How long have you been in your current role and where did you work before?

I joined Drees & Sommer (D&S) as director of human resources (HR), marketing, and finance in February this year. Prior to joining the business, I worked for the European utility company RWE, in London.

What are the key challenges that you face in your current role?

With an annual revenue of almost $490m (AED1.8bn) and 3,000 employees in 42 locations worldwide, D&S consults public and private clients and investors on all matters related to construction and maintenance.

D&S Middle East is in the fortunate position of experiencing rapid growth, in a highly volatile market. To develop a successful corporate practice while maintaining the high standards set globally, both internally and externally, in a challenging environment like this, is what I anticipate as my biggest challenge.

That said, being successful at this is the differentiating factor in being a successful enterprise.

What do you love most about your job?

That so many different cultures, personalities, and market characteristics are prevalent. Keeping to the above-mentioned high standards brings daily challenges and adjustments, on both personal and professional levels. In order to meet these challenges, you have to be all in, every moment, which can be quite demanding, but it’s definitely the thing I love the most.

How do you see the regional construction job market shaping up this year?

In recent years,  the Middle East’s construction market has undergone a significant restructuring of its financial priorities to achieve long-term objectives, mostly as a result of the gradual decline in oil prices. A transition period like this brings challenges to businesses’ cores, including cash flow, as well as a shift from an employee-driven market to an employer-driven one. Candidates’ interpersonal, digital, and commercial skills are becoming more important.

Companies, meanwhile, are starting to place more focus on offering long-term security, career growth opportunities, and a healthy work-life balance in order to become more attractive to top talent. It’s an interesting time.