GNcareers, from Gulf News

Indu Maritime and Logistics talks on challenges and outsourcing among others

DulscoAijaz Mohammad, Partner, Indu Maritime & Logistics

Recently, Aijaz Mohammad, Partner, Indu Maritime & Logistics spoke with Satnam Grover, General Manager, Logistics, Dulsco

Indu Maritime & Logistics, the freight forwarding and logistics arm of Indu Group, with a strength of 120 staff members, specializes in a comprehensive range of supply chain and total logistics solutions. Logistics is the most sensitive aspect of trading and manufacturing processes and hence requires detail planning. Indu is one among the few companies able to offer structures and services that have been specifically designed for providing customized logistics solutions.

What are your thoughts on the key contributions that an HR department provides to a business?

Aijaz Mohammad: Key contribution basically is identifying the right talent. It helps organization to improve its performance by authorizing the right people, doing the  right exercise. HR Division is the tool, which nurtures and equips people to align the employees’ abilities and skills towards achieving business objectives. It helps the organization to increase the motivation of its workers, thus increase the performance. Through succession planning that human resources develops, the company identifies employees with the promise and requisite capabilities to eventually transition into leadership roles with the company and so this is an important function as it can guarantee the organization's stability and future success

We rather see everyone working with our organization to be content with what they are doing along with career development and all these factors becomes the key responsibilities of H.R.

What are the challenges in recruiting candidates in UAE?

Aijaz Mohammad: Quite a lot! The market cycle defines the challenges and this varies from industry to industry. During the peak UAE employment market continues to thrive and demand for a specialist occupation far outweighs supply, resulting in talent shortages across the region. Whereas during the down side; Small Market and huge talent force, creates high competition for a single role.

To find the right talent whilst sticking to a budget is a challenge for any company. Not only keeping up with the change but staying ahead of the competition is a significant challenge for any organization to attract talents.

Often the resume and the interview sessions , do not fall in line with the actual performance of the candidate and this is the grey area which the HR department primarily needs to overcome as the administration cost attached to the hiring process of employees are quite high in UAE

Often temporary staffing/outsourcing is considered to accommodate peaks in business activity, reduce visa and admin hassles, and optimize costs. Does your company use outsourced staff? Can you tell us a little more about your experiences?

Aijaz Mohammad: We do use them sometimes, but to a large extent it’s our in-house recruitments which happen. But as you mentioned when the businesses are at its peak, of-course the work load is on higher side wherein we look at the outsourcing model. And that’s primarily for the blue collared workers whereas for the management and the operations levels it is always been the in-house.

It makes a lot of sense to hire from an outsourced agency when we have to consider the facts of administrative cost in hiring ; period of business peaks etc. Hence the outsourcing model fits this need quite well.

What do you think is the next big shift you expect / want to see in the HR function?

Aijaz Mohammad:Retention is the key strategy any organization should really focus now or at any point in time. “Happy Employees = Healthy Work Environment & High Productivity”. Employment visa contract being between the time frame of 2-3 years and with the recent decisions from the Ministry of Labour where each employee has the right to change employment, makes the role of the HR even more challenging. Of-course we do have to a large extend of our workforce which continues with the company because they are happy.

There needs to be a shift in looking at outsourcing as not just a substitute to manpower but an integral part of company, because what I could see is that when we take blue collared staff from an outsourced company they don’t have a sense of belongingness to the organization. It’s just they have a time shift, they need to work and they have to leave. There is nothing that keeps them attached to the company or its values. Even the owner of the company doesn’t really see them as part of the organization. Because when I sign a contract for supplied x numbers of people it’s the outsourcing company job is to ensure the numbers are matched and that couldn’t be the same person who is being deployed for months on end, it’s based on the discretion of the company handling the requirement.

Annually we review staff performance and tag it to incentives. We would want to do so even with the outsourced team as well as they too have been a factor in the growth of the company. Hence such factors need to be looked in by H.R. And going forward I see the outsourced model growing , because it’s quite a hassle handling H.R. with a non macro company like us. Where as a company like Dulsco has all the resources to look after these aspects keeping us free to look at our core strengths and expansion of business ventures.