“I’m not keen on the standard CV’s, like you’re supposed to write them according the standards. A CV should present your personality, your inspiration, your passion on why you apply for a job…”
Hilde De Bisschop
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: First of all Mrs. Hilde, thank you for taking the time to be with us and sharing with us your insights! So, let us begin, can you tell us a bit more about Hilde De Bisschop?
Hilde De Bisschop: I’m a sales & marketing professional active in Auto ID & IT business since the start of my professional life. Marketing is my passion. It’s an important expertise in a company. It helps to drive the business in a company.
I’m wife and mother of 3 children, owner of 2 dogs and 2 cats.
My origins lay in Belgium and I’m actually living with my family since a few years in Luxemburg. Seen my professional career I always wanted to communicate with people as much as possible in their local language hence why I speak Dutch, French, English, German and Italian.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Could you tell us a bit more about your role with Datalogic?
Hilde De Bisschop: I’m responsible worldwide for strategic development, monitoring of all our companies channel programs, tools, promotions; all that is needed to make our channel partners successful and drive the yearly annual sales plan. I’m reporting directly to our Chief Marketing Officer.
I lead worldwide strategic alliances development with potential manufacturer’s that don’t carry competitive products, building relations together with them to make our brand stronger. Identifying potential business opportunities, cultivating these relationships and finalizing common terms and conditions that benefit the organization while managing/leveraging those relationships for immediate impact and long-term growth of Datalogic’s business.
I’m ensuring our Datalogic brand is honored in all marketing activities we do with our channel partners and support our partners to drive common marketing activities to grow their business with us and maximize ROI while controlling a balanced global channel marketing budget.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Where do you currently see the future of business with all the modern technologies such as barcoding, mobility and such?
Hilde De Bisschop: I truly believe we’re still in a growing curve with the technology, barcoding, mobility and other. So many solutions can still be developed; so many applications will change our lives.
Datalogic is always looking into to new technologies and investing heavily in R&D. Working closely with the end customer, knowing the needs of those, new technology will keep on being developed. I obviously can’t disclose the new technologies our company is working on but for sure technology is and will be very important for the future generations.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Your career over the past 10 years has been focused around driving marketing to and through partners, how would you define Channel Marketing? How would you say it affects business?
Hilde De Bisschop: Channel Marketing is highly important for a company with an indirect go to market model, it involves strategic insides to drive the company’s annual sales plan.
An indirect channel means selling your products through distribution and partners. Channel Marketing defines channel program with benefit packages for the distributors and partners, channel marketing defines as well different tools for ease of business with Datalogic, creates motivational programs for our channel to choice to work with Datalogic and not the competition. Furthermore it’s a keystone to drive more business growth with the different channels by supporting partners & distributors with effective marketing activities in the different regions. By co-funding marketing activities through our channel Datalogic can reach much more end users, in all regions, worldwide, respecting the regional market behaviors and supporting the regional business needs. It’s a key element to drive business revenues.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You were an entrepreneur and had your own company then you switched into working for corporates, unlike many who usually start off working for a corporate then leaving to become entrepreneurs, why the switch?
Hilde De Bisschop: That’s a difficult and at the same time easy question to answer. As an entrepreneur, I enjoyed very much the different activities my company achieved and together with my employees we were a great team. Each of them carried responsibilities for a given client. I ended up after a while consulting for one corporation whom high jacked almost 95% of my time which made it hard for me to run efficiently my company and my family. The pregnancy of my 3rd child changed my professional landscape. Being very busy with one customer, having a busy partner as well and running a company and 2 other small children was though. My skills were highly requested in the corporate market and I felt like I could contribute to another success. One of my employees wanted already to have shares in my company, be part of it so I finally decided to sell the company to him and go corporate.
I never regretted my decision!
The company I owned is still successful and my former employee is still very thankful I gave him the chance to become an entrepreneur. Passing on of a success to another individual makes me feel very satisfied, being able to participate to one’s other success is a grateful feeling.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Channel Marketing is known to be deeply involved in human behavior and understanding on both the business and personal level, can you give us an insight into that?
Hilde De Bisschop: Channel marketing is truly a customer and human relation. Between the different regions, cultures, you need to understand, the people you work with. That’s fascinating. A true learning curve. You need an open mind and understand the regional business behaviors. It’s challenging and interesting. You need to be very customer minded, a social animal to be successful and you’ll see it’s a very satisfying job. After a few years you end up having some customers becoming personal friends.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You are known to have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and it must have definitely been a tough task, can you compare it to your career? Are there any aspects of similarity?
