As Saudi Arabia looks to diversify its economy to retain global competitiveness, the 5th Annual Human Asset Management conference 2017 will bring together global HR leaders to address issues pertaining to local talent management and development.
Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia approved its National Transformation Program and Saudi Vision 2030, making great headway in enhancing the Kingdom’s global competitiveness. Over the past four decades, the country has embarked on a significant socioeconomic infrastructure program to provide for its 18.7 million citizens. While the education sector has made tremendous improvements over the past decade, Saudi Arabia still faces an acute scarcity of employable workforce.
Whilst Saudi private sector organizations encompass many industries and range from large corporations such as SABIC, Aramco and STC through subsidiaries of international firms to medium sized and small capital employers, there is nonetheless a common requirement under the Nitaqat to train Saudi nationals to take over experienced and skilled expatriates’ jobs. Employment creation is a major challenge in the Kingdom. The country faces a demographic ‘youth bulge’; whereby 30% of the population falls between 15-24 years. The Kingdom is grappling to capitalize on its future ‘Youth human capital’ value. Furthermore, increasing the labor force participation and integration of women into their workforce is a major challenge for corporates in the Kingdom.
In light of the current scenario, achieving nationalization of workforce will be extremely challenging as higher national wage levels and lower skills level might prove to be detrimental to the business effectiveness in KSA. Most developed countries import the needed specialized skills as long as the domestic labor market suffers from shortage in supplying such skills. This is not different from importing the materials or equipment needed to boost production. Many countries entice highly qualified individuals to join their workforces whether because the human development of their specialized skills will take a long time or the cost will be prohibitively high. In Saudi Arabia, the most recent thinking on development is founded on a ‘human capabilities’ approach that stresses the importance for political cognizance as a necessary condition for economic transition to higher stages in the ladder of economic evolution.
Organizations in Saudi are coming to realize that it is more cost-effective to retain a talented employee than to climb on to the recruit-train-lose-recruit juggernaut. Recent research suggests that replacing existing talent costs up to 1.5 times more than retaining them. With the rising trend in salaries, employers in KSA need to explore retention options that aim to meet newly emerging employee needs for security, long-term stability, continuous learning and feeling valued. The 5th Annual Human Asset Management conference will bring together top HR leaders and key stakeholders in the region to engage in a dialogue on identifying opportunities and overcoming challenges in managing local talent in KSA. As the HR landscape in the region gets more challenging, it is imperative for corporations to realize that HR needs to move on from the logistic function it is viewed as, to a critical business function that definitively impacts business bottomline.
The two day conference will focus on the evolving HR function in the Kingdom and innovative technologies that have come into play in the global HR industry. The conference will be held on the 14th and 15th of March 2017 in Riyadh, KSA.
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