GCC businesses face recruitment crisis

Almost 90% of businesses in the Gulf region say securing the right candidate from the international job market is either a struggle or entirely impossible, according to a new poll.

A third of respondents to the latest ArabianBusiness.com survey said “with the present exchange rates we find it almost impossible to get the right people”.

More than one half (53.8%) said that attracting and retaining the talent required to remain competitive was a “struggle” with companies “having to offer higher salaries than the business can really afford”.

Companies cited currency issues and inflation as the main impediments to staying competitive.

Downward pressure on the dollar has resulted in poorer exchange rates for GCC nations that have their currencies pegged to the US currency. As a result, purchasing power parity for expatriate wage earners in the Gulf has suffered.

Currencies like the British pound and the Indian rupee have soared against Gulf currencies over the last year, providing little financial incentive for workers from those countries to relocate.

The problems of currency weakness and high inflation have been particularly acute in nations where the workforce is predominately foreign. In the UAE, where expatriates comprise around 80% of the workforce, inflation - currently hovering above 9% - and a weakening dirham has led to a marked loss of competitiveness in the international job market.

Results from a previous ArabianBusiness.com poll indicate that attracting workers is the number one worry for GCC businesses moving into 2008.

Of the respondents, only 12% indicated that attracting workers was “very easy” and that inflation and currency issues were "no problem".

In total 618 people voted in the latest ArabianBusiness.com poll.

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Posted by: Mahbubur Rahman

Hello, this report is very informative and I like it. I'm a research student, researching on hiring and retention practices in the UAE and Oman. Is there any ways to access the survey(s) you guys have done? I'm a Bangladeshi national and studying with SIT Graduate Institute, USA.

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