Hilde De Bisschop:
-Climbing to the top of the Kilimanjaro is comparable to climbing to the top within a corporation.
-Climbing the Kilimanjaro is a tough task although physically it’s pretty OK if you persist and hang in, it goes for the business as well when the travel gets tough, the deadlines get closer and you physically are tiered, in difficult moments you need to persist, hang in and stay alert.
-I believe that the mental portion of climbing the Kilimanjaro is very under estimated; it’s much tougher than the physical part. Once you go above 4000 KM, and you’re walking already 6 to 7 hours a day, it becomes mentally hard; you wonder why did I ever start this adventure. Same goes in the business, you have moments when you get to face lots of difficulties, solve issues and when the mountain of issues gets to high you think the same, why did I ever started this job. At those moments you need to be mentally strong and take a step back, look at the whole picture, keep on believing in what you do is the right thing and move forward. You need a lot of motivation and mental strength. I truly believe that whenever you’re convinced in achieving something, you believe in it, you will achieve it, whether its on business or personal level.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You have been working across the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa, for quite some time. What are the major differences that you see between Europe and Middle East and Africa? What are the areas that you see each can benefit from the other?
Hilde De Bisschop: Working across EMEA is challenging and at the same time very interesting. Cultures are different and the business needs to grow the same. I often noticed on my visits in the Middle East that I was asked, how do you achieve this in Europe or the same goes for Africa.
Although the business approaches are different in those regions you can tweak some best practices around to fit the actual region. For sure you have to adapt some marketing actions to fit in the region however the end results can be the same. Only the way to take the action is different based on different ways of doing business. Most of the times regions can learn from successes whether it’s Europe from Middle East or from Africa or vice versa.
In my today’s job, I’m responsible worldwide and even there I can say that the US can learn from Europe or Middle East or vice versa. It’s very challenging and interesting and keeping the big picture is needed; at least all regions can benefit from each other challenges and wins.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You have worked a lot of teams, hired quite a lot of people, can you tell us what is the first thing that grabs your attention in a resume?
Hilde De Bisschop: The first thing that grabs my attentions is the creativity, the personality of the applicant.
I’m not keen on the standard CV’s, like you’re supposed to write them according the standards.
A CV should present your personality, your inspiration, your passion on why you apply for a job. If it’s not clear from the CV I probably would not consider it; especially not for a marketing job. Passion is the 1st thing you need to do a great job.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: When interviewing a candidate, what are the first three things you tend to look for in the candidate?
Hilde De Bisschop:
-Why did he/she decide to apply for the job in our company? What were the drivers?
-What does he/she think they can bring as an advantage, extra to the company?
-Why does he/she think I should hire them based on their personality? What could they bring personally to a team, the company.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a manager of a team, what are the main KPIs you use to measure a team and an individual?
Hilde De Bisschop: I believe any individual is different in terms of experience and knowledge. Obviously a junior person you measure on growth in the job, achieving some specific KPI’s. A more senior role you challenge them in growing personally and going beyond what they’ve proven already. Both junior and senior you need to try to bring them t the next level. Based on this believe you set KPI to grow your people.
KPI’s could be development of a given skill, learning a new skill, developing a behavior,… For sure in Channel marketing ROI of campaigns is a standard KPI.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you define the success of a marketing campaign? What are the aspects or your key points of measure?
Hilde De Bisschop: There is no unique answer to this question, while you need to define points of measure depending on the campaign activity. There is no generic answer. Of course ROI is the most important aspect but ROI for an event can be totally different than ROI of a telemarketing campaign. I believe you need to set goals for each activity and measure the achievement of the goals. Goals can be different based on the marketing activity type.
F.E with a telemarketing campaign you want to drive qualified leads that bring your sales teams in front of the customer and the ultimate goal is the detection of a project, with ultimately the value revenue for the business.
F.E with a sales incentive you measure the final growth in revenue versus a target.
As said, a unique measurement for a marketing campaign doesn’t exist. It’s all related to the activity type. In the end the unique measurement is to drive the revenue up in short/long terms and support the sales teams in achieving the companies target.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Work life balance is one of the most debated topics in the past few years, would you share with us your thoughts on this topic?
