Human Resources Director, MENA - Arabic & English Speaking

Human Resources Opportunities Dubai, United Arab Emirates

About APCO

Founded in 1984, APCO Worldwide is an award-winning, independently owned global communication and business strategy firm with offices in major cities throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. APCO combines a global perspective with local expertise to help clients around the world manage challenges, opportunities, perceptions and reputations. APCO clients include corporations and governments; industry associations and nonprofit organizations; and many of the top companies on the Fortune 500. The firm is a majority women-owned business.

The Role

APCO Worldwide is seeking a Human Resources Director to be based in our Dubai office. The Director will develop the overall talent strategy for our business operations in the MENA region which includes KSA, UAE, Jordan and Bahrain. The Director will serve as a partner to the Regional President, COO, Managing Directors, leaders and supervisors in meeting their talent needs, from talent acquisition, through on-boarding, performance management, employee relations, development and compensation and benefits. The HR Director will lead and/or participate in several new initiatives or projects, such as revamping key processes and building HR tools and resources, diversity and inclusion strategy, employment brand development, employee mobility and duty of care.

We welcome a colleague who is driven, knowledgeable, and passionate about talent management and organizational change. We are looking for a leader who enjoys a fast-paced environment, is adaptable to ever-changing landscapes, and is excited about problem-solving. The HRD will serve as a thought leader and resource to support talent initiatives in the region and contribute to global efforts in the APCO network. This senior leader will supervise a team of HR professionals and report to the Chief Talent Officer.

The ideal candidate is someone who knows the industry, collaborates with others, remains calm and professional, and maintains perspective and composure when faced with tough situations. Global perspective and previous international experience in the UAE are highly desired.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Work with Regional President, COO, Managing Directors and APCO’s leadership to identify key talent management priorities and develop an appropriate talent strategy for MENA
  • Engage with the global workforce and leadership to form strong relationships and manage employee relations; be able to form independent opinions and identify and execute solutions
  • Oversee a team of HR professionals and collaboratively work with the team to implement various programs and solutions
  • Ensure best practices in recruitment, employee hiring and on-boarding, internal transfers and off-boarding, particularly in an environment of seconded teams embedded with the clients
  • Manage the full employee experience: lead the performance management program and support managers and staff performance
  • In collaboration with our global compensation expert, manage MENA compensation program, access current market data and ensure the competitiveness of APCO’s compensation and benefits practices
  • Manage the global mobility to and from the region and identify areas of improvement and competitive advantage
  • Work with the HR team to ensure compliance across functions, including the filling and accuracy of required reporting
  • Stay abreast of any changes in employment laws and regulations in relevant locations, maintain subject matter expertise and compliance, advising executive leadership as necessary
  • Create an environment where individuals can come together on regular basis to contribute ideas and share views, and where diversity of concepts and ideas are encouraged and valued
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to the HR team, leaders and managers
  • Serve as a resource to the global HR team by supporting or leading global HR initiatives or providing backup when another team member is on leave
  • Assist with developing budgets for the global talent function
  • Advise on ways to streamline HR procedures for greater efficiency
  • Other responsibilities and special projects as assigned


  • MA degree in related field required, MBA or equivalent work experience
  • 12+ years HR Generalist experience
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively in a results-oriented environment with a strong customer service and consultative orientation
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, negotiation, writing, speaking, and strong listening skills
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively but also to roll up sleeves and complete tasks
  • Demonstrated mentoring and coaching skills
  • Understanding of relevant country laws and, rules and regulations
  • Understanding of global mobility and workplace environments with varying laws and regulations strongly preferred
  • Experience working for a global organization is a plus
  • Professional certification desirable
  • Foreign language skills, preferably Arabic, are highly desired

About APCO in the Middle East and North Africa

Home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, the Middle East and North Africa region has a pivotal role to play in driving global conversations – from environmental policies to religion and pop culture. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are clear leaders in this equation, although the wave of innovation continues to transcend borders.

APCO launched its regional operations in 2006 in Dubai. Growing from a team of less than 10 consultants, APCO today has over 200 people from 26 countries working in teams across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jordan, Manama and Kuwait and our projects take us to countries across the region and the Levant. APCO was awarded Best Agency in the Middle East by PRWeek in 2019 and Best Agency to Work for: EMEA Network by PRovoke Media in 2017 and 2019.

With a portfolio of over 100 clients, APCO’s MENA offices deliver public relations and digital communication support across health, food, consumer & retail, finance, technology, real estate & hospitality, non-profit and public affairs practices. The region also offers specialized services, created for the Middle East, such as our Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model and our Compass and License to Operate offerings.

In addition, APCO’s global AI Comms Lab, a first-of-its-kind innovation center which utilizes artificial intelligence to build and protect the reputations of major global brands, governments and organizations is driven from the Dubai office.

From helping governments connect with the private sector and civil society, to supporting the Pope’s historic visit to the region and launching iconic brands and destinations, we understand the MENA region and pride ourselves on making an impact.