May Spotlight on: Paul Turner Regional Director MENA of Havas People

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Paul Turner

Regional Director – MENA, Havas People


1.Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East.

I graduated from Durham University in 1983 in the midst of a deep recession (yes, they have happened before!) and worked as a roofer, a tyre and exhaust fitter and a supermarket shelf-stacker before falling by accident into the world of what was then known as Recruitment Advertising with Austin Knight – a family-owned ad agency working with public and private sector organisations to write and place recruitment advertisements in the print media.

In nearly thirty years since then, the industry has seen many changes. Not least the emergence of the internet and the resultant decline in print-based messaging which has meant a necessary evolution into a much more of a consultancy-based service.

Havas People is a Brand Consultancy specializing in employee communications and talent attraction. Particular areas of interest for us include helping clients with employee value proposition (EVP) and employer brand projects. We enable organisations to understand how they’re viewed by their existing employees and what should inform the external messaging they use to attract new staff. From there, we can help with deliverables such as social media strategy, careers websites, brochures and advertising.

We’re a global organization, part of the Havas Worldwide group, with offices in the UK, US, Europe and Australia. I opened our Dubai office on the 18th April 2015, so we are very new to the market here but very optimistic that we can bring our products and services to the HR community in the Region

  1. How would you describe the culture of your business?

I have worked in a number of agencies in this field and can safely say that Havas is by far the most collaborative and supportive environment I have encountered.

From a client point of view, you can expect a highly personal, bespoke service – one size certainly doesn’t fit all! – backed by the resources, expertise and enthusiasm of a committed team.

In Dubai, I aim to deliver the same standards of quality and cost-effectiveness for my clients

  1. How easy is it for you to get direct access to the decision makers in your company?

The decision makers I need to reach are primarily in the HR community and so far, I have found people very willing to talk about some of the very region-specific challenges they face as well as the more global initiatives they are interested in. I want to add value to those conversations and actively participate in the debate. Obviously if that leads to some business for me, so much the better!

  1. What are your biggest challenges in the next 5 years?

For me, the challenge will be to build the Havas People business here in the Middle East; to create a centre of excellence and build a local team of experts to deliver across our full range of products and services which cover the full life-cycle of candidate attraction, engagement and retention.

  1. What is your philosophy?

From a personal point of view, I always go back to the Maya Angelou quotation which I think is just as pertinent in an HR sense when you are thinking about how to engage with employees and candidates

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel


Paul Turner
Regional Director MENA

Office Havas People Middle East, Knowledge Village, Al Sufouh 2 Street, Choueiri Building,Dubai,UAE
Email Web
Mob +971 55 420 3102 Dir +971 4 455 6121

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