Hilde De Bisschop: Work life balance should be the most debated topic seen the speed of life, the pressure in business and personal life and it’s very difficult to keep that balance; especially when you have a high responsibility role. I’m a perfectionist in my business life and it’s for me even harder to keep the balance in my personal life. I’m lucky to have a very supportive husband that keeps my feed on the grounds and says stop when the balance is gone. Seen the fact I’m travelling across the globe I need to set myself rules to keep the balance between work life and private life. Sticking to these rules is hard and altogether the most important to be able to perform. Home office for professionals that travel a lot for their job is favorable for the work life balance. I truly believe that home office for professional travellers brings more business productivity and balance in their private life.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Between your hectic job duties in such a big company, which must be a time-consuming job, could you give us an insight in your regular day? Do you have any hobbies? Practice any sports? If so does it affect your performance? Also we know that you have a family, does your work affect your family life?
Hilde De Bisschop: My passion is reading books, due to the many hours I spend in the plane’s I can keep my passion and read books. I decided years ago that I don’t work in a plane anymore. When I’m not travelling I spend all my time dedicated to my family, with limited time for myself. This is the only way to keep balance in my work & life. The only sport I practice is walking our 2 dogs every morning very early in the woods and it does not affect my professional life while I’m in my home office at start of the business day. The dog walk however is a good refreshing start of the day, which gives me energy and is ME-time.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: It’s been quite a pleasure having you with us, would you care to share your favorite quote that inspires you?
Hilde De Bisschop: I don’t have a favorite quote there’re too many good quotes so I cannot choice. My personal quote is “Follow your dreams, follow your passion! The day you loose passion it’s time to move forwards regardless whatever obstacle. As long as we’re happy, truly happy with what we’re doing in life, whether in business or private, it’s good. If you get up one day and think, oh no; I can’t do this anymore, whether it’s business or private, then change your live. Only then you’ll be happy in everything you do, achieve.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: If there’s one advice that you would give to the youth, what would it be?
Hilde De Bisschop: Live, live, live, explore, explore, explore, be passionate and not superficial in what you do. Grab the moment, grab the passion, dream wild and achieve whatever you want by just using the power of your will. Never say I can’t make it, always believe in what you want and you’ll get there. Never give up. Limit use of social media, stuck the phone away and live. Make your dreams happen.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: In the end, we’ve come to the end of our interview, is there something you would like to say or share?
Hilde De Bisschop: Be yourself and believe in yourself! Regardless the religion, culture, studies! If you want to become someone, and you truly have a passion then follow it and go for it. Obstacles will be on your path but the achievement will be all yours.
Mrs. Hilde it’s been indeed quite the pleasure in having you with us as part of this interview!
Interview with Mr. Vijay Gandhi, Regional Director of Korn Ferry Digital
“2021 is here and there has been never a tipping point like this before for governments and organizations to transform how they work, engage the employees and service their clients. It is this mix of internal and external challenges that will also create opportunities for leaders to make a difference as we embark upon a new calendar year.” Mr. Vijay Gandhi
Interviewer: Mariham Magdy
Brief Biography about the Interviewee:
Mr. Vijay Gandhi has worked with human resource teams for over 20 years to provide them with tools, benchmarks, insights and data to help them design high level global HR frameworks and make decisions for local executive teams, remuneration committees and board of directors in public and privately owned companies across different sectors. He oversees the commercial activities of Reward & Benefits in KF Digital across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Vijay has an MBA from Durham University (UK) and BBA in Finance & International Business from University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). He joined Korn Ferry in 2001 in Dubai and has worked in EMEA and Asia region. In May 2018, he was honored with Forbes “Top 50 Indian Executives in Arab World”
1.HR Revolution Middle East: Mr. Vijay, welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.
As the Regional Director for Korn Ferry Digital, we are keen to learn from you more about KF Digital, how do Korn Ferry’s digital applications help organizations to transform or enhance their organizational strategy?
Through the Korn Ferry Digital platform, our clients gain direct access to our data, insights, analytics and digital solutions – enabling them to drive performance in their organizations in a scalable way through their people, using one enterprise-wide framework and language of talent. Our digital solutions cover the whole talent journey. So, whether it’s developing a new talent strategy or reward program, making informed decisions about hiring or developing talent from within the organization, getting the right people on board, or even collecting feedback on how engaged employees really are, right across the organization – Korn Ferry Digital provides the answers.
Our solutions serve as an integrated platform that gives clients direct access to the data, insights and analytics. Clients benefit from one enterprise-wide talent framework and language that helps drive organizational performance through people.
2- HR Revolution Middle East: To what extent can we trust the results of the digital assessments? How can organizations use the data that Korn Ferry collects to make intelligent hiring, reward, development decisions?
