HKA reveals strategy to retain national employees in Saudi Arabia

EXCLUSIVE: Moving Saudi staff to overseas offices has helped double their time with HKA, partner John McKevitt tells CW

Saudisation is a national priority [representational].
Arabian Business / Archives
Saudisation is a national priority [representational].

Construction claims and dispute resolution consultancy and advisory HKA's partner, John McKevitt, told Construction Week that one of the company's strategies to retain Saudi Arabian staff was to send them to its overseas offices, with the strategy having helped double retetion periods for the Saudi staff. 

Speaking during Construction Week’s Leaders in KSA Roundtable 2019 – held ahead of Construction Week's Leaders in KSA Awards 2019 in Riyadh on the 30 September – McKevitt said experience at HKA's offices in the UK, Singapore, and the US had increased the number of years spent by Saudi nationals at the company. 

He explained: “It’s hard to invest the time and effort to upskill local Saudis and then to have them leave. To have a skilled Saudi local is a good asset and sometimes, they are offered an accelerated career route.

“However, we do struggle to retain staff, and therefore we offer Saudi nationals global experience [so as] to prolong them in the business from two to three years to six to seven years.”

McKevitt was joined on the roundtable by Parsons' senior business development manager and senior vice president, Mohammed Nabeel Ali and John Rinard respectively; Salfo & Associates' area director for the Middle East, Konstantinos Dimitros; Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' training development manager, Phil Wittam; and Reed Smith’s Middle East head, Sachin Kerur.

The Leaders in Construction KSA Awards 2019 were supported by Gold Sponsors Parsons, Arabian Construction Co (ACC), C&P, HFW, and Salfo; Silver Sponsors, Khatib & Alami, Al Tamimi & Co, and Al Nasser Group; Category Sponsor, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; Legal Partner, Reed Smith; and Official Claims Partner, HKA.

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