Ron Thomas

Ron Thomas is CEO of Great Place to Work-GCC countries, based in Dubai. He formerly was Chief HR Officer of the RGTS Group in Saudi Arabia. Ron is also a senior faculty member of the Human Capital Institute. He holds certifications from the Human Capital Institute as a Master Human Capital Strategist (MHCS) and Strategic Workforce Planner (SWP). Ron's prior roles included senior HR positions with Xerox HR services, IBM, and Martha Stewart Living. Board memberships include the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, McKinsey Quarterly Executive Online Panel, and HCI's Expert Advisory Council on Talent Management Strategy. He received the Outstanding Leadership Award for Global HR Excellence at the World Human Resources Development Congress in Mumbai, and was named as one of the 50 Most Talented Global HR Leaders in Asia. Contact him at ronaldtthomas@gmail.com or on Twitter.

Articles by Ron Thomas

Global HR, Recruiting and Staffing

What I Learned About Diversity Working in the Middle East

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“But, the next office to open will be special.”

It’s the all-women office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that MediaCom MENA will be opening. This was the statement by CEO Nick Barron in his recent essay for the magazine Campaign Middle East.

When discussing the all-women’s office, he said it has elicited positive response among his current clients. The office will have 8-15 women on staff.

His reasoning for his staffing model is because 70 percent of the ad dollars spent in KSA are targeted at women because they make the decisions in many categories, even when the actual purchase is made by men Read more…

Global HR, Talent Management

A Few Things to Consider If You Want My Help in Finding a Job

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Thank you for accepting my request. l am currently looking for a job and l was wondering if you could help me? l am in Dubai on a tourist visa. Please find below my CV.

Can you kindly review my CV and help me find a job?

My husband needs a new job. He is a hard worker; please help him find a job.

I am a mechanical engineer; can you get me job in your firm?

All in a week’s work. Read more…

Classic TLNT

The Problem With Meetings? They Cost More Than They’re Really Worth

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Editor’s Note: Readers frequently ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday.

How much is it costing?

We just spent over $5,000 for a half-hour meeting,” one of the senior executives said. The meeting was to decide the scheduled lunch hour, and this was the second meeting.

As I heard this, I could almost see an old-fashioned time clock at the conference room door that punched time in and time out. Taking that a step further, we could envision, at the end of the “month,” the exact cost for each one of these important meetings. It would be a sobering report if all of our meeting hours were calculated as such. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

In Case You’ve Forgotten, Here’s How Real Leadership Looks

From Dreamstime.com

This holiday season, you’ve probably seen or read about all the retailers opening their doors as early as 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day. We have decided not to follow that trend. Instead, we believe family comes first and you should be at home celebrating with them on this special holiday. This means none of our stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, none of our stores will be open before 7 am on Black Friday. ” -- Michael R. MacDonald, CEO, DSW Shoes

I came across this on Facebook the other day. It rang so true to me since my wife and a lot of her friends work in retail from the management end. Read more…

HR Insights

Someone Is Always Watching or Listening, So Make Your Message Clear

Listening

Do I know you?

Someone commented on a picture that I posted on Facebook, saying to me that  “you look more and more like your daddy.”

When the person responded to that question, I was in for the surprise of my life. The woman grew up a few blocks from me, and yes, our families knew each other.

However, she proceeded to tell me a story of how she idolized my brother, who was a saxophone player. She is now a doctorate in music and known the world over for her music prowess. Read more…

Talent Management

What Do You Do When Your Career Suddenly Gets Cancelled?

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“I would advise all of them if they find another career, take it and do not look back.”

This statement came from a captain in a local police force. He was referencing the layoffs that had hampered the police department in a large East Coast city.

Close to 200 officers had been laid off, and according to the newspaper article, only a handful had been rehired back into their career of law enforcement. Read more…

HR Insights

The New Career Mantra: Turn Every Call and Contact Into an Interview

© freehandz - Fotolia.com

“I worked all those years, coming to work every day, doing a great job. Each year there was a raise and eventually more responsibility.

I went home at the end of the day and came back the following day. I repeated that cycle all those years until one day, I came in and was let go.

During all those years I had received numerous inquiries from outside headhunters, but at each call was kindly rebuffed because I loved what I was doing. My resume had never been updated in all those years, and I had not interviewed in 24 years.” Read more…

Leadership

You’ll Be a Better Leader and Manager If You Don’t Believe the Hype

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She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events that I had missed due to work commitments.

Talk about a wake-up call. The list included 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season, to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t over yet.

This note was from a CEO’s daughter to her dad, Mohamed El-Erian, the former chief executive of the investment firm Pimco, who was frustrated that his daughter was not listening to him. Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

When It Comes to Good Management, It’s All About Just Walking Around

Handshake onboarding

I can’t believe this guy. He did not show any concern as to why I was leaving. He is the CXX and he had three people leave within the past month, plus me. And with all of us, there was no exit interview or anything.

When I tried to steer the conversation to the office environment, he countered as if it was all our fault. Totally clueless.

After that conversation, I to concur that one of the hallmarks of a great leader is the ability to LISTEN. If your organization is suffering withdrawal and your turnover is inching up, you should be concerned. That is a basic. Read more…

HR Insights

Getting Ready to Pounce When the Next Opportunity Comes

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“Can you make the connection for me? I would love to get an opportunity with them based on this article.”

The other email read, “Could you send a copy of my resume over to her and tell her to “help a brother out.”

Friday is a day for me to connect back to the U.S. with requests like the one above, follow-up, and meet new people. But sometimes I get a little perturbed with the level of request and the cluelessness of the people making it.

Granted, I do know a lot of people and I am always willing to share my network with them. The problem is that sometime the requestors do not realize is that this is the major leagues. This career conundrum is a serious business. Read more…