A Journey Into HR
Share this article:
Interview by Emran Adam, PHR, HRBP, SHRM-CP
Business Manager at Morgan International
Almost a year ago, Mrs. Reem Al Khudairy, HR Generalist supporting the finance organization within Saudi Aramco, flew to Las Vegas to attend the SHRM 2015 Annual Conference, courtesy of Morgan International and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
As we are approaching SHRM’s 2016 Annual Conference, here’s a look back at Reem’s experience during last year’s conference and her thoughts on the HR profession in Saudi Arabia.
A journey into HR
I started working as an HR coordinator back in 2000 and fell in love with the profession. So I decided to gain more knowledge and earn a higher degree by completing my MBA in 2003. I then joined staffing services and specialized in recruiting and finally moved to Power Systems within Saudi Aramco where I was able to further develop my skills in HR strategy and development as an HR analyst. After that, I attained a second degree, an MS in HRM from Texas A&M and finally, earned my SHRM-CP in 2015. I am currently working within the Finance section as their HR Generalist.
My main duties and responsibilities include talent management and acquisition, training and development as well as coordinating the hiring and recruiting activities for internal and external staffing (Expatriates, Saudi Arab and SMP) for the entire admin area.
Earning the SHRM-CP credential has helped me become more credible and recognized as an expert in the HR field. The credential also helps keep me in up to date in the field of HR. It definitely makes you a more valuable asset to your organization, keeping you and your organization more competitive in today's economy. This professional distinction sets you apart from your colleagues, proving your high level of knowledge and skills.
The HR Profession in Saudi Arabia
I think that the HR profession, specifically in Saudi Arabia and in the Gulf region in general is flourishing, as shown by the great interest among high school graduates in studying HR during their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Moreover, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a young country, meaning that more than 60 % of its Saudi population is less than 30 years of age, so HR is greatly needed in the young Kingdom, in terms of training and development, recruitment, OD, HRD, and HRM, etc.
The skills HR professionals should possess
Ethics, Knowledge of HR policies, rules and regulations, communications and emotional intelligence.
Reem was the lucky winner of Morgan & SHRM’s trip to Vegas to attend The SHRM 2015 Annual Conference last year. Here’s what she had to say on the experience.
The conference was a wonderful and joyful experience. I loved the fast track lectures and attended all lectures and sessions. I particularly liked the SHRM conference 2015 app, I still have it on my mobile as I was able to download very informative presentations after the event. All speakers were inspiring but Dr. Oz’ presentation and Dr. Kleiman's lecture were truly insightful and some of my favorite sessions.
I gained a lot of HR knowledge and received insights on where to find such information in order to improve my day to day work and gain skills required on the job.
I will definitely try to attend the SHRM 2016 Annual Conference in Washington D, in order to gain knowledge, network with HR professionals from all over the world, and of course gain re-certification points, as I have now earned the SHRM-CP certification.
Perhaps the main thing I took away from this event is that as a woman I needed to be more assertive, more self confident, and ready to take on more challenging assignments to prove myself in my industry and help others. And finally, “if there is a will, there is a way”…
On a final note, it was my first trip in Vegas and it was truly out of this world. It was a wonderful experience that I would repeat it again for sure.
Reem’s advice to HR professionals
Network a lot, share your experience and stories, be an ambassador of your country and if you do attend the SHRM Conference which I strongly advise, attend as many sessions and lectures as you can.
Learn about the SHRM-CP/SCP program and discover how it can impact your career!