10 Questions Interview With Dr. Zohaib Azhar (PhD-HR), An Expert in Human Resource Management – Inspire Hub

The Canjud Global Enterprises team at the Inspire Hub reached out to Dr. Zohaib Azhar, who is a highly accomplished PHD holder in the field of HR. He granted us an interview with the hope of inspiring not only young HR’s but everyone who intends to leave a mark on the sands of time. The following paragraphs are the interview questions and responses between Canjud Global Enterprises and Dr. Zohaib Azhar. Enjoy!

  1. Canjud Interviewer: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background, as well as the work you do in your current leadership role?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

I am a dynamic HR leader with an illustrious career spanning over 15 years, fortified by a Ph.D. and two Master’s degrees. My journey is marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence in planning, leading, and directing human resource operations, with a consistent track record of doubling productivity for each organization I have had the privilege to serve.

One of my distinctive qualities lies in my exclusive ability to bridge the gap between management and employees. This unique skill, paired with a practical understanding of business needs, has been instrumental in not only contributing to increased company revenue but also propelling overall business progress. I firmly believe that the synergy between a motivated workforce and strategic management is the key to organizational success.

What sets me apart is my adaptability and multicultural prowess. As a highly adaptable and multilingual professional, I thrive in diverse environments, actively contributing to the growth and enhanced reputation of my employers. I am proud to have been recognized with the ‘Best Staff’ Award by NMC Healthcare Group for my outstanding contributions, a testament to my dedication and impact on organizational success.

Beyond my day-to-day responsibilities, I am a published author, sharing insights on topics close to my heart, such as the “Causes of Low Rate of Success in South Asia” and “Unfair Advantage.” These publications reflect my commitment to thought leadership and addressing critical issues in the field.

In addition to my academic achievements, I hold the esteemed title of Certified Chief Human Resource Officer, and I am a Chartered Professional in HR in Canada. My credentials include a Ph.D. and MBA in HR, MA, CHRM, CRM, and SHRM (SCP) certifications from the USA, showcasing my commitment to continuous learning and staying at the forefront of industry best practices.

In my current leadership role, I continue to champion excellence, innovation, and collaboration. I have been instrumental in creating a workplace culture that not only values diversity and inclusion but actively leverages it for strategic advantage. My strategic vision aligns HR practices seamlessly with overarching business objectives, ensuring that the workforce is not just an asset but a driving force behind organizational success.

I am excited about the future, eager to take on new challenges, and devoted to making a lasting impact on the organizations I serve. My journey is marked by a passion for people, a commitment to growth, and a vision for a workplace where every individual can thrive and contribute to the greater success of the organization.

2. Canjud Interviewer: Can you share a personal anecdote or experience from your journey that has significantly shaped your leadership style and approach?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

My professional odyssey began with humble beginnings as an HR assistant, a role that laid the foundation for a remarkable journey of growth and accomplishment. Swiftly, I ascended the ranks to assume leadership roles, culminating in over 15 years of dedicated service in the UAE, where I orchestrated transformative changes in various HR capacities.

One of the defining moments in my career occurred when I was entrusted with the responsibility of establishing an HR department and overseeing a unit within NMC, which burgeoned from a team of five to an impressive force of 500+ employees within a span of just three years. This achievement is a source of immense pride for me, underscoring my ability to not only manage growth but to catalyze it. In addition to this, I spearheaded seven international recruitment drives, demonstrating my commitment to sourcing top-tier talent globally. Simultaneously, I played a pivotal role in drafting HR policies crucial for achieving JCI accreditation, a testament to my dedication to quality standards and best practices.

My journey is marked by a commitment to excellence, as evidenced by my keen attention to detail, which I consider my strength. It is this meticulous approach that has enabled me to achieve notable cost-saving initiatives, such as the successful turnaround of a yearly payroll, saving over 1 million AED. Furthermore, my flexibility, identified as my second strength, has been instrumental in navigating the complexities of diverse businesses, ranging from clinics and home care to electric vehicle manufacturing and robotic technology. This adaptability has allowed me not only to survive but to thrive as a top performer.

Reflecting on my career, it is evident that the combination of my strengths, achievements, and diverse experiences positions me as an ideal candidate for leadership roles. I am not just an HR professional; I am a strategic architect of growth, profitability, and operational efficiency. From being recognized as the recipient of the ‘Best Staff’ Award to my role in overseeing HR processes for newly established acquisitions, every accomplishment has been a stepping stone in shaping my leadership philosophy.

