental organizations, real estate, banks, factories, NGOs, communication, clothing, medical, oil industry…etc.

“informa” – an organization that works on organizing several annual conferences mainly in Dubai – has collaborate with JOBMASTER Human Capital Solution in Egypt in order to launch the HR Leaders event in Egypt.

The event was empowered by The HR Observer, and media sponsors were Jobzella, bayt, The Employer Magazine, El Borsa, Daily News Egypt, HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine & AHRA.

The organizers have carefully chosen a very unique person to lead the conference, this person was Sandrine Bardot – an international HR consultant, trainer, speaker and a blogger with over 200 published articles.

The first speech was entitled: Translating the Business Plan (The Bottom Line) into the People Plan (The Enabler), and it was led by the Vice President Human Resources Middle East & North Africa, DHLHenry Fares.


The speaker tackled his ideas through a very innovative approach. He used “ants” and their behavior as a case-study, and linked it to his points.

Henry explained further the “philosophy of ants” and how it is related to organization team work. He said that you should start by having a clear team of which its members agree on the same objectives with achievable standards. Then you should allocate your adequate resources and link them all together with action plans. This is simply the work process that ants follow.

Since some ants have wings, Henry Fares ended his speech by narrating a personal story and a piece of advice that was given to him, “Respect & results are the left and right wings that will make you fly.”

After the first speech there was an “HR Leaders Panel” but this time it was about “Creating the Best Place to Work in your Industry”. The panel consisted of an interesting blend of members: Rania Salah, Mai Abouzahra, Maisa Galal and Nibal El Tantawy. The panel discussed how employees are considered as the customers of HR, and they spoke about the different stages of performance appraisal in Egypt, and some organizations now create their own appraisals on a mobile application because it is more user friendly than computers. The panel also spoke about employee motivation and how employees can be segmented according to their motives. Rania gave examples that sometimes in Vodafone they provide tickets for movies, or allowing parents to bring kids to their work.

The second speech was led by Joe Chalouhi, Senior HR Director Middle East, North Africa, Turkey & Pakistan GE Energy who talked about “Developing Competency Based Human Resources Infrastructure”. He started his speech by pointing out a question: “How do we do HR around the world?” He then explained the different transformations of human resources among different eras. Joe highlighted the importance of HR Business Partners in organizations, and how case-studies proved that this business model is much more effective to the HR and to the employee. He took GE as a major case-study and shared its “partnership model” with the attendees. Joe Chalouhi explained that “It’s normal to feel uncomfortable regarding this model at the beginning” same as any new approach one tries to implement. He summarized this approach in five words: “The new face of HR”.

The third speech would interest a lot of feminists as well, not only business and HR professionals. Maisa Galal – HR Director Egypt and North Africa General Motors discussed “Making the Business Case for Employee Engagement” and the entire scope of her speech was about working women and how General Motors motivates, supports and benefits from their female employees. At first Maisa spoke about the challenges that faced General Motors before and after the revolution.

Nermine Fawzy, Ex-Regional Human Resources & Administration Director – Middle East & Africa Cargill discussed with our attendees: “Maximising the Egyptian ‘Millennials’ Opportunity”.

Nermine focused entirely her talk on the different generations and how can the business world get prepared to the new generation. She stated that millennials travel 7 times more than generation X. They are super ambitious. As an example Nermine spoke about students in schools nowadays how they are in need of continuous recognition, and how a young student can have a wide collection of certificates and awards already. She spoke about how HR people can be ready for attracting the millennials and retaining them. Nermine’s suggestion was to simply “customize solutions for them”.

The delegates were on a lunch break where they socialized and were exposed to new debates on each table inspired by the speakers.
George Sedky, Vice President HR Ghabbour Auto and Mai Abouzahra, Corporate HR Director, Samcrete in a dual presentation talking about: “Understanding the Key Role of Succession Planning in Employee Retention”.

Following the concept of ladies first, Mai started the presentation by talking about “successful succession planning” and about how organizations misunderstand this statement. As Mai clearly stated, “Companies spend money on training programs for their employees to have them certified, while they forget about the job rotations, coaching the even providing feedbacks.”

On the other hand, George spoke about succession planning from another point of view. He said, “Know who are the key people in your organization, then ask yourself, what would happen if they disappear?” He then explained, what if HR has a very good retention plan yet these key persons disappeared, is there a backup plan?

Sushma Ceasar – Senior Manager, Corporate Learning & Development, Emaar Hospitality Group talked about: “Learning at the Speed of Creative Business Solutions”.

Sushma’s charisma was very dominant in her speech as it appeared on the faces of the delegates. She compared between work in the past and the present, and the different training methods that either lead to failure or success. She shared a study that shows how people learn: 70% experience, 20% informal learning or coaching and 10% in class. The mistake that organizations fall into is that they only focus their efforts and budget on the 10%, Sushma stated. Therefore she spoke more about learning by doing, and how to make an IDP “Individual Development Plan”. She also encouraged the idea of making a “workshops that talks about a skill that you developed in the previous year”. These continuous workshops will secure the knowledge of the employees.

