I met with Huda in India during our IFTDO board meeting and was impressed by her knowledge and experience. Huda is the General Manager of training & development of Saudi Aramco, one of the largest oil companies in the world. I asked her to share with me what she does and her insights of L&D in Saudi Aramco.

1. Please tell me more about your job at Saudi Aramco.
As the head of the Human Resources development function at Saudi Aramco, I am responsible for the planning and delivery of corporate education, training and development programs for all segments of the workforce covering industrial, administrative, professional, and leadership positions.  

2. What are the major challenges you are facing as the learning and development leader? And how are you overcoming them?

We have three main challenges:  Closing the knowledge gap created by increased retirements of industry experts, engaging the new generation at work and building the new generation of leaders.  Our workforce strategy emphasizes these areas and we have initiatives in place to maintain a steady flow of talent regardless of economic and labor markets conditions.  For example, our workforce planning model forecasts talent needs, anticipates gaps and identifies effective strategies to close those gaps.  We use this information to guide calibrated recruiting and mobility decisions.  Our approach requires intricate collaboration across the various business functions to help the company secure a continuous supply of industrial and professional workers to fill specific jobs.

3. What are the key success factors of Saudi Aramco’s Human Capital strategy?
Our key success factors include rigorous workforce planning methods, substantial targeted investments in education and training, and expansive talent mobility programs that provide employees exposure to best practices internally and externally.  These factors ensure that we have the talent pool we need to sustain our business for many years to come.  These practices involve extensive collaboration across stakeholders within and outside the company to substantially compress the cycle time for turning new recruits into contributing team members, competent professionals and effective leaders.

 Contact me at wwang@astd.org if you have a strory to tell.