UAE employers lament shortage of talent

Third of recruiters surveyed said they could not find the right person for the role
By Sarah Townsend
Tue 13 Jun 2017 12:57 PM

The vast majority of employers in the UAE claim to have been affected by talent shortages in the job market, research shows.

Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents in a survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters said they have been affected by talent shortages, while a third said they have simply not been able to find the right people to interview for a role.

The research concluded that finding suitably qualified candidates has become increasingly complex and competitive.

Despite this, over 60 percent of businesses across the wider Middle East said they did not have a plan for sourcing and hiring white collar staff in “talent short” markets, according to Robert Walters.

Even with robust in-house HR support, more than 50 percent reported that they have had difficulty recruiting skilled professionals from abroad and other talent pools.

Traditional strategies such as offering higher pay may no longer guarantee the successful recruitment of a skilled employee, as professionals increasingly desire added bonuses such as a good work-life balance, career progression and the opportunity to work overseas.

Jason Grundy, UAE country head at Robert Walters Middle East, said less than 10 percent of employers surveyed said they used the lure of an overseas career opportunity as a means of beating counter-offers.

“If employers feel they lack the connections to tap into this market, they may benefit from working with a partner that offers them such access,” he said.

Ultimately, UAE businesses – and across the wider Middle East – will need to review recruitment strategies to secure top talent. For example, they may consider shortening the hiring process and reducing the time from interview to offer to win candidates moving from overseas or who are engaged in more than one offer, Robert Walters said.

Grundy said: “Despite skills shortages in the Middle East, only a quarter of businesses would produce a plan to recruit from different talent pools they hadn’t explored in the past.

“To fully explore the breath of talent available, it is important to engage with a range of hiring channels.”

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