Mr. Vijay Gandhi:
Korn Ferry Digital is fueled by the most comprehensive and up-to-date people and organization databases. This data provides the DNA for our digital solutions, bringing a research-based foundation to underpin quality and consistency in your HR practices. Over 4 billion data points have been collected, including:
- Over 69 million assessment results
- 8 million employee engagement survey responses
- Rewards data for 20 million employees across 25,000 organizations and 130+ countries
We’ve pulled the data together into a comprehensive set of actionable and dynamic Success Profiles. Success Profiles define “what good looks like” and include data around three dimensions – the accountabilities of a role, the associated capabilities to perform these responsibilities, and the traits and drivers that are characteristic of a person who will thrive in this role.
Organizations have access to over 4,000 individual Success Profiles across 30,000 job titles – and we are continually updating and adding new profiles, so you get to leverage the latest thinking on emerging roles. The results are therefore based on deep insight and research.
3- HR Revolution Middle East: Mr. Vijay, we are eager to learn from you more about the success story behind honoring you as one of the Top 50 Indian Leaders in Arab World by Forbes Middle East in 2018 – Region’s greatest success stories as Regional Director at Korn Ferry Digital.
Mr. Vijay Gandhi:
I am a long-time resident of the Arab region, where my family roots go back 60 years, before the UAE federation was formed. Knowing the culture, people and dynamics of working in the Arab world has been natural as this has been home to our family where my kids are the 5th generation. For more than 20 years, I have worked closely with human resource teams in the Arab world to execute their talent strategy. A lot has changed in this period in HR function itself which was regarded as a payroll function few decades ago. Today, HR and People strategy are board room discussions where HR plays a strategic role in driving workforce performance.
In these positively growing and changing times, my focus was on leveraging tools, benchmarks, insights and data to design high-level global HR frameworks for senior executives in the region – helping them more effectively manage their talent. We have built successful client partnerships in the region which has made Korn Ferry as a go to organizational consulting firm.
4- HR Revolution Middle East: For over 20 years, you have overseen the activities of pay, talent, surveys and listening products across Europe, Middle East and Africa. What are the unique characteristics of the Middle East organizations especially in talent and pay management? How does we differ from other regions as Europe & Africa?
Mr. Vijay Gandhi:
Change is taking place rapidly in the world of work with any organizations taking unprecedented steps to remain relevant and connected to their people , their customers and society. In the Middle East we have seen many companies implement temporary pay-cuts. Diversified conglomerates have shifted their employees from one division to another to balance the demand and supply. There is no denial that the way we work is changing and organizations have had to prepare a blueprint for the unexpected. This year it’s coronavirus. Next time, and there will be a next time, it could be a natural calamity, a recession, talent flight or something else unforeseen.
- Redefining the nature of work: Even today most organizations in the Gulf region are measuring success or performance using the metric of attendance. There is a mismatch between modern, flexible ways of working and traditional ways of organizing and rewarding work. To close this gap, organizations need new approaches that fit today and can flex for the future. New and evolving technologies allow organizations to operate more effectively and more efficiently. They do this by preparing people to work more productively and by introducing virtual ways of doing things that previously required physical presence. Some organizations in the region have started tocreate “flexible teams” for specific projects, and then dismantling them once the project is complete.
- Moving towards a liquid workforce: HR laws in the Middle East region have undergone change in the last 3 years to allow for part-time employees, internships and with the spring of an independent freelance community offering specialized professional services which were rare to find few years ago. In the future, we will see more organizations tailoring their resource requirements to the needs of the labor market. Organizations will move towards a liquid workforce to capture the best talent regardless of source or nature of contract which may not be employed full-time.
- Splitting time and skills: A few global companies are making use of employees’ skills and motivation within the confines of a traditional role. They have developed a SharePoint platform where employees can give up to 20% of their time to projects outside of their core role. The 80/20 approach allows for flexibility without the contractual implications of making significant changes to roles and functions. The projects range from large, like supporting big corporate initiatives, to small, like moderating a series of workshops. These smaller projects may last just a few weeks and take up less than 20% of a person’s working time. Trainees, called ‘Start-up’ participants, also work according to the 80/20 principle. That means they follow a set rotation programme for four days of the week and meet on Fridays to work on joint projects.
- Rethinking Reward: Even after right-sizing in many Middle East companies, there has been a significant impact of grade/title inflation on performance. In the short-term it is important to preserve operating capacity in the event demand returns to normal sooner than expected by managing leaves and cutting pay for a limited time. In the medium-term, organizations will have to adjust individual performance incentives as conditions normalize and consider crisis-related spot awards where applicable. In the long-term, organizations will have to not only maintain awards for top-performers but also consider tying bonuses and incentives to crisis-related health and-safety metrics.
