Resources Case Studies Umniah builds talent management strategy from the ground up

Case Studies

Umniah builds talent management strategy from the ground up

Umniah Mobile Company strives to be more to its customers than just a great mobile, internet, and business solutions provider. The telecommunications company launched its "belong" slogan in 2010 to build on the relationships that it has nurtured with its customers, partners and community.

Umniah has grown leaps and bounds since its launch in 2005. At the time, it employed about 200 employees. Today, the Jordanian-based company employs nearly 600 full-time and almost 200 part-time staff.

In its first year of operation, Umniah cobbled together an internal system for managing performance appraisals.

"The in-house system didn't serve the needs of our company," says Rada Hrout, HR Planning and Development Manager at Umniah. "We knew we needed more flexibility and a better way to manage our employees. I researched several talent management vendors and met with a couple of companies, and out of them we chose Halogen Software."

Halogen was also just getting started as a talent management solutions provider at the time. Both organizations grew together, expanding their operations and adapting to new challenges. This partnership provided Umniah with support to expand its market share while offering high-quality service and exceptional experience.

With the help of Halogen Performance™ and Halogen Multirater™, Umniah has been able to streamline its processes and create a high-performance culture that gave the company an edge over its competitors. Using Halogen's talent management system, Umniah was able to:

  • Establish clear objectives that were aligned with the company's vision of innovation and customer service excellence;
  • Monitor and evaluate projects and tasks daily;
  • Make informed HR-related decisions to drive business success; and
  • Align employee behavior with company values.

The benefits of great technology

Halogen Performance and Halogen Multirater were instrumental in helping Umniah create a clear picture of each employee's strengths and weaknesses. With Halogen Mulitrater, the mobile company was able to give employees feedback from multiple sources, creating a more representative reflection of their performance.

Halogen Performance made it easy for Umniah to align employee and company goals, helping engage and inspire its workforce. Halogen's cloud-based technology also helped supervisors save time managing their performance review processes, which made them more likely to use the technology. As a result, Umniah could determine if employees were functioning best in their current role, if they should be moved to another role, or if they needed to be replaced.

As a result of Umniah's evaluation of its processes, more filters were applied to the hiring process and managers learned how to improve how they conducted performance appraisals. The company is now in a stronger position to weather the challenges of a changing, competitive market.

"Halogen modules all focus on aligning, executing and renewing goals and objectives to create a high performing culture that drives results," says Hrout. "HR needs a sophisticated, integrated talent management system in order to build a strong company and stay competitive in today's marketplace."

Complete flexibility and ease of use

One of the other factors that initially attracted Umniah to Halogen was the flexibility of Halogen's system.

"Other talent management systems we looked at seemed a bit rigid in comparison to what Halogen offers," says Hrout. "We liked Halogen because we had more control over when we started cycles and how we conducted our appraisals and structured our rating system. It fit our needs as an organization when we were getting started and it still fits our needs now."

Another factor, especially for a business that was just getting started, was cost.

"Umniah is based in Jordan and we operate in a different economic reality compared to other countries in the Middle East," Hrout says. "We have limited budgets, so any decision to invest in a talent management has to be studied. After a lot of consideration and comparison, we went with Halogen and we've never looked back. It's more of a partnership with Halogen than a client-to-customer relationship."

The relationship between Halogen and Umniah has also benefited from the openness of both companies to innovation and new ideas.

"Halogen is always updating its system, adding resources and expanding to new platforms," says Hrout.

Halogen recently added the Myers-Briggs® module to its talent management suite, which allows organizations like Umniah to help employees learn about their personality type, and the personalities of their co-workers, in order to improve communication and ease conflicts in the workplace.

Hrout also appreciates how Halogen shares best practices, templates and thought leader videos.

"We're really happy with what Halogen is doing," says Hrout. "They're generating a new way to connect with the customer. It adds another level of support for us."

Adapting to change

A few years ago, Umniah was faced with a challenge: Not only was the mobile market slowing down, but the company also noticed that it wasn't achieving its targets in some departments. The company needed to make some changes in order to keep the company going strong.

The first step was to analyze how all of its departments were doing in terms of talent management. One of the key findings was there was a serious issue with engagement and employees were underperforming against their key competencies.

Umniah took a closer look at its workforce and evaluated it on four dimensions: Performance appraisal, abilities, engagement and job criticality. HR leaders identified the departments that had the highest performance red flags, and found 57 percent of employees in those departments had low levels of engagement. Because Umniah is a lean organization, even a few unmotivated employees could create huge problems for their respective department.

HR leaders replaced employees in key positions who were in the lowest 5 percent in the appraisal ranks and who didn't seem to be in sync with company values. They made changes to their hiring process to ensure new employees were the right fit for the role, and coached managers on how to hold performance appraisals. Those changes helped Umniah stay competitive in a challenging market, and allowed them to maximize their lean organizational structure.

Employee insight

What Hrout is most proud of about Umniah's talent management strategy is that the company has a database that gives them a clear history of their employees' performance.

"The 360-degree evaluations, goal-setting, objectives, and employee performance histories are all easily accessible through the Halogen suite," says Hrout. "We have the ability to track performance and learning and development, and can instantly see improvements or reductions in performance. That makes it easier to make decisions on promotions, career changes and learning and development paths. Without an automated system, tracking all those details would be a hectic, impossible job."

The central system also helps HR keep track of employees across their four locations in Jordan.

"I met with one of our directors recently to discuss the possible promotion of one of his employees who worked at another location," Hrout says. "The employee's 360 review wasn't great, and we were able to discuss the issue and refer to assessments from other managers, peers and clients. All of that information helped us make an informed, unbiased decision about the promotion. These types of decisions undoubtedly impact business results and we're invested in continually making the right decisions for our business and our customers."

Customer support

All of the benefits of an automated talent management system would be lost if Umniah had no way to fix issues or ask questions about the modules. Despite the seven-hour time difference between Halogen's headquarters and customer support center in Ottawa, Canada and Jordan, Hrout says there haven't been any issues getting customer support to pick up the phone or answer emails.

"When you're in the middle of performance appraisal season and are running reports, you can't handle delays. It's a critical time." Hrout says. "With Halogen we're used to having good customer support."

In 2014, Umniah reached over 3 million mobile customers, representing a market share of over 31.5 percent.

"Halogen has helped us build our strengths - our lean talent base and our ability to attract and retain quality employees - so we can establish our organization as a great service provider with a stellar workforce."

"We liked Halogen because we had more control over when we started cycles and how we conducted our appraisals and structured our rating system. It fit our needs as an organization when we were getting started, and it still fits our needs now."
— Umniah



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