I am not merely a leader by title, but a leader who actively engages with challenges, values growth, and above all, prioritizes the well-being and development of the individuals within the organization. As I look forward, I am excited about the prospect of contributing to new challenges and achieving even greater milestones. My journey is not just a story of professional success; it is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. I am eager to bring this wealth of experience and passion to any leadership role, driving transformative change and fostering a culture of continuous growth and success.

My Leadership Styles and Approaches: A Triumphant Journey of Strategic Growth, Meticulous Leadership, and HR Transformation

  1. Strategic Architect of Growth and Profitability:
    • Demonstrated ability to drive organizational growth and enhance profitability through strategic HR initiatives.
    • Proven track record of achieving 8% annual revenue growth and a 5% increase in profitability.
    • Successfully established an American Heart Association BLS/ALS training center, contributing to new revenue streams.
  2. Meticulous and Adaptive Leader:
    • Noteworthy attention to detail, a foundational strength contributing to cost-saving initiatives and efficient HR operations.
    • Highly adaptable, navigating diverse businesses such as clinics, home-cares, insurance, restaurants, supermarkets, electric vehicle manufacturing, robotic technology, education, and investment entities.
    • Reduced staff turnover by 35% and increased retention through a flexible leadership approach.
  3. Transformational HR Pioneer:
    • Recognized for transforming HR departments, leading one NMC unit from 5 to 500+ employees within three years.
    • Orchestrated seven international recruitment drives, saving 30% on hiring costs and enhancing organizational diversity.
    • Published author with a keen focus on thought leadership, contributing to the understanding of success factors in South Asia and unfair advantages in the business landscape

3. Canjud Interviewer: What do you consider one of your most significant accomplishments in your leadership role, and how did you overcome challenges along the way?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

In 2016, faced with an unexpected crisis, I encountered a formidable challenge that tested not only my leadership skills but also the resilience of our entire team.

Within a single month, over 40 of our dedicated nurses tendered their resignations, enticed by the superior benefits offered by a government medical facility. This sudden exodus posed an imminent threat to both our business and reputation. The prospect of having patients without adequate nursing staff loomed large, and the urgency of the situation was clear.

Rather than succumb to panic, I, along with our operations leaders, approached the challenge with a strategic mindset. Recognizing the need for swift action, we devised an urgent plan to replenish our nursing staff. However, the hurdle we faced was the scarcity of available nurses locally.

Undeterred, I took a bold step and targeted the Philippines, a country with a rich pool of skilled nurses. With no time for extensive marketing or elaborate preparations, my team and I embarked on a journey to Manila and Cebu for urgent medical recruitment. The decision carried inherent risks, as success was far from guaranteed.

Nevertheless, driven by determination and a sense of responsibility toward our patients and the reputation of our organization, we ventured into this uncharted territory. Against the odds, not only did we manage to hire the required number of nurses, but we also succeeded in doing so with an economical approach by recruiting talented staff from developing countries.

This achievement not only averted the impending crisis but also demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of our team in the face of adversity.

Leadership Outcomes:

  1. Strategic Crisis Management:
    • Demonstrated the ability to strategically manage a crisis by swiftly addressing the sudden resignation of 40+ nurses, thereby preventing potential business losses and safeguarding the reputation of the organization.
  2. Global Recruitment Success:
    • Successfully executed an urgent recruitment plan in the Philippines, showcasing the capacity to think globally and act decisively to meet the immediate needs of the organization.
  3. Cost-Efficient Solutions:
    • Implemented a cost-efficient hiring strategy, demonstrating financial acumen and resourcefulness by recruiting economical yet skilled nursing staff from developing countries.

4. Canjud Interviewer: Can you offer some advice to young individuals who aspire to become leaders in their respective fields? What qualities or skills do you believe are crucial for effective leadership?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

With years of experience in various leadership roles, I offer you some advice that has been instrumental in shaping my own path:

  1. Define Your Aspirations Clearly: Before you step into the realm of leadership, take the time to gain clear clarification on what you want to achieve. Understand your passions, values, and the impact you aspire to make. A well-defined vision will serve as your guiding light through the ups and downs of leadership.
  2. Transform Thoughts into Action: It’s not enough to merely think about your goals; write them down and formulate a concrete plan of action. A plan becomes the roadmap to your success, helping you navigate challenges and stay focused on your objectives. Remember, action transforms aspirations into reality.
  3. Break It Down: Break your grand plans into small, manageable daily actions. The journey to leadership is often an accumulation of consistent efforts. By focusing on smaller tasks each day, you not only make progress more achievable but also build the discipline necessary for effective leadership.
  4. Work Smarter and Seek Divine Guidance: Leadership isn’t just about working hard; it’s about working smart. Prioritize tasks, delegate when necessary, and leverage your strengths. Moreover, never underestimate the power of seeking guidance from a higher source. Connect with your spiritual beliefs, whatever they may be, to find strength, wisdom, and resilience in times of challenge.