With no ‘rules of the game’, and such rapid evolution, it’s not surprising that many companies feel they don’t know where or how to start. They need fresh thinking and new approaches on a whole range of topics – including how to create a ‘new deal’ that works for their people.
5- HR Revolution Middle East: The digital transformation has changed totally the way businesses make decisions. Given that almost every organization has been forced into a new way of working, how can they navigate through a new normal?
Mr. Vijay Gandhi:
The positive new is that, apart from solving immediate effects of the crisis, we have seen a resilience to operate from home by employees and employers moving from “no flexible hours” to “you can work remotely if the job doesn’t require you to come to the office”.
Whilst it’s great to move to more flexibility, we may be going over the top to think that this will be the norm for all employee segments. Let me share some of the discussions with HR professionals in last few months in the region.
- Leadership matters and they want to be visible with the workforce. Ask any leader when do they have the most impact? It’s when they are spending time with their people to engage with them and enable them by listening to their concerns.
- There were aspects of our lives – work, family, friends – which were separate but now happening all in one physical space. The self-complexity theory shows that individuals become vulnerable to negative feelings when these social activities and goals aren’t differentiated.
- Certain roles in healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality sectors cannot work remotely, and fantastic efforts have been made to make the workplace safe.
- Sales and Business development were areas identified as most dependent on face-to-face meetings. According to Harvard Business research, in-person meetings were seen as most effective for:
- Negotiating important contracts (82%)
- Interviewing senior staff for key positions (81%)
- Understanding and listening to important customers (69%)
Although there are many reasons why video conferencing works well to stay connected in isolation and keep dispersed teams connected and aligned, latest research shows they wear on the psyche in complicated ways. Psychologists say a new phenomenon “video call fatigue” is emerging. It describes the feeling of being worn out by back-to-back virtual meetings and having to perform for the camera by over-scheduling ourselves.
So, whilst working from home since March 2020 was considered as a great move from being non-flexible to trusting people, it’s now time to rationalize our thinking. The answer lies somewhere in the middle by being flexible and not drifting like nomads too. We cannot take all home and it won’t be forever.
6- HR Revolution Middle East: How did all the twists and turns occurred in 2020 changed the traditional way organizations used to manage pay? Do you expect that businesses would return to the normal management of pay in 2021?
Mr. Vijay Gandhi:
Shifting to “people” priorities in 2021
2020 will be a fable for us to share with generations to come. It is a year which has revolutionized the way we work and adapt to uncertainty. A year which started with negativity around jobs and pay cuts. Life came to a stand-still. Organizations who have survived the pandemic have shown tremendous resilience and agility to adapt to tough times. As costs were taken out of the business in the first half of the year, we have seen higher productivity and the drive to restore profitability. It was also a year where there remained no doubt that that the most critical driver for any organization was its workforce.
2021 is here and there has been never a tipping point like this before for governments and organizations to transform how they work, engage the employees and service their clients. It is this mix of internal and external challenges that will also create opportunities for leaders to make a difference as we embark upon a new calendar year.
Transformation in business set-up and labour reforms were on top of the agenda in 2020. The Labour Reform Initiative (LRI) brought into action by MHRSD in Saudi under the National Transformation Program (NTP) has swung the focus back onto shared services and their significance in the Saudi business world. This initiative has not only set a strong precedent for the future of workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) but also carved a structured model for businesses looking to hire personnel. Similarly, there were 2 landmark moves in United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- allowing foreign investors to own local companies without the need for an Emirati sponsor will open doors for more FDI and greater business opportunities.
- allowing professionals to reside and work in Dubai residency rule was a big boon for professionals in workplaces where they are delivering or leading teams remotely.
The road ahead for employees working in this region looks bright as these reforms would strengthen labour competencies, enrich the work environment, and put together an inviting job market. The flexibility will help employers in 2021 to drive innovations, provide access to more talent, drive performance and results regardless of where the team is located in the region.
Leaders will have to go beyond showing interest in the development of everyone and be empathetic towards employees who survived the crisis with them in 2020. In fact, the ‘Global Workplace Study 2020’ by ADP Research Institute shows that employees are approximately 13 times more likely to be resilient when more workplace disruption occurs. Empathy was shown by employees in many ways e.g. working from home in different circumstances or taking a pay cut to help companies save further job cuts.
Technology innovation is here to stay
Organizations in both the public and private sectors had to make a change in the way they work and move to digitization. Another conundrum we are presently facing is the real-estate impacts of employees desiring greater work-life flexibility. It’s unlikely that office spaces will disappear overnight, but rather a greater integration of virtual and in-person work is right around the corner. The recent decision by Dubai Government to work-from-home comes at the back of flexible working hours announced in April 2020. Workplace flexibility works best when implemented to address both the organization’s need to for a leaner workforce and employees’ need for work/life support.
