Abdulrahman Alsheail has officially been selected by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the US to become a member of its Certification Commission. He is the first appointee from Saudi Arabia.
SHRM, which is based in Alexandria, VA, is a major driving force for reform in the Human Resources (HR) industry throughout the world. The Certification Commission is charged primarily with technical supervision and advisory support for the organisation’s professional certification programmes, which nearly all HR professionals must obtain.
SHRM was founded in 1948 and has over 300,000 members in 165 countries worldwide. The group aims to elevate the HR profession by creating a workplace environment where employers and employees thrive together.
Alsheail, human resources director-general at The Institute of Public Administration (IPA) in Saudi Arabia, was thrilled at the prospect of working with his international colleagues to help develop and refine standards for the profession. “This will be the first time a member from Saudi Arabia has been selected as a member of the commission,” Alsheail said.
Alsheail has more than 11 years of proven results in solving specific and complex challenges in firms in Saudi Arabia by leveraging operational and leadership strengths. He is well-known in the industry as a thought leader, a pioneer, and at the forefront of transformation in the workplace.
At IPA, Alsheail oversees HR strategies and is a faculty member who delivers professional training programs. He also conducts studies and consulting projects related to HR.
Alsheail notes that Saudi Arabia has been grappling with what is being labeled the 'Great Reshuffling' through the last few years as countries worldwide braced against the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Similarly, the US has been dealing with the 'Great Resignation', where more than 45 million employees have quit their jobs, and stayed at home.
At first, human resource departments suspected that many of the quitters were simply leaving the job market. But more recent data reveals that these quitters, especially those in their 20s and 30s, were re-evaluating their options as the labour market widened with more jobs and more varied opportunities.
This shift, which happened in many industrialised countries, led to a massive reshuffling of employment forces in a wide range of industries and markets. Saudi Arabia was not immune to the changes. In fact, data reveals that the country has undergone some of the most radical job-life changes in the world. Saudis have been obtaining new jobs at some of the highest rates when compared with other high-income countries, Alsheail points out. The movement was led primarily by Saudi women who have been encouraged into the workplace under new reforms initiated by the government. In just two years, the share of professionally working Saudi women has increased by a record-breaking pace of 64 percent.
Members of the Commission are carefully vetted before they are selected by the SHRM. These notable professionals in the HR industry are well-qualified experts and senior specialists from throughout the world. They are responsible for ensuring that the certification program meets the highest standards of quality and fairness. This includes overseeing all technical aspects of the program, such as exam development, eligibility criteria, and recertification process.
"I am honoured to have been selected for such a prestigious role within the human resources industry. I can’t thank SHRM enough for this opportunity,” Alsheail added. “I'm confident my breadth of knowledge and extensive experience will benefit the group and the industry as a whole."
Alsheail, like many others, is happy to see clear development and progression within the industry in his home country, and how the HR practices and regulations are changing and becoming more progressive. Saudi Arabia is undergoing a significant shift as the labour market becomes more global. In attempts to modernise the workplace, the country has been updating its laws and regulations surrounding work-related issues. This means big changes are coming for those in HR.
“There’s no better time to be in the HR industry,” Alsheail said. Alsheail’s significant contributions to the HR field have won him multiple awards, such as 'GOV HR Leader of the Year' (2021), 'Best L&D Program' by CIPD (2020), and more. He has also served as a keynote speaker and a panelist for major international and national human resources conferences. Alsheail holds a master’s in teaching international languages from California State University, Chico, and a bachelor's in English language and translation from Qassim University in Saudi Arabia. He is also a certified ROI Professional and has several other industry certifications.
—Deepak Jain is an independent blockchain publicist.