In your pursuit of leadership, remember that it’s not only about the destination but also the journey. Embrace the lessons, celebrate the victories, and learn from the setbacks. Surround yourself with mentors, continuously seek knowledge, and stay adaptable in the face of change. Leadership is not a solitary endeavor; it thrives on collaboration, empathy, and a commitment to the greater good. Cultivate qualities such as integrity, resilience, and the ability to inspire others. Your journey may have its share of trials, but with a clear vision, strategic planning, daily actions, and divine guidance, you’ll find yourself not just aspiring to be a leader but embodying effective leadership. May your path be filled with purpose, growth, and the fulfillment of your leadership aspirations.

5. Canjud Interviewer: What inspired you to start your own business or take on a leadership position in your current organization? Can you share a bit about the mission and vision of your venture?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

In my relentless pursuit of aiding the common people, my journey led me to document my experiences and insights in two impactful books. The motivation behind this endeavor was simple: I wanted to share the mistakes and hurdles I faced, ensuring that others could navigate their paths with greater ease.

The process of writing these books became a reflective journey, a candid exploration of the challenges I encountered in my quest to help job seekers secure employment. From the intricacies of the job market to the nuances of crafting a compelling resume, I delved into the real issues faced by individuals seeking to enter or progress in the professional world. I laid bare the mistakes I made, the misconceptions I initially held, and the hurdles that tested my resolve. Transparency was key; I wanted aspiring job seekers to learn not just from my successes but, more crucially, from my setbacks.

I believe that sharing our vulnerabilities is a powerful way to pave the way for others, ensuring they sidestep common pitfalls. Having penned down these invaluable lessons, I took my commitment to assisting job seekers a step further. I established an online HR consultancy, a platform where I could actively engage with individuals on their quest for employment. This consultancy serves as a hub of knowledge, offering guidance on resume building, interview preparation, and career development.

The fusion of my written insights and the practical assistance provided by the online consultancy creates a comprehensive support system. It is my fervent hope that through these initiatives, I can empower individuals, making the job-seeking process more accessible and less daunting. My journey is a testament to the belief that knowledge is most impactful when shared. By disseminating the intricacies of the job-seeking process, I aim to illuminate the path for others, propelling them towards fulfilling and rewarding professional journeys.

Together, let us navigate the world of employment opportunities, ensuring that no one walks alone in their pursuit of a meaningful career.

6. Canjud Interviewer: How do you balance the demands of leadership with your personal life, and what habits or routines have contributed to your sustained success?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar: Balancing the demands of leadership with personal life is undoubtedly a challenge, yet a crucial one for sustained success. As Dr. Zohaib Azhar, I prioritize a few key habits and routines that have been instrumental in maintaining this equilibrium.

  1. Time Management and Prioritization: Effectively managing time and prioritizing tasks is fundamental. I set clear boundaries, allocate specific time for work-related responsibilities, and equally prioritize personal commitments. This ensures that neither aspect overshadows the other.
  2. Delegation and Empowerment: Delegating tasks to capable team members not only fosters a collaborative environment but also prevents burnout. Empowering my team enables them to take ownership, freeing up my time to focus on strategic leadership while fostering professional growth within the organization.
  3. Mindfulness and Stress Management: Incorporating mindfulness practices and stress management techniques is pivotal. Whether through meditation, exercise, or simply taking short breaks, these moments of reflection contribute to mental well-being, enhancing my ability to lead effectively.
  4. Setting Realistic Goals: Striking a balance involves setting realistic and achievable goals. This applies to both professional and personal spheres. By establishing clear objectives and expectations, I create a roadmap that allows for accomplishments without sacrificing personal life.
  5. Continuous Learning and Adaptability: The ever-evolving nature of leadership requires a commitment to continuous learning and adaptability. Staying abreast of industry trends and refining leadership skills ensures that challenges are met with a resilient and informed approach.
  6. Quality Over Quantity: Emphasizing the quality of work over sheer quantity is key. Focusing on impactful, strategic initiatives allows for more efficient use of time, reducing the pressure associated with overwhelming workloads.
  7. Open Communication: Maintaining open communication with both the professional team and personal connections is crucial. This transparency fosters understanding and support, creating a network that acknowledges the demands of leadership while respecting personal time.
  8. Scheduled Downtime: Incorporating scheduled downtime into my routine is non-negotiable. Whether it’s spending quality time with family, pursuing personal hobbies, or simply relaxing, these moments are essential for recharging and sustaining long-term success.