The social element of your workplace has likely taken on a much different look in 2021. You may have employees in a social distance-friendly environment, employees working from home, or a mix of both. Organizations will have to find ways to encourage them to stay connected while being physically disconnected. Even before the pandemic COVID-19 had entered our vocabulary, burnout, stress and anxiety were significant issues in the workplace, and society generally. Once we throw the mental health impact into the mix, and work-related stress is likely to reach staggering levels. Going into 2021, leaders must promote the mental wellbeing and invest into benefits which will bring people together in a different way.
7- HR Revolution Middle East: What final tips would you give to business leaders at the beginning of 2021 with all the apprehensions and fears they have for the new wave of covid-19?
Mr. Vijay Gandhi:
Technology will continue to dominate the workplace and improve efficiencies. However, the most valuable services in the marketplace will always be done better by humans. In an era defined by crisis, where emotional intelligence, compassion, resilience, and morality may prove more important than ever before, the future of work is human. If business is about humans, the future of work must be too.
One thing to look forward to in 2021 from job and career perspective is slow change. Disruption has already happened. However, more often and less discussed are the small changes occurring each day that eventually add up to huge impacts. The present moment is worthy of your attention.
Q&A with Yasmine Yehia | MEA Employer Branding Manager at Schneider Electric, Life Coach & Consultant
Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi
“To be able to have a strong brand, you need to start from within – you need to have an attractive story to tell so if this is not there, it won’t be the right time for employer branding. I always tell the people I teach employer branding – fix internally first and then you will have something to say externally.”Yasmine yehia
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How would you introduce yourself to the audience?
Yasmine Yehia: I am an Employer Branding expert, a certified life and career coach from the ICF, a public speaker and a certified trainer!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you define Employer Branding in your own words?
Yasmine Yehia: Employer Branding is the art of story-telling, each employer has a story to tell, and this story is very useful for those who are interested in the company. A story about values, a story about culture, a story about care – a story about authenticity and uniqueness.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What does an Employer Branding Manager do?
Yasmine Yehia: An Employer Branding Manager is someone who is an expert in storytelling, someone who is also an expert in the employer strategy and people vision and who is talented in showing what differs the employer from any others in the market.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Employer Branding is one of the new global trends in HR, yet still not implemented in several countries and among many organizations. Why do you think some organizations have concerns regarding implementing Employer Branding as a comprehensive initiative?
Yasmine Yehia: I don’t think it is a matter of a concern at all – I think it is a matter of time and maturity. To be able to have a strong brand, you need to start from within – you need to have an attractive story to tell so if this is not there, it won’t be the right time for employer branding. I always tell the people I teach employer branding – fix internally first and then you will have something to say externally.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you measure the ROI of your Employer Branding initiatives?
Yasmine Yehia: Oh God, there are zillions of ways to measure the ROI of our initiatives and campaigns, as sophisticated as a brand awareness analysis to as simple as the quality of CVs we’re receiving for open vacancies. Measuring the pride and engagement of employees, measuring engagements and reach on our employer branding social media posts.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Who are your main stakeholders and partners in the Employer Branding process?
Yasmine Yehia: And like I teach in my workshop – Employer Branding is never an independent function, actually we cannot even function or deliver alone, it is a collaborative work between us, HR and Marcom.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Can you share with us one of the challenges you have faced in your current job and how you overcame it?
Yasmine Yehia: Managing a complex region like MEA is quite tough and I think the deep knowledge of each country in the region was my main challenge – what is it that my target audience in each country look for in an employer? I overcame it with loads of study and education and also with using the help of specialized agencies to provide me with the needed reports.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What pieces of advice would you give to organizations who want to empower their employer brand?
Yasmine Yehia: Be authentic! Start from within and have an authentic story to tell. You will reach the hearts of your target audiences effortlessly.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Jessie (if we may call you with your nickname), we are curious what is the first job you ever had and what is the most valuable lesson you have learnt from it?
Yasmine Yehia: My very first job was an IT Recruiter for fortune 1000 companies in USA – I learned the art of assessing and dealing with people, if there is one thing recruitment has given me, it is the strong people skills!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You are also a certified Life Coach, how does this help you in your role in HR?
Yasmine Yehia: In both HR and Employer Branding your main customer and target audience is people, right? A life coach listens to so many people, to their issues and struggles, it makes you a people person by heart – it gives you the perfect listening skills and it strengthens the way you interact and communicate with people, and this is exactly what you need as an HRian!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Life Coach, what advices do you have to professionals who want to sustain a work-life balance? Do we all need to have a work-life balance?
