Q&A with Seniora El-Hage: Managing Partner at Phoenix Consulting

29 February 2024 Consultancy-me.com 10 min. read
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With over 20 years of experience and at the helm of a leading player in the region, Seniora El-Hage is one of the better known experts in human capital consulting. We sat down with the Managing Partner of Phoenix Consulting to find out more about her journey, the firm’s growth since the early days, and some of the top talent themes for the year ahead.

You’ve been with Phoenix Consulting for over a dozen years now. How do you reflect on the journey so far and what are you most proud of?

Being with Phoenix Consulting from day one, I am certainly overwhelmed with pride (to say the least) seeing where Phoenix Consulting has started in 2010 from our office in Lebanon and the level it has reached today after 13 years with five major offices in the whole MENA region and hundreds of reputable clients and partners.

I also take fulfilment in the expansion of our client base and the long-term partnerships we have established. It is a testament to the trust and confidence that organizations have placed in our expertise and the value we have brought and keep bringing to their businesses.

Q&A with Seniora El-Hage: Managing Partner at Phoenix Consulting

Furthermore, I am proud of our team of experienced HR consultants that has played a pivotal role in our success. Their deep knowledge, industry insights, and commitment to excellence have allowed us to consistently deliver tailored solutions that address the unique needs of each client.

Not discounting our achievements and growth, on the organizational aspect, client base, relationships, and partnerships. Over the years, we have successfully assisted numerous organizations in optimizing their human resources strategies, improving employee engagement, and fostering a positive work culture. Our dedication to delivering high-quality consulting services has resulted in tangible outcomes for our clients, such as increased productivity, enhanced talent management, development, and improved employee retention.

Having said that, we will remain committed to continuous growth and staying at the forefront of human capital practices and trends. By leveraging our expertise and embracing innovation, we aim to continue making a positive impact on organizations and contributing to their long-term success in the whole MENA region.

You lead the firm’s Talent Management solution. How does the practice support clients with delivering their talent agenda?

Our approach to talent management is built on a comprehensive and tailored understanding of our clients' unique organizational needs and challenges.

Some of the key takeaways in which our Talent Management practice contributes in supporting our clients to achieve their agenda:

Strategic Alignment: by working closely with the client to align their talent management strategy with their overall business objectives. From understanding their mission/vision as well as their short-term and long-term goals which will allow us to tailor our solutions and come up with a strategy that will contribute to the success of their initiative(s).

Customized Solutions: One size does not fit all, whether it relates to workforce planning, leadership development, or succession planning, our team of consultants builds strategies and programs that are specifically designed to meet the needs and culture of each client.

Adaptability and Innovation: In a rapidly changing business environment, we ensure that our practices are adaptable and innovative. This involves staying ahead of industry trends, emerging technologies, and evolving psychometric studies.

We believe that investing in the development and engagement of employees is essential for long-term organizational success. Our services are aimed at empowering our clients to develop, plan and retain the right talent to achieve their objectives.

Phoenix Consulting recently held its annual talent conference in Oman, bringing together leaders from across the landscape. What were the key takeaways?

The ‘Let’s Talk Hogan’ conference was a pivotal event that brought together various industry leaders and peers from the region which enriched the discussions and brought the experience to another level. To date, we are still hearing about the tremendous success of the conference that got people talking about the latest trends and best practices in our industry.

At the event, we walked through through several topics with our panellists around navigating leadership crisis, what it takes to be a self-aware leader, and empowering the workforce through digital transformation. We also introduced participants to how psychometric assessments can be more specific with Hogan Assessments.

How does Hogan Assessments help organizations improve their talent assessment?
Hogan helps organizations improve their talent through:

Personality Assessment for Leadership Development
Hogan Assessments offers validated personality assessments designed specifically for leadership development. By leveraging these assessments, organizations gain insights into an individual's strengths, weaknesses, and potential derailers. This information is invaluable for making informed decisions regarding talent placement, development, and succession planning.

Predictive Validity for Job Performance
One of the key strengths of Hogan Assessments is its predictive validity for job performance. The assessments are designed to predict an individual's performance in specific job roles, allowing organizations to make informed decisions during the recruitment and talent management processes.

