Workforce planning, upskilling, reskilling, and building capability are top workforce priorities whilst naionalisation and recruitment targets are key drivers of this.
These findings are part of the latest People Profession 2023: Middle East and North Africa survey report from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.
“The region has a complex workplace ecosystem and it’s increasingly important for employers to balance the requirement to provide secure and developmental work for nationals, and the differing demands of a changing but still transient workforce. To meet nationalisation targets, it’s obvious that employers need to position themselves as forward thinking, adaptable and committed to upskilling,” said Stuart Dunlop, Regional Director for the CIPD in the Middle East.
“The report demonstrates the profession’s continued effort to develop itself to add strategic value to their organisations. The percentage of professionals in the region who have upskilled in the past year, compared to the global average, is extremely positive. It’s also encouraging to see the positive impact of hybrid working on people practices and the continued adoption,” added Dunlop.
The CIPD said that professionals must undertake regular workforce planning exercises to better understand their organisation’s current skills against its future needs and what development is necessary for the current workforce to bridge any skills gaps.
Additionally, they must comply with nationalisation policies, and professionals needs to invest and develop new local talent to ensure they have the skills needed to succeed.
The organisation said that about 80% of the MENA respondents upskilled in the last 12 months, compared to 69% of global respondents. Moreover, building specialist HR expertise is a critical improvement area, with nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents in Egypt citing this, as well as 26% of people professionals in KSA and 22% in the UAE.
Organisational development and change management skills are another priority area for this region, while hybrid working has had a very positive impact on people’s practices.
For example, 29% of the people professionals in Egypt said it was easier to attract, recruit and retain talent in a hybrid environment, while 44% of KSA respondents and 39% of UAE respondents agreed.