Brad Boyson Regional Director of SHRM – Our October Spotlight

This months CLO-ME Spotlight feature is Brad Boyson from SHRM

1. Tell us about your experience in the Middle East?

I relocated to Dubai in 2008 to work for Emaar; having only just recently left that organization to set up the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) office in Dubai. Previously I had the good fortune to work all over the world, quite literally. Working for the likes of Mitsubishi Corporation and Royal Caribbean helped me earn a living while learning and practicing HR globally around the world.

Late 2008 / early 2009 was not a good time for anyone working globally in HR. Nevertheless, I’m both pleased and proud to see how the region has bounced back from the global financial crisis; arguably stronger than before. There is truly something special about the people working in this region. Many chose to relocate for economic reasons only to find that the region’s incredible diversity and desire to improve makes it an ideal place for them to not only develop their careers but personally grow as global citizens.

2.      How would you describe the culture of your business.

It’s hard to describe the culture of SHRM, it’s probably better to talk in terms of the culture of SHRM members in general. For example SHRM members (not just its employees) are the leaders globally in promoting three very important projects that will redefine the practice of HR

The first is the ISO HR standards project (TC 260) which is entering its second year and is chaired by SHRM. Second is the new professional certifications called HRBP (HR Business Professional) and HRMP (HR Management Professional). These nation – neutral professional HR certifications are the first of their kind globally and will allow HR practitioners to prove their professional competence in HR without having to become experts in a foreign nations’ employment laws. Third is the development of SHRM’s new competency model called The Element of HR Success

All of these are member driven projects which are shifting the profession from being overly academic and theoretical to practical and applied for success. That is the common culture of SHRM members: knowing the future of HR by creating the future of HR.

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

I’m fortunate as I am the head person on the ground for SHRM in this region, plus SHRM as an organization is actually fairly small in terms of employee headcount relative to its 260,000 members world-wide. SHRM’s global agenda is to offer more direct support to its international members where they live and work. As such one of our goals is to make SHRM MEA more self-sufficient by partner with like-minded training and consulting firms / individuals in the region. The latter is clearly a joint effort, thus collaboration is a central aspect of our decision making process globally and locally.

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

Five years a bit long time to project; just think how much has changed since 2007 and who would have predicted, let alone be prepared, for the changes that have occurred since. In the nearer term, SHRM’s challenge is to educate and inform decision makers in the region as to what makes SHRM different as well as to promote our professionally certified members (PHR, SPHR, GPHR, HRBP, HRMP) as being the top HR practitioners in the field of HR – globally. As such my main challenge is marketing SHRM; I’m fully confident the members of SHRM will do the rest to prove their value to the community thereafter.

5.   What are the skills and competencies that you would need to train in order to meet the regions talent requirements.

I may be a bit biased here, but it all starts with HR role modeling the organizational outcomes sought. Organizations in the UAE and GCC need to hire real HR people working in their HR departments. By real I mean people who have acquired the following competencies as per SHRM new (Jan 2013) competency model called the Elements for HR Success. The model consists of nine primary competency domains:

·         HR Expertise and Practice (the “cornerstone”)

·         Relationship Management

·         Consultation

·         Organizational Leadership and Navigation

·         Communication

·         Global and Cultural Effectiveness

·         Ethical Practice

·         Business Acumen

·         Critical Evaluation

We sincerely believe the single best way to acquire the first cornerstone of HR competence is though our professional certifications (e.g. HRBP or HRMP). We’re also proud of the fact that our research showed that ‘Global and Culture Effectiveness’ were and are a primary competency in HR – anywhere in the world. Most other competency models put these elements as secondary (or

Thank you Brad

Please post your comments below so you can interact with him Brad and fellow CLO-ME members