Yasmine Yehia: YES, we all need a work life balance definitely – you need time for yourself, to recharge, reflect and develop. I’d tell them, make the time for yourself a priority – do not miss it, this time is actually good for your work too because you will always have the right energy to continue. If there is a learning lesson from 2020, it is the importance of our mental health. Have a routine and this routine must include time for yourself!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Career Coach, how do you think Covid-19 impacted the employment market?
Yasmine Yehia: Well, from what I see from my clients – so many people are thinking to shift careers post covid-19. Some of them must because they lost their jobs and some of them realized the importance of mental health, so they decided to leave a very stressful career. I think moving forward companies will have to learn to be flexible in their hiring process and start accepting candidates having the right skills for a job rather than a big number of years of experience! It is hiring for talents not years! People also need to be more resilient and smart in using their skills.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Finally, as a Trainer – why do you think personal branding is very important? We know you teach the topic.
Yasmine Yehia: In a world that has gone totally virtual – people need to learn how to build a strong personal brand online, it is how you will smartly use your skills and get paid for it! You no longer have the big chance to meet your recruiters face to face, following the new ways of working, we are heading towards working from home and flexible hours more, your personal brand is the only thing that will differentiate you in the market and open doors for you.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Thank you for your time, would you like to say anything?
Yasmine Yehia: Thank you for having me – I hope I continue inspiring those interested in the employer branding career!
Q&A with Sherihan Elkamash; Researcher at the Center of Strategic Studies, Bibliotheca Alexandrina & Charity Activist
Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi
“I am always trying to not lead members, but inspire them and gain their trust by encouraging my team to work on new projects. I help them make their work plan, and I provide them with some guidance and coaching to finally have a successful deliverable to help impact more people in the community.”Sherihan Elkamash
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Sherihan you are multi-talented and active in building the community in several different ways, one of your main roles is working at the Center of Strategic Studies at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, can you tell us more about your role?
My main work is about making strategic researches. I also, write articles about the recent international political events. One of the main roles for me is to organize virtual discussions to discuss different economic and political subjects. I am always in contact with high profile degenerates in the political arena to make interviews with them to be published. I am also the social media specialist for the center, responsible for managing the official page by managing and posting the news, declare about the new events and conferences for the center.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Across your career you have worked in different careers and gained different experiences. Can you tell us what did you learn from these experiences? And how those skills are helping you at your current role?
I have been working in many fields since a young age I have acquired professional experience in many fields for the past fourteen years; working in NGOs, media, research, translation and communications. These experiences taught me to navigate in different kinds of structures (public/private/international), as well as dealing with the internal dynamics of each organization. In my previous roles, I have demonstrated exceptional ability to manage external stakeholders including senior government officials, high-profile clients, and well-regarded organizations. As a trilingual officer, I can communicate effectively in Arabic, English and French.
Working in all those fields taught me how to work in full power with a great performance, deliver my work in a high quality and always being in time and following the timetable.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You also have your own charity project “El Rahmoun”. Can you tells us more about managing people in a charity structured projects?
Let me first talk about myself when I was a regular member in NGO’s and volunteer projects. I starting volunteering since I was a 13-year-old school student. During those 21 years in charity, I’ve learned many things:
-I learned how to take the initiative to start new projects to help the maximum number of people in need.
-I learned more about contributing to the community and helping solve issues.
-I learned how to deal with all categories in my society, understanding their needs and being helpful to them.
-It is not only about leadership, but I have also been a great “team member”, by coming up with new ideas, working with enthusiasm and integrity.
As a founder or a leader for “El Rahmoun” charity group – like any business structure or project – it depends on the number of volunteers whether they are many or few, based on that we put a strong administration and operations management plan.
I am always trying to not lead “El Rahmoun” members, but inspire them and gain their trust by encouraging my team to work on new projects. I help them make their work plan, and I provide them with some guidance and coaching to finally have a successful deliverable to help impact more people in the community.
There is an interesting difference between a traditional corporate structure and a charity structure. In charity the individual is the one who deicides his/her responsibilities and commitment to the charity work. I cannot obligate them to attend the events or to do their tasks. Which means that I have to be their friend so they love me and maintain a good communication with the youth, meanwhile at the same time I have to be their leader when it comes to the big decisions. And this is the most difficult part. I think after 3 years of continuous work, while our volunteering community is getting bigger… my team and I are doing it well.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you define success your own way? And what would be your success tips for youth?
