Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Global talent advisory and headhunting consultancy, Hanson Search recently joined forces with PRCA MENA and The Work Crowd for a special industry-wide event, providing strategic insights into cultivating a strong talent pool and fostering growth through company culture.

The event, 'Navigating Talent and Building Dynamic Cultures', addressed some of the most critical and prevalent challenges businesses face in today's talent market, including employee loyalty, over-promotion, evolving employee expectations, and scepticism around investing in training and incentives, like bonuses and the impact of AI on workplace culture. 

Chaired by CEO and Co-Founder of Hanson Search and The Work Crowd, Alice Weightman, the event featured panellists: Hanna Nordell, Chief People Officer of Talabat, Lucy d'Abo, CEO of Together, Jamal Al Mawed, CEO of Gamit Communications, and Felice Hurst, Managing Partner of Hanson Search.

Helping leaders drive growth from within, the panel of experts disclosed how to develop bespoke talent strategies which attract and retain top-tier professionals, ways to nurture loyalty and engagement in the workplace, the impact of AI on culture, and other actionable solutions.

Alice Weightman, CEO and Co-Founder of Hanson Search & The Work Crowd said: "As one of the world's fastest growing regions for brands, scaleups and startups, MENA presents a uniquely demanding landscape which intensifies talent challenges compared to other global hubs. Many of our clients come to us with the same questions: how do we attract and retain quality professionals? How do we establish a strong workplace culture? How do we balance investment into talent development amongst other financial pressures?

"These are ongoing conversations taking place in small and large corporations alike, and it's critical that we, as an industry, come together to share our views and experiences. We're really pleased to be bringing real, practical solutions to the forefront of this discussion, and help businesses leverage their talent to grow and scale in the MENA region."

Across the board, panellists agreed that developing a positive working environment led to a successful business structure. At its core, this requires a holistic approach which combines crucial pillars of transparency, empathy, flexibility, and strategic use of technology.

According to the experts, fostering an environment of loyalty and growth calls for understanding the context of your workplace, the differing and shared priorities of your talent, and how leadership can both care and cultivate these to support retention.

Defining realistic career paths enables professionals to better understand their progression and opportunities, and the resulting financial development they could attain. Similarly, having transparent communication about company performance and current economic conditions creates a sense of trust and control amongst talent.

The event speakers shared their views on the challenges fully remote working can present for company culture. Advising that employees should be encouraged to come to the office for the majority of the working week, panellists said that clear expectations are key, as is creating an environment which talent will want to benefit from. Personalised flexibility can then be introduced, such as working from abroad, flexible hours and conditions for parents and carers, and so on.

Discussing the careful balance of investment vs. overpayment in talent attraction, panellists advised to look beyond salaries at the full picture of remuneration and recognition. Rather than try to compete at the same rates of larger corporations, smaller businesses should consider a more personalised approach to benefits packages, and make use of their agile operations.

Touching on one of the most in-demand topics right now, panellists shared a word of caution with leaders on the risks of replacing people for AI and overloading staff’s workload. While the tech can be used as a workplace enhancer, taking admin-heavy tasks and freeing talent to be more creative and strategic, it can have the inverse effect if used to solely drive profit, resulting in a negative culture.

Central takeaways from the discussion included that encouraging a culture of consistent success helps keep employees motivated, and celebrating collective achievements fosters a collaborative atmosphere. It’s equally as important to build a culture of trust by focusing on outcomes rather than micromanagement. Panellists also advised leaders to ensure that high performance is linked to competence, not stress, and to implement measures to manage pressure - particularly in agency settings.

Employee departures could be viewed positively, said the speakers, and a chance to maintain good relationships with alumni. Finally, an inclusive and supportive environment is absolutely essential to help employees feel valued, enhance retention rates, and build consistent engagement.

Hanson Search, PRCA MENA and The Work Crowd have a combined network of 4,800 pre-vetted professionals across the world, and partner with some of the biggest, most notable global brands in PR, communications and marketing. This event is just one of the many industry discussions hosted by the organisations in a bid to support more leaders address business pressures and achieve objectives.


About Hanson Search

Hanson Search is a globally recognised, award-winning talent advisory and headhunting consultancy. We excel in helping businesses thrive in the areas of revenue, reputation, and risk management. Our expertise lies in building successful ventures worldwide by identifying and securing world-class talent with exceptional skillsets in communications, sustainability, public affairs, digital marketing, and sales. With a network of consultants based across the UK, Europe, the US, and the Middle East, we have a global reach. Over our two-decade history, we have successfully hired CEOs, curated boards, and built teams that drive growth and transformation for start-ups to established organisations. 

For more information visit:

About The Work Crowd

The Work Crowd is a platform connecting businesses to a global community of expert consultants, freelancers and advisors. Powered by innovative technology and human intelligence, it assembles one of the industry's largest communities of on-demand, pre-vetted talent. This award-winning platform fosters growth through collaboration, offering services designed to activate projects and enhance leadership, team knowledge, and key skills. With a unique blend of international talent from the UK, USA, Europe, and the Middle East, The Work Crowd provides businesses with access to skilled individuals across various sectors in critical roles that drive reputation, revenue, and risk management. Trusted by leading businesses, brands, and government departments, The Work Crowd's talent has been deployed to build agile marketing functions, develop thought leadership content, secure coverage in local and international press, and drive sustainability initiatives.