Joseph is a bilingual Trainer, with over 25 years’ experience in Corporate Training, Management, Human Resources, Talent Management and Administration Management. In his working career he has also been involved in a number of high-level HR consultancy projects, within both the private and public sectors.
Joseph is a Syrian national, with an MBA in Management from The American University of Science and Technology (AUST), Lebanon, (2005). He is also a Certified Human Resources Manager, from Columbia Southern University, U.S.A. (2003), a Certified Human Resources Auditor from George Washington University, U.S.A. (2010), and a Certified Targeted Selection Interviewer & Trainer from Development Dimensions International (DDI), Turkey (2009).
After graduating from university, Joseph worked from 1989 to 1999, at the Canadian Embassy, Damascus, as Personnel and Immigration Officer. The embassy had a staff of around 80. Joseph’s key responsibilities included: processing applications for permanent residence, temporary visitor / work / student permits, in accordance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; conducting selection interviews; identifying fraud / misrepresentation; managing the acts and regulations interpretation and implementation; conducting the selection of immigrants and non-immigrant applicants through screening and interviewing, as per Canadian government regulations and standards.
Looking to work in the corporate field, in 2000 Joseph was appointed as Recruitment and Selection Manager, for a major national mobile telephone operator, Syriatel, headquartered in Damascus. He was part of the general management team, responsible for over 1,200 staff, countrywide. The company delivered GSM services to over three million active subscribers. Joseph’s key responsibilities included: establishing and managing the Human Resource Department; developing and implementing the HR processes and procedures; human resource planning; recruitment and selection; performance evaluation; training and development / leadership and development; organizational learning; employee engagement; motivation and productivity; managing transformation and change, etc. He was promoted quickly to the top management team, which launched the GSM project in Syria, in partnership with ORASCOM Telecom (Egypt).
In parallel with his role as HR Manager within the organization, Joseph was engaged with a team that set up the organizational training academy. In this dual role, he participated in creating the Syriatel Academy, at the same time as taking responsibility for delivering a number of internal courses. These included: Human Resource Management, Interviewing Techniques, Writing Job Descriptions, Performance Management, Management and Leadership, Management Processes, Supervisory Skills, and Stress Management.
In 2004, Joseph was offered the opportunity to join one of the largest car dealerships in the country, (The Sakkal Group) as Director of Human Resources.
The group had extensive logistics and warehousing capabilities nationally, and additional operations, such as oil services and the supply of medical equipment. The group employed over 650 personnel. Because it had been run as a traditional family business, Joseph’s key challenges were to restructure and modernise the HR function. In this role he focused on improving levels of customer service across the whole group. His key achievements were: creating a new culture, with focus on customer service, improved HR services, and improved communications. He significantly improved the HR services through better recruitment, improved employee relations, more effective talent acquisition and retention, and improved succession planning.
In 2007, having successfully completed the restructuring of The Sakkal Group, Joseph moved into the FMCG industry as HR Manager with Coca-Cola (Icecek), Syria. His key achievements here were: developing key operational HR strategies which supported the growth of the company’s market share, and building a solid management structure. In this position he implemented many management and leadership development programmes for ‘talented’ employees. He had a key responsibility for training, and was able to analyse training needs, and commission and deliver, ‘on target’ training directly linked to front-line service, and the ongoing success of the business.
Joseph then joined the company’s corporate training team, running a number of training programmes, including: Managerial Skills, Supervisory Skills, Interviewing Skills, Time Management, Human Resources Management, Stress Management, and Communication Skills. In this corporate training role, he achieved a number of internal certifications, including BOCCS (Basics of Coca-Cola System) / E-learning / Targeted Selection.
In 2011, Joseph moved to the banking sector, joining Bank Al Sharq S.A.S, as HR Manager. In this position he worked on transforming the HR Department by strategically aligning the HR budget, business plan, recruitment, training, performance, compensation and benefits policies, and change management.
Joseph’s vocational experience has been further expanded by continued professional development through study of a post-graduate programme with Victoria University, Manchester University, UK, resulting in a professional qualification in Human Resources Management Strategy (2003). Areas of expertise included: strategic management, structure and culture, the linking of corporate and HR strategy, and streamlining and implementing effective HR policies.
Joseph is a certified Human Resources Auditor, through the George Washington University School of Business. This allows him to offer professional HR Auditing to clients.
Joseph has also given many talks to the Syrian-European Business Center (SEBC – a non-profit institution established in 2006 as an NGO (Non-Government Organization) according to Syrian laws, benefiting from a legacy of a ten year cooperation between the EU and Syria in developing the business sector in Syria). Many of his presentations were on HR Management and other key management issues. He has also spoken at a number of job fairs and other special events, in both the public and private sectors.
Joseph’s practical experience, and wide knowledge of management issues, enabled him to develop a strong consulting approach to projects, and he has run successful consulting projects in both private and public sectors in various Syrian industries. Key projects included: working with ACU – Agency for Combatting Unemployment, a government initiative, (2004 and 2005); Al–Khoury Company for Medical Equipment (2005), Sakkal & Sons – Automotive (2007), SCB – Syrian Consulting Bureau (various projects, between January 2006 and January 2012).
Joseph has a range of experience across a number of different business sectors – diplomatic, telecommunications, automobile, medical, FMCG, banking, etc., – which gives him a keen insight into HR and management issues faced by different industries and business sectors. He brings to the training room practical knowledge and real-life examples, and problems, that help delegates appreciate, and understand, key issues, and the ‘possible solutions’ at their disposal.