The last speech was led by Perihan El Gohary, Head of Learning and Development QNB Al Ahli. Usually banks are stereotyped that it is a noncreative work environment and so on. Perihan’s inspiring speech proved otherwise. She discussed: “Talent Management – From A to Z”.

One of her interesting sayings were, “Leadership does not develop in a closed room.” Empowering the idea of learning Perihan also spoke about the role of HR into developing the CEO. She spoke about “the future CEO” as people always talk about the future of HR and forget about the rest of the shareholders and decision makers. She also spoke about the CEOs that only care about results and numbers, adding her last remark, “Talent & Routine don’t Mix.”

Hassan Ragab Ismail one of the HR Leaders Delegates – Head of HRIS Department in The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport & an MBA HR Lecturer / Member at AHRA / Rotaract Alexandria Cosmopolitan, shared his view about the conference that he found “a huge diversity of managerial backgrounds from local and international organizations passionate to share their own thoughts and experiences with the whole participants.” Further more Hassan explained, “I was really inspired by the session held by the local water company about her experience of implementing a performance management system rather than the traditional performance appraisal form. Also as for my IT background I was very interested with the virtual reality implementations for training programs that was presented by KLM.”


How did studying a CIPD qualification with ICS Learn change my career?



Journalism: Mariham Magdy

“Choosing ICS Learn has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!

I personally struggled for nearly two years trying to kickstart a career in HR and as we all know, HR is one tough industry to crack. “After choosing ICS Learn, I had a number of recruiters contacting me for HR roles and I couldn’t believe it! The level of attraction I received once putting the words ‘Studying towards CIPD’ on my CV was immense.

“I finally managed to gain an HR Administrator role in one of the best companies and couldn’t have been more pleased with being offered such a fantastic opportunity.”


” Other course providers did not offer upfront information about how support would be given and by whom. ICS Learn proudly promotes the tutors and high levels of expertise. This gave me confidence that I would be in good hands.
Just one month after enrolling with ICS Learn for my CIPD course, I landed my first HR role and am over the moon!”

Nikki Long, CIPD Level 3 Student

“I really wanted to break into HR/Learning and Development roles, but the jobs I was applying for required a CIPD qualification, so I then took the leap and started with ICS Learn. “From not being able to get an interview for roles I started getting offers as soon as I mentioned CIPD on my CV.”

Nin Sandhu, CIPD Level 3 Student

“As a recent student of ICS Learn, I have completed my Level 5 Diploma. Prior to starting the course, I didn’t work in an HR role, so after shopping around and a lot of Google searching, I got into contact with a student advisor at ICS Learn.

The gentleman I spoke to was very endearing and friendly, as I didn’t work in an HR role and had no HR qualifications I was looking to start the CIPD Level 3 qualification, however, the advisor suggested I started with Level 5 as I had a university degree. “This was possibly the best choice I made as it has helped me become more recognised academically and I was able to get my first HR role in Alstom within 2 months of starting my course.”

Rukhsaar Hussain, CIPD Level 5 Student

“I have been able to use my studies in making decisions at work and able to relate the practical way of my work to my academic studies. “The tutors on my modules are friendly and approachable which has made me feel very supported throughout the course.”

Bernadette Aquino, CIPD Level 7 Student

“Since I decided to enroll onto a CIPD Level 5 qualification with ICS Learn in April last year, it has already had a tremendously positive impact on my change in career direction.

After careful comparison with other learning platforms, ICS Learn stood out to me as the best one available, as I knew people who had done this course and were able to gain successful entry into HR, either like myself during studying, or very quickly after completion. 

They had good testimonies from students and offered an excellent flexible payment programme which made it accessible.

ICS Learn also offers good study support, from your own tutor, or even from fellow students!

Even though I’m still working towards my qualification, it has 100% helped me secure my future as an HR professional.”

Taj Chelvaiyah, CIPD Level 5 Student

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Which Certification is right for me PHRi™ or SPHRi™?



Written by: Mariham Magdy

When deciding to take a step forward for their international certification, many HR professionals hesitate between choosing the right credential that suits their professional experience and practice; whether the PHRi™ or the SPHRi™?

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive comparison between the two credentials, to help you decide which certification is right for you.

First, we will highlight the eligibility requirements for both:

Let’s elaborate more about what is meant exactly by a “professional-level experience in an HR position”?

HRCI defines a “professional-level” HR position as one that includes:

  • The ability to use independent judgment and discretion in performing work duties.
  • A level of specialized knowledge in the HR field with some authority for decision-making.
  • In-depth work requirements, such as data gathering, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Interaction with a broad range of individuals, including key personnel.
  • Individual accountability for results.

