Home Spotlights & Interviews Spotlight: Ayman Kattan

Spotlight: Ayman Kattan

Spotlight Interview with Ayman Kattan, Chief People Officer, Bayzat

Tell us about yourself, your experience, and your time in the Middle East

I am a British Palestinian, with a unique background and a passion for understanding cultural differences and human behaviour. Born and raised in Jordan, I grew up witnessing the intriguing contrasts between the cultures and behaviours of my parents’ families, which sparked my curiosity about how different cultures interact and merge.

My academic journey led me to pursue a degree in Human Resource Management and a postgraduate degree in Organisational Psychology. As I delved deeper into these fields, I realised that HR was a natural fit for my skills and interests.

For over a decade, I have been residing in Dubai, where my professional journey has been truly enriching. I have gained extensive experience in both HR consulting and in-house HR management, honing my expertise in various aspects of the field.

Currently, I am proud to be a part of the Bayzat team, where I have spent nearly five years. My time here has been invaluable in terms of learning how to scale culture and foster effective multicultural teams.

Throughout my career and personal life, my focus remains on bridging cultural gaps and understanding the nuances of different behaviors. My diverse background and experiences in the Middle East have further fueled my commitment to promoting harmonious interactions and building inclusive workplaces.

How does Bayzat stand out in the HRMS space? What are the differentiating features of the Bayzat approach and platform?

Bayzat is one of the only all-in-one platforms that offers HR, Payroll, Insurance and Employee Benefits. Local competitors typically offer a blend of HR and benefits or Payroll, but it’s very seldom to find a platform that has the capability to offer all the above on one platform (and user friendly, intuitive mobile app). We currently have over 1,800 companies and 190,000 employees on the Bayzat platform.

Our key differentiator among international players is our localisation of the platform. It is built in the UAE and specifically for the UAE. This means that all payroll and HR processes are built to comply with local regulations and all partnerships on the insurance and employee benefits (virtual doctor, pharmacy, discounts from retailers etc.) are all based in the UAE.

Another feature that competitors seldom have is access to our Wellness hub where employees can access fitness challenges, nutrition advice and more health benefits, building employee engagement and a healthy camaraderie amongst colleagues.

Will the ‘war for talent’ remain one of the largest challenges for HR professionals over the coming years? What role will AI play in the recruitment and retention of talent?

As with many modern challenges, a dose of automation can make all the difference. When everyday critical tasks are handed to technology, this alleviates workloads and leads to greater speed and accuracy. Payroll, leave requests, task scheduling, data input, resume sifting, and much more can be left to machine intelligence, while human intelligence is put to work doing the things humans prefer to do. Greater morale and higher retention rates soon follow. HR software can play a role in employee wellbeing. It can monitor and facilitate the set-up of high-quality health insurance systems and flag employees who are taking too little or too much leave.

Automation and ease of use will very soon come together to deliver real value — we’re already seeing practical, impactful use cases such as intelligent bots streaming the arduous but essential task of sifting through CVs, or AI-powered nutritionists guiding employees towards a healthier lifestyle. Recruitment software will help save money by ensuring the right talent is hired and retained. When you start adding up all the time savings and the reduction in talent acquisition costs (because employees stay for longer periods), upfront costs should be greatly diminished as a deciding factor.

As Bayzat expands across the region, what nuances are you seeing in HR markets across the GCC. How can HR professionals cater to these unique employee/organisational needs?

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is developing a sophisticated, rules-based, and employee-focused labour market. Evolving labour laws and regulations require higher reporting standards and compliance, meaning employers will struggle to keep up with the pace of change without tailored technology solutions.

To solve the compliance challenge, employers in Saudi Arabia must be prepared to adopt digital tools and solutions that are tailored to local needs. They must close the gap between general and localised technology, freeing teams up from the admin burden while providing all-important assurance.

For example, localised digital platforms can support businesses by flagging potential compliance issues and automatically maintaining key records. They can provide analytic reporting around payroll, expenses, and holiday allowance. This makes it easier for businesses to keep track of financial information for tax purposes and ensure their policies meet regulatory requirements.

Our team has spoken to many companies in KSA that are already avoiding local compliance challenges through automation. In fact, more than 10,000 HR managers are 100% compliant with KSA labour laws thanks to digital systems. These systems can be automatically updated when rules change to ensure continuous compliance with local legal requirements.