I have learned the perfect strategy to achieve success, it is balance. We all have the desire towards success but those who are working and planning for it are the ones who are reaching their goals in a steady way. We all grew up with big dreams, seeking success in life, but few of us who understood that sustaining the success is the hard part. Balance is the key, youth need to know the importance of balance in their life between their studies, hard work, community service and social life. Youth need to make balance between physical, emotional and spiritual elements, to keep the high performance in everything they do. When we maintain our balance it shortly affects our sense of security and helps us to move forward. The balance in all activities in our days helps us maintain our mental health in order to have healthy minds and lifestyles. Stress is a serious threat to Youth and one should make it a priority to keep the stress away because stress prevents success.
Balance = Success
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: With the development of technology, virtual communication and accessibility to knowledge, do you believe that some jobs are in threat? Can some careers take another form, offer different services and still impact the community?
The whole world is turning digital. The easy access to knowledge and data is the way of living now. Well, the development of technology can never be a threat. It actually helps us and is not a threat to our existence nor to anything created or made by the human being. NEW careers have been created and much more are on their way to glow and have place due to the virtual life. Furthermore, thousands of activities and services are provided through the internet now (website- social media) which also supports entrepreneurs and organizations to easily create new projects.
The Egyptian Government is taking the same track now in most of its governmental institutions. The pandemic helped a lot. It was a red light to hurry and accelerate our path, not only organizations that are turning digital but also individuals are becoming more focused on e-learning and other daily life services and in their lifestyles. I am very optimistic; because of the development of technology, new jobs are opening and great opportunities for youth which is very advantageous, beneficious and profitable to the growth of our great Nation EGYPT and to the rest of the world.
Thank you Sherihan for this interview and for developing and inspiring the community in such a unique way!
ATD Middle East Conference 8th – 9th June 2021 “Reflecting, Reimagining, and Revitalising Learning and Talent Development”
Press Release Sunday, 10th of June 21 Written by: Mariham Magdy Informa Connect launched the ATD Middle East Conference and...
Q&A with Dr. Wael Elayied – Founder of TEDxWadMedani in Sudan, Lecturer & Consultant
INTERVIEWER: MAHMOUD MANSI “TEDx is considered as a window that opens to different cultures and people from around the world....
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...
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...
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...
How did the International Certification from the HRCI change your career?
Testimonials from Certified HR Professionals in the Middle East Journalism: Menna Hamdy Mostafa Gallal (PHRi, Egypt) – Recruitment Manager at...
HRCI Assumes ISO International Secretariat Role for Technical Committee 260 on Human Resource Management
May 04, 2021 07:00 ET | Source: HRCI ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HRCI®, the premier HR credentialing and...
Interview with Eureka (ICS Learn Student) Customer Service Agent – Qatar Airways
Interviewer: Mariham Magdy 1. HR Revolution Middle East: Welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to...
The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport becomes an Approved Provider from the HRCI through the Community Service Program(Cairo Branch)
Press Release Cairo, 10th April 2021 The Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), held a live webinar...
تعاون بين شباب السودان ومصر لتنظيم النسخة الثامنة لتيدكس ودمدني بالسودان
شباب من مصر والسودان يترجموا التعاون بين البلدين الشقيقين في المشاركة في تنظيم النسخة الثامنة لمؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني بالسودان. يعتبر...
- Arbeit Tipps
- Business Poetry
- Careers in Alex
- Civil Work
- Criticize HR
- Employee Diary
- HR Feminism
- HR Fossils
- Job Opportunities
- Kritisieren HR
- Personal Branding
- Press Releases
- Work Tips
- حفريات موارد بشرية
- حقوق المرأة والموارد البشرية
- مقابلات شخصية
- نصائح عمل
- نقد الموارد البشرية
- نقد سينمائي
Interviews11 months ago
Agile HR: Q&A with Fabiola Eyholzer | Co-Founder Just Leading Solutions LLC
Interviews2 years ago
Q&A with Founder of Shaghalni; Omar Khalifa
Articles4 years ago
Challenge Stressors Versus Hindrance Stressors, and Resources to Overcome Stressors
Articles5 years ago
10 Reasons “The Intern” Is a To-Watch-and-Learn Movie
Interviews5 years ago
حوار صحفي مع الكاتبة الشابة والمهندسة نوران السقيلي
Articles2 years ago
6 Personality Traits that Tell if you are a “Considerate” Employee
Magazine1 year ago
إدارة الموارد البشرية في المؤسسات التعليمية
Movies6 years ago
Minions as An Inspiration for Workers!