In essence, achieving a balance between leadership demands and personal life is an ongoing process that requires intentionality and adaptability. By implementing these habits and routines, I aim to lead not only with professional acumen but also with a holistic understanding of the interconnectedness of work and life.

7. Canjud Interviewer: In moments of doubt or adversity, what motivates you to persevere and continue leading with conviction?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

In moments of doubt or adversity, what propels me to persevere and lead with unwavering conviction are two guiding principles: faith and meticulous self-analysis. Maintaining faith in my abilities, the team, and the broader purpose fuels resilience. Simultaneously, a commitment to scrutinizing myself, coupled with an acute attention to detail, allows me to glean insights, learn from challenges, and emerge stronger as a leader. These twin pillars fortify my determination to navigate uncertainties and lead with steadfast conviction.

8. Canjud Interviewer: Similarly, what guidance or insights do you have for the elderly who may be seeking to adapt and contribute meaningfully in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

In our fast-paced world, achieving goals demands resilience against distractions. Staying focused is an accomplishment in itself. Let’s be mindful, especially with social media – use it briefly, own your time. It’s a key element in our journey to success.

  • 9. Canjud Interviewer: Is there a motto, principle, or piece of wisdom that has guided you throughout your leadership journey, and that you would like to share with others?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

As we traverse the dynamic landscape of leadership, I wanted to take a moment to share a piece of wisdom that has been a steadfast companion on my journey: the triumvirate of faith, continuous learning, and charity. Throughout my leadership odyssey, unwavering faith in a higher power has been my pillar of strength. In moments of uncertainty or challenge, it has provided solace and fueled resilience, reminding me that there is a purpose beyond what meets the eye. The commitment to continuous learning has been another cornerstone. In a rapidly evolving world, the pursuit of knowledge is not just a professional imperative but a personal one. It’s the key to adaptability, growth, and the ability to lead with foresight. Lastly, the act of charity has been a transformative force. Beyond the tangible impact on the lives of others, it serves as a humbling reminder of the interconnectedness of our journeys. The act of giving, be it time, resources, or wisdom, has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the immediate moment. As we navigate the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead, let us carry these pearls of wisdom with us. May our faith be unshakable, our appetite for learning insatiable, and our hearts open to the transformative power of charity. Here’s to leading with purpose, resilience, and a commitment to making a positive impact.

10. Canjud Interviewer: How do you envision the future of your business or leadership role? Are there any exciting projects or initiatives on the horizon that you’d like to share with us?

Dr. Zohaib Azhar:

Contemporary leadership is pivoting towards smart work, prioritizing efficiency over traditional methodologies. The emphasis is on streamlined processes, eliminating redundant education, and honing practical skills. The influence of AI and the forces of globalization necessitate leaders to operate on a broader, more dynamic scale, adapting to the rapid pace of change.

In this era, success is not just about working hard but about working smart on a global stage. However, human importance will remain the same, which is why I am about to publish my new book. I am thrilled to announce the release of my latest book, “The Human Factor: Unleashing the Power of People for Organizational Success.” In this fast-paced and evolving world, the significance of the human element remains paramount.

I invite all future leaders to delve into its insights, exploring how harnessing the power of people can drive organizational excellence. Additionally, I encourage you to explore my other works:

  1. “Desperate Job Hunter & Unfair Advantage: From Desperation to Destination”
    • A comprehensive guide and tricks to navigate the challenges of a challenging job market.
    • Order here: Amazon Link
  2. “Causes of Low Success Rates in English Study Programs of South Asia”
    • An examination of the factors contributing to low success rates in English study programs in South Asia.
    • Order here: Amazon Link

I believe these resources will provide valuable insights and guidance to those navigating the complexities of personal and professional development.

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