UAE employers 'failing in bid to recruit top talent'

Few companies target people changing career, returning to workforce or moving from overseas, study finds
Image for illustrative purpose only.
By Sarah Townsend
Sun 07 Aug 2016 02:18 PM

UAE employers are failing to target valuable sources of talent despite complaining of a skills shortage, according to a specialist recruiter.

A survey by Robert Walters found that almost three-quarters (72 percent) of employers surveyed admitted they had been affected by talent shortages but have no formal plan in place to address this.

And just four in ten employers have a strategy in place to attract workers who are not actively seeking a new job, despite more than 90 percent of professionals saying they are open to being contacted with potential offers of employment.

Robert Walters surveyed more than 600 professionals and hiring managers from a range of sectors across the UAE and concluded that employers are neglecting important sources of talent such as people returning to the workforce after a break, overseas talent, and professionals changing careers.

The survey showed that 89 percent of UAE professionals would consider changing careers for the right opportunity, but a third of companies have no strategy in place for targeting this group.

Meanwhile, 90 percent of professionals surveyed said they would be open to a new job offer but are not actively looking, yet two-thirds of employers said they have no plan in place for targeting them.

And 13 percent of employers said they had no strategy in place to attract 34 percent of professionals surveyed who have taken a career break and are looking to return, or have returned, to the workforce.

The findings also show that 40 percent of employers would be unlikely to hire candidates who did not meet their “exact” recruitment criteria.

Jason Grundy, country head at Robert Walters Middle East, said employers cannot afford to neglect sources of talent in an increasingly competitive skills market.

“Professionals from other disciplines, international workers and those returning to the workforce following a career break are all potential sources of skilled candidates for employers prepared to be flexible in their hiring criteria and adapt their recruitment strategy to reach these people,” he said.

“Employers that are proactive in exploring new talent pools will be best positioned to hire the markets most in demand candidates in 2016.”

Grundy added: “Employers looking for long term solutions to candidate shortages should consider the core skills essential to a role, rather than necessarily focusing on finding a candidate with specific industry experience.”

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