Interview with Joseph Hayes, the Director of Learning & Development Planning at Etisalat, speaker at the HRSE Tech @HRSE 2019 (HR Summit & Expo) this November in Dubai.

How much Tech has changed HR and learning in today’s digital world?

Answer: As we edge toward 2020 and Moore’s law remains a reality within most organisations, it goes without saying that technology has greatly changed the HR & learning space.  A.I video-based interviewing, big data analytics at our fingertips, augmented, virtual & mixed reality training solutions disrupting the learning space, the list goes on!

The challenge remains as the rate at which organisations (and more importantly the people who run the organisations) adapt to these changes. This is where the biggest gaps exist and understandably so. With so much changing at such a rapid pace, what technology can you trust to drive the required changes you are hoping to see? This is what makes events like this HRSE (HR Summit & Expo) so important, you can discuss these issues with peers and experts and better understand how to align people and technology in a way that works for your business.  

What are the top 3 success factors for leading and driving Technology change (whether in HR departments or across organisations)?


  • Acceptance and awareness of the underlying issues / gaps in current processes / reason why technology changes are required.
  • Senior management commitment to the change process.
  • Winning early and often – allow people to see and feel the changes.

What are the latest 3 Tech trends you are seeing in how organisations are developing and managing their talent (whether in HR departments or across organisations)?


  • Task automation across departments.
  • Adaptation to AI to enhance customer & human experience.
  • Video based assessment & interviewing.

How will AI, machine learning and new workplace technologies shape the future of HR and/or our organisations in the Middle East?

Answer: I may be considered an optimist but I do believe we are witnessing the beginning of an exciting new way of working in the MENA region. Once monitored and used ethically, the advancements of M2M learning, the internet of things and AI has the potential to remove monotonous tasks from our daily lives and routines.  Whilst many may fear this leads to the removal of jobs, I see it as an opportunity for reskilling and focusing on what matters; modernised leadership, employee experience and a stronger focus on the Humanities.
Having worked in developing countries, what separates this region is that all of the technology has the required infrastructure and backbone to actually work. Investment in high speed fibre optics and 5G are helping to bring this vision to reality for the UAE.

Why are you speaking at the HRSE Tech at HR Summit & Expo in Dubai, and why would you recommend that your peers attend?

Answer: The blueprint for organisational learning has changed, this is due in part to multi-device learning, the rise of social/peer learning, a multi generational and multicultural workforce.

According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, “learning” is the top-rated challenge for this year  (for the first time ever) and the “opportunity to learn” is cited as one of the most important reasons for taking on a new job.

I truly believe its time that we got real about where we are at for L&D in this day and age and shared best practice within our industry. Learning is at an exciting but critical point and it’s too important to our people to get wrong. Having spent the last 16 years working in telecommunications in Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and now the UAE – I can honestly say our team has developed a truly exciting Learning strategy that is fit for our dynamic work force. I am looking forward to sharing some of these insights and hope to see you in attendance.


About our interviewee:
Joseph Hayes is the Director of Learning & Development Planning at Etisalat, he is a speaker of HRSE Tech at the HRSE (HR Summit & Expo). Catch him live at his session, ”Building a digital learning culture among your employees” on Nov 04, 15:30.