Interviewer: Tarek Hassan Refaat
Edited by: Yara Mohamed, Mona Timor Shehata
Publisher: Amira Haytham
““Let passion move you to be great!” On both the personal and career levels, I totally believe anything that you do with passion directs you towards being a better you…”
Yasmine Yehia, or as people call her, Jessie, is an experienced HR consultant who has worked with many big names. Her roles varied among which are HR director and senior consultant. Jessie is the founder of the Egyptian Female Bikers Movement, and has been a guest at many events that aim at empowering the youth of today. She is currently working at Hug Digital.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: First of all, Jessie, thank you for taking the time to be with us and sharing with us your thoughts! So, let us begin, can you tell us a bit more about Jessie?
Jessie: My pleasure! Thank you for taking the time to interview me. Well, Jessie is simply a people person—that’s why HR is her career; a woman who appreciates strong women—that’s why she supports them till her last breath, and a proud single mother of a beautiful 9-year-old daughter called Celine.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Could you tell us a bit more about your role with Hug Digital?
Jessie: I head the HR function in Hug Digital Cairo.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Is HR more of science or a personal talent, or is it a mixture of both?
Jessie: A mixture of both; however, the personal talent represents a big piece of the cake!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You have over 14 years of experience in the field of HR; do you think much has changed across these years that stands out?
Jessie: Oh, definitely! HR now is more of a business partner rather than a supportive function. Companies can’t see themselves operating without the advice of the HR department. They believe more in its value and a lot of new trends have become very important to the business, like employee engagement, rewarding, assessment centers and many more.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What are the key responsibilities of the HR department?
Jessie: That’s a tricky question, but let me tell you this: HR is responsible for people and anything related to the people, for they’re the asset of any organization.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Some would say—especially in Egypt—that the field of HR is very administrative, and doesn’t add much to an organization. Do you think such views are built on incorrect understandings or practices? If so, what can they be?
Jessie: This is a legacy—definitely an incorrect understanding from the old days, where the HR used to only help with the personnel part: hiring documents, social insurance, and employment contracts. Back in the days, HR wasn’t playing that strategic role it’s playing today.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As an HR recruiter, what are the first things that catch your attention in the résumé?
Jessie: The format! A candidate who spent too much time trimming their résumé, and making sure it is clear and has all the needed info is definitely a serious candidate and a hard worker.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What is the difference between a HR recruiter and a HR consultant?
Jessie: The HR recruiter only hires people; the HR consultant can work on so many HR projects like training, creating policies and systems…etc.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You’ve traveled a bit around the region. Where do you think the Egyptian market can benefit from in the field of HR?
Jessie: Believe it or not, Egypt is one of the best countries when it comes to HR. Very advanced in the practices we use. The UAE was also useful to visit, given the multinational environment and the different nationalities with various backgrounds.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you see the role of HR in helping an organization grow?
Jessie: How can they grow without their main asset: people! Unless they are robots producing robots.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What are the key elements to running a successful HR team?
Jessie: Empowering teams. HR teams do magic when they feel empowered, so always have their back and coach them to grow. My junior team members are all HR Managers in big companies now. Believe me, you have no idea how proud I feel!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Could you tell us a bit about Hug Digital? And your role with them?
Jessie: Having the best working environment in the whole planet! An energetic, fun, young, creative, professional team. Aside from that, Hug Digital is the region’s leading digital agency. We are storytellers and trendsetters; we do digital marketing, content marketing; media, social, influence marketing, and also research and insights. Headquartered in Dubai and serving the Egyptian market since 2014. I head the HR function in Hug Digital—working on all the HR functions and acting as their adviser in all the HR-related topics and challenges.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: There are various management styles; how would you describe yours?
Jessie: I do my best to play the coach role with my team, both on the career and personal levels, and it works like magic!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Work-life balance is one of the most debated topics in the past few years. Would you share with us your thoughts on this topic?
Jessie: Well, I believe it greatly depends on the industry. Some industries require extra working hours and it is hard to maintain work-life balance like the IT and Media, of course, but as a general rule, I totally believe if you have a good team who is qualified and you train them well all the time, they won’t spend too much time doing their tasks. It also has to come from the employer himself/herself; to encourage having a work-life balance, I mean. I always advise my clients to do that.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You are quite known as an adventurous person. Has this impacted your work life positively?
Jessie: It certainly gave me energy to work harder and be in the right mood to work! It also gave me loads and loads of connections that helped me a lot in recruiting talents. It also did widen my mindset towards employees, who are also adventurous and need support from their employers to enjoy their activities and hobbies.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: It’s been quite a pleasure having you with us. Would you care to share your favorite quote; one that inspires you?
Jessie: “Let passion move you to be great!” On both the personal and career levels, I totally believe anything that you do with passion directs you towards being a better you.
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: If there’s one advice that you would give to the youth, what would it be?
Jessie: Work hard, play hard! You only live once!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: We’ve come to the end of our interview. Is there something you would like to say or share?
Jessie: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I wish everyone the best of luck in their lives and more and more mountains to climb!
HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Jessie, it’s been a pleasure to have you with us!