Identifying Leadership Risks
Hogan Assessments are particularly effective in identifying potential leadership risks. By assessing leadership qualities and potential derailers, organizations can proactively address areas of concern, mitigate risks, and ensure that individuals in leadership roles are well-equipped for success.

Customized Solutions for Organizational Needs
Hogan Assessments provides a range of tools that can be customized to meet the unique needs of different organizations. This flexibility allows us to tailor assessment solutions to align with our clients' specific industry, culture, and organizational goals.

On a side note, Robert Hogan’s visit to the event was a first for the Middle East. How did you convince him to come?

Bringing Robert Hogan to the Middle East for our conference was a significant milestone for Phoenix Consulting, and it underlines our commitment to our partnership. Hogan Assessments plays a crucial role in improving talent assessment for organizations, and his openness to attend the conference was based on our shared commitment to advancing the field in the MENA Region.

Phoenix Consulting is one of Hogan’s top partners in the region. What is the firm’s track record in the domain?

We are proud to be recognized as a Hogan partners and our track record in the domain reflects our dedication to leveraging Hogan Assessments to drive positive outcomes for our clients.

Our partnership with Hogan Assessments has been instrumental in delivering impactful solutions for our clients. Throughout the years, we have successfully implemented Hogan Assessments in a strategic manner across various client organizations in the Middle East. Our focus is on aligning these assessments with the unique needs and goals of our clients, ensuring that they contribute to the overall talent management strategy, and developing our client’s internal capabilities to become self-sufficient while consistently playing the advisory role.

We take pride in the success stories of our clients; they serve as a testament to the effectiveness of our collaboration with Hogan and the positive impact on our clients' organizational performance.

You also lead Phoenix Consulting’s Training business, which focuses on much more topics than just talent. Can you elaborate?

Our training and development offerings are designed to empower organizations and individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in today's dynamic business landscape.

Our training programs extend beyond talent management to encompass comprehensive leadership and management development. We equip professionals at all levels with the skills required to lead teams effectively, make strategic decisions, and drive organizational success.

Furthermore, effective communication is a cornerstone of success in any organization. Our training modules focus on enhancing communication and interpersonal skills, fostering collaboration, and creating a positive and inclusive work environment. In this age, recognizing the importance of well-being, our training covers topics related to emotional intelligence, stress management, and fostering a positive work-life balance. This holistic approach ensures that individuals can thrive both personally and professionally.

By offering a diverse range of training topics, Phoenix Academy aims to be a comprehensive partner in the development and growth of individuals and organizations.

In your work with leaders across the region, what are some of the key HR and talent themes you’re seeing heading into 2024?

The most flagrant HR and talent themes that are heading into 2024 reflect a dynamic landscape shaped by factors such as remote work, employee well-being, skills development, and the integration of technology and AI.

As a company who thrives on advancement and continuous development, we are actively partnering with companies to navigate these trends, ensuring that our clients are well-prepared to address the evolving challenges and opportunities in the realm of human resources from all ends.

Advising clients in multiple countries, a regular speaker at regional conferences, and a keen contributor to thought leadership – most consider you a familiar face in the landscape. What elements of your role are you enjoying most?

From a personal perspective, several elements of my role as Managing Partner at Phoenix Consulting bring immense satisfaction and what I love about consulting is that there is never a dull moment, you have to constantly evolve and move forward.

I enjoy my role as a full, it has brought me diverse cultural experiences, engaging with clients from all over the region with different backgrounds. All this provided me with a rich understanding of regional nuances and with time it also allowed me to meet the unique needs of each client.

Engaging with professionals and thought leaders in the industry through conferences and networking events fosters valuable connections. These connections not only contribute to the growth of Phoenix Consulting but also provide opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration with peers, further enriching my professional experience. It’s the perfect blend of personal and professional growth, allowing me to contribute meaningfully to the success of our business.

About Seniora El-Hage

Seniora El-Hage is a well-versed consultant with 20+ years of experience in human capital consulting and talent management. She started off her career at Deloitte, moving to Phoenix Consulting in 2010 where she served as Managing Partner.

Seniora is certified with a wide range of psychometric assessments and has gained extensive experience in analyzing organizations’ needs, designing high-end solutions in assessment frameworks, and customizing approaches to meet clients’ requirements in various countries and cultures in the MENA region.