UAE companies take too long to hire, says iRecruiter founder

Recruitment process in the UAE is six times slower compared to London, according to Kamal Al Samarrai
UAE companies take too long to hire, says iRecruiter founder
By Lubna Hamdan
Thu 13 Jun 2019 10:45 AM

Companies in the UAE take “too long” to hire applicants and fill positions, according to the founder of Dubai-based global platform iRecruiter, which connects employers to freelance recruiters in a free of charge service.

Despite the platform seeing a surge of job postings, founder Kamal Al Samarrai said companies in the Gulf country are indecisive and can take between 3 to 6 months to hire an applicant.

“The recruitment process in the UAE is so slow. It’s just very slow, unfortunately. It’s indecision in the process of hiring. It’s definitely a cultural thing. No one wants to make a decision on hiring someone. It’s a process where maybe an analyst can have 5 or 6 interviews for a position. It’s almost like you’re interviewing for a