The Exam Content Outline for both certifications.

While the PHRi builds a professional mindset for the HR professionals on how to manage soundly the different HR functions, standardizing the steps they need to follow for the successful implementation of various HR processes; the SPHRi enhances the strategic aspect of HR Management Practices.

In other words, both certifications curriculum complements each other, and it depends on where you are on your professional career ladder to decide whether you are lacking the knowledge on how to professionally manage certain HR functions or are you ready to expand your strategic views and practices in the HR field?

The Certification Renewal:

  • You must earn 1 ethics credit during your three-year certification cycle.
  • This is a part, not in addition to your 60 required recertification credits.

I believe that the “Recertification” condition mandated by the HRCI increases the value of the certification itself since it ensures the continuous learning of the certified professionals.

One of the valuable slogans of the HRCI Certifications, is that it is “Earned not Given”, and thus the eligibility and merit of earning, must be continuously evaluated and confirmed.

Recertification is one of the many reasons that HRCI certifications are the most recognized and trusted by HR professionals and the organizations they serve. And now, recertification credits are easier than ever for you to access and earn.

And now let us know more about the Exam Format & Length:

The Exam Questions are either multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, drag and drop, or scenarios.

The scenario questions present typical HR situations, followed by a series of exam items based on the scenario. These scenarios require you to integrate facts from different subject areas.

The HRCI website provides extremely useful bundles for the exam preparation material along with trial tests to assist you to get familiar with the certification exam questions and exercise them widely prior the exam itself.

In addition, the HRCI offers a “Second Chance Insurance” which is a pre-paid and non-refundable fee allowing you to take the exam for a second time in case of failing your first time.

Whether being certified as PHRi or SPHRi, the certification has three main advantages for you:

  • Requires specific work experience, competency, and education.
  • Requires recertification, which makes sure that you stay current in the HR profession through continuing education.
  • Allows you to put the letters after your name.

Through the HRCI valuable certifications, you get connected to an exclusive network of motivated HR professionals around the globe – Nearly 145,000 certified HR thought leaders working in more than 100 countries and territories.

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Emotional Intelligence and Business Excellence



Written By: Dr. Maha Magdy

Many of us as soon as they hear about ” Emotional Intelligence” think that it’s only related to love and relations with your partner, but have you ever related it to your business? How would it help you achieve your goals? Increase your income? Enrich your resources?

In business world, we usually care for IQ of candidates and consider it one of the main aspects to use for the performance evaluation of employees, ignoring their EQ which is proved to be the strongest predictor of positive performance and long-term success according to recent studies.

Let us first identify what is meant by EQ to be able to discover how foundational it is for a thriving workplace.

EQ or Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of your emotions, moods & motives and to redirect them and manage your behaviors.

In other words, emotions are energy, and “Emotional Intelligence” is the ability to use or direct this energy to push you towards achieving your goals, which means you need first to identify your emotions then deal with them wisely.  

If you aim to be a unique leader you must know that rising your EQ enables you to influence other’s emotions and interact with them successfully and even direct their reactions!

This is not a bare claim, but a scientific truth that I am going to explain now.

Scientifically, EQ is the ability of your brain to build strong neural connections between: “the limbic system” (center for emotions in your brain) and “the prefrontal cortex ” (the rationale thinking center), the more neural connections your brain build, the more emotionally intelligent you become.  The good news is that you can train your brain to build these neural connections through emotional intelligence coaching techniques.

Emotional Intelligence, as I mentioned before, is mainly about emotional awareness, which is the ability to recognize your feeling, understand your habitual responses to events and realize how your emotions affect your behaviors and performance which is critical to your business.

Emotional Intelligence also enables you to acquire the ability to manage your emotions, stay focused and think clearly even when experiencing powerful emotions, which is crucial for your productivity, and would be reflected on your decisions, motivation, and relationships with others.

Emotional Intelligence coaching techniques will help you discover your limiting thoughts and beliefs and reframe them to unleash your potential and achieve the goals you though before to be unachievable, simply you would be able to choose how to react and whom to be.

One of the most important skills you acquire through emotional intelligence is the ability to master your personal power, the secret to become limitless through realizing your real capabilities and use them to put yourself where you deserve to be.

In these quick changes and surprising events, we face every day, emotional intelligence allows you to cope with stresses in a healthy way and minimize your negative thinking, this will protect both your physical and mental health and would reflect on your business.

Enhancing your EQ promotes you to build better relationships which reflects directly and indirectly on your business whether you are in a managerial position or an employee.

From all that we have mentioned above, we can realize how emotional intelligence would benefit your business through greater performance and productivity, greater income, improving personal skills, improving leadership skills, and acquiring a more healthy and stable work environment especially that it could be developed through training.

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