By Claire Ferris-Lay
Trend is being driven by companies' international expansion plans, say recruiters
GCC-based companies are set to hire 20 percent more chief operating officers in the next two years as firms look to grow their international presence and list their shares.
The majority of these new recruits are likely to be recruited from across the Middle East, executive recruitment agency Stanton Chase International has said.
“We’re expecting a 20 percent increase in demand for chief operating officers specifically in the MENA region,” Shane Phillips, MENA regional practice leader at Stanton Chase told Arabian Business.
“It’s a huge trend that is coming to the GCC. If you are a chief operating officer, if you are in operations, or are a chief information officer you are going to see your market equity increase over the next two to three years,” he added.
Demand for COOs has increased globally amid the economic downturn. Just 40 percent of leading companies had COOs in 2005 compared to 45 percent in 2007 and 58 percent in 2010, according to data from Stanton Chase.
Local business’ global aspirations are the biggest drivers in the Gulf states, said Philips. “It’s for several reasons; one as local businesses start to compete more and more on a global stage, and second because the local businessman is now becoming a bit more ambitious, they are starting to flirt with the idea of doing an IPO,” he said.
The majority are also likely to be recruited from within the GCC rather than western markets, he added. “A lot of people say you can get the best from the west and drop them in here but I don’t think that necessary works,” he said.
“Just grabbing your COOs from the west and bringing them here is maybe a step in the right direction because you’ll have some knowledge transfer but we actually need to home grow our own leadership in the COO role.”