Why Dubai Airports invested in its employer brand
Despite its global standing, Dubai Airports was seen as a public-sector employer. The polar opposite of the dynamic, fast-paced world class operation they actually are. And this was impacting their ability to attract the talent they needed to deliver on their expansion goals and their vision to become the world’s premier aviation hub.
So, for the first time, they decided to invest in an employer branding strategy. One that would help them overcome a number of significant cultural challenges in order to:
- Hire more Emiratis and more women
- Attract an even higher caliber of international professionals
- Transform a reactive hiring model into a strategic, direct hiring model
The solution: establishing an employee value proposition and culture theme across the company that is deeply rooted in diversity and belonging.
“Since I joined Dubai Airports I have always focused on transforming the Human Resources department from what it was to what it is today. Human resources is about looking at our staff, making sure that they are well engaged and happy. Apart from the vision to be the number one airport worldwide, we also want to have the happiest employees working at Dubai Airports.”
Focusing on diversity & belonging was key
Dubai Airports embedded their employee value proposition by creating a talent theme, and a talent culture that people wanted to be part of. It's all about a sense of belonging and a sense of pride.
Executive Vice President, Strategy & Development, Richard Talian, says that he has always wanted to work in aviation, so his current job is really a dream come true for him.
“We are quite fortunate in Dubai Airports to be based in Terminal 1, and you only have to walk outside the offices and you can see the general public interacting with our facilities which makes it quite human for you when you see those reactions to it. People move through the airport with a variety of different emotions and I think understanding that customer base and then having the challenge to turn that into an airport infrastructure is something that keeps me motivated.”
Some of the programs ran by Dubai Airports were internship programs, graduate programs and they also had a specific women’s programs which is all about developing women’s' skills for the future and helping them reach the next stage of their career.
“As an Emirati woman, what I look for is empowerment and that's what this organization gives me. It really gives me the opportunity to showcase myself, and showcase my abilities and what I can achieve.”
Partnering with LinkedIn to bring it all to Life
Dubai Airports hiring strategy was clear, they wanted to get the best talent, at the right time, in the right place. In order to do that they had to move from a tactical resourcing function into a strategic business partnering talent acquisition function; which means that they partner far closer with the business, they predict demand, pipeline skills, and they have the right talent ready when they need it.
“We decided to partner with LinkedIn Talent Solutions because they are the one company that can offer us a real reach for our talent brand into the market in a very segmented way, allowing us to really engage people with our talent theme who would have not known about Dubai Airports previously.”