You represent Armenian HR Association, what is unique/typical about your country?

Armenia, a small country nestled in the northeastern part of the Armenian Highlands, is renowned for its historical significance as a former stop on the Silk Road. With its predominantly mountainous landscape, most areas in Armenia are situated at altitudes exceeding 1,000 meters above sea level. The country showcases stunning and varied landscapes that stretch across its territory. Visitors to different cities and villages can partake in a wide range of activities, ensuring that all types of tourists will find something appealing.

As an outward-looking country, Armenia is a member of more than 50 different international organizations and enjoys diplomatic relations with 172 countries across the globe. Notably, it is often regarded as a unique bridge connecting the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. Taking advantage of the country’s skilled workforce and favorable business environment, many international companies have established branches or subsidiaries in Armenia.

What are main challenges for HR in your country, for the time being and looking into the future?

Armenia, being a small country, faces various challenges in its labor market. Let’s highlight some of these challenges:

  • There exists a considerable gap between the supply and demand of labor, which creates a challenge for matching individuals with suitable employment.
  • The labor market in Armenia differs from Western or Eastern markets, requiring careful consideration and adjustment of well-known foreign practices and tools to align with local cultural characteristics. Adapting these tools presents an additional challenge.
  • The country has recently witnessed significant growth in the production, information technology, and hospitality sectors. This expansion has necessitated the upskilling and reskilling of many employees to meet the evolving demands of these industries.
  • The second Nagorno-Karabakh war, initiated by Azerbaijan in 2020, resulted in severe social consequences in Armenia, including the loss of many young workers.

In a few sentences, how would you describe Armenian HR Association?

The idea of establishing an HR community dates back to 2008 when a group of five enthusiasts were organizing meetings for HR specialists to facilitate discussions on important matters pertaining to their field. Today, the Armenian HR Association brings together more than 600 dedicated professionals.

The primary objective of the Armenian HR Association is to encourage continuous self-education and skill enhancement among HR specialists while fostering the development of a strong HR community. The aim is to contribute to the establishment and growth of a sustainable workforce. By serving as a benchmark, the Association enables professionals to stay updated of industry developments and changes.

Today, it has earned a reputation as one of the most successful HR associations in both Armenia and the CIS countries.

As an organization, what are your main activities?

The Armenian HR Association focuses on four key directions:

  1. HR Advocacy – We actively promote the HR profession, advocating for its recognition as a crucial business partner.
  2. Improvement of HR Framework – We are committed to improving the employment relations field, labor code, and relevant practices.
  3. Supply and Demand Matching – One of our primary goals is to support the labor market and businesses by conducting research and mapping on supply and demand dynamics. We organize HR meetings, provide training and development programs, and facilitate the dissemination and communication of essential industry trends. Additionally, we facilitate discussions on specific tools and projects to address the evolving needs of the workforce and businesses.
  4. Workforce Development – We always strive to design and implement programs aimed at nurturing and developing HR managers and leaders in Armenia.

Through these four main directions, the Armenian HR Association actively works towards advancing the HR profession, improving the HR framework, supporting the labor market, and fostering the development of HR managers and leaders in Armenia.

What are your challenges

  1. Based on the situation in Armenia, we strive to keep our membership fee affordable in Armenia, but this sometimes leads to financial constraints.
  2. As our organization has expanded, our office space has become insufficient to accommodate all our members for events. Consequently, we often find it necessary to rent additional venues to accommodate larger gatherings.
  3. The core HR specialists are more concentrated in Yerevan, and urban areas still need to be developed.

 

What are your ambitions for the future

  1. Our goal is to establish ourselves as a central hub where HR specialists from European and Asian countries can come together, fostering opportunities for gatherings, conferences, and summits. This platform will enable professionals to exchange valuable experiences and insights, promoting cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  2. We aim to be recognized as a benchmark in the region, showcasing the best practices and success stories of HR within our country. By highlighting the achievements and effective strategies employed by Armenian HR professionals, we seek to inspire and guide other organizations in the region toward their own successes.

 

Are there any things you are especially proud of, on behalf of your Association and Country?

  • One of our significant achievements is our collaboration with Cascade people & Business within the scopes of The Annual Regional Conference, which will be held for the 11th time this year. Throughout 11 years, the Annual Regional Conference has hosted great international speakers and around 3,000 participants representing 40 countries. This year the title of the conference is The Nature of Leadership.
  • We are proud of the active network of professionals within the HR community of Armenia, with each member making valuable contributions to the development of the field.
  • Throughout the years, we have successfully organized over 150 professional meetings for our community.
  • We are immensely proud of our diverse and fruitful partnerships, for example, with Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR) portal, which provides our members with additional opportunities for self-education. Furthermore, we maintain partnerships with foreign HR Associations to foster cross-border exchange and collaboration.
  • In addition, we have launched an employer branding nomination program based on research among students, which we have successfully conducted for two years in collaboration with Grant Thornton Armenia.

 

What does the European and EAPM community mean to you?

EAPM serves as a gateway to Europe, providing members with a valuable opportunity to connect with professionals from various European countries, fostering the exchange of experiences and expertise.

Fun facts about your Association/ Country?

  • It is noteworthy that among our members, only 2 are men. In the HR sector in Armenia, men represent approximately 20%.
  • Armenia has its own alphabet, consisting of 36 letters, which is considered to be one of the most advanced.
  • In 2011 archaeologists discovered what is thought to be the oldest winery on the planet, found in a cave near the village of Areni. It is, in fact, 6100 years old!
  • The Tatev Aerial Tramway holds a Guinness World Record for being the longest non-stop double-track cable car, spanning 5,752 meters (18,871 feet).
  • The capital city of Armenia, Yerevan, is one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities. Founded in 782 BC by King Argishti, it is even older than Rome! Yerevan is often referred to as the “Pink City” because of the buildings constructed using volcanic rock found in the area.

Fact box 1: EAPM Member Armenia

Name: Web page: Linkedin page: Facebook page: Membership categories: Number of employees: President:
“HR Association” Human Resources Management NGO https://hrcommunity.am/en/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/armenian-hr-association/ https://www.facebook.com/ArmenianHRAssociation Individual and Corporate membership 4 employees and the President Arpi Karapetyan

Fact box 2: Armenia

No. of inhabitants: Main industries: Unemployment rate: OECD page:
2.791 million Brandy, Mining, Diamond Processing, Information Technology and Software, Agriculture, The Textiles and Apparel, Metal-Cutting Machine Tools, Banking, Jewelry, Food Processing 3.6% by 2022 November https://www.oecd.org/countries/armenia/

Photo credits: ©Vigen Sargsyan and ©Hayk Barseghyan