INTERVIEW WITH HOSSAM SOLIMAN

HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR OF L'OREAL EGYPT

The field of human resources plays an important role in the process of evolving individuals, teams and organizations. In every issue, we like to interview HR leaders in the region to hear their opinions and share their learning experiences. Here we catch up with Hossam Soliman, HR Director of L’Oréal Egypt.

WHAT ARE THE KEY CHARACTERISTICS THAT HELPED YOU REACH YOUR CURRENT POSITION?

I believe many major characteristics played a vital role:

• Passion

• Dedication

• Love of learning both personally and professionally

• Transparent and effective communication skills

• And, of course leadership

Additionally, as a certified life & executive coach with professional experience, it strengthens my ability to guide people in their professional career.


WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

Firstly, I like to look at challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Challenges stretch us to think outside of the box. If I look at what is my biggest learning so far: HR is all about people. New generations arise with many different characteristics and habits and as a business grows, strategies and structures need to grow as well. To stay abreast, you need to constantly study and adapt to those changes to manage accordingly. This is whilst translating it all into new HR visions, strategies and processes.


HOW DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF HR EVOLVING IN EGYPT?

The role of HR is evolving very fast in Egypt, especially in the last two decades. Most organizations have realized the role of HR and its vital impact on organizational change. This role has evolved from a back office, administrative and reactive function to a proactive department that lives right at the heart of the organization. In addition, the chang-es in the economic conditions of the 21st century have brought about the need for HR leaders to take on additional responsibilities, make strategic decisions and be an important member of an organization’s executive committee.


As a result, HR is now a much more effective function and it is leaving a positive footprint in many sectors. By offering professional develop-ment, it is helping to create leaders that are more able to explore new horizons and excel in their careers. This in turn is developing an enter-prising spirit that is positively influencing the country.


WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES IN HR MANAGEMNT BETWEEN THE FMCG INDUSTRY AND OTHERS

In my opinion, HR principles and basics are the same in all industries. The difference is how to adapt these principles relevantly to the business type and accordingly translate them into a specific HR vision and mission that aligns with the business goals and strategic plans.


The FMCG sector is a vibrant work environment that requires an HR management style to be just as dynamic. With the massive move towards digitalization, which is currently prevailing in the FMCG sector, there is a high move towards Millennials, and this generation requires special attention in terms of HR management to ensure that they stay motivated and engaged.


WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS OF L’ORÉAL WHEN IT COMES TO HIRING EMPLOYEES?

At L’Oréal, we always seek to hire the best caliber of people. We keep our corporate values in mind and strive to match them with people competencies, so that we can provide the best working environment. This allows us to secure our position in being the employer of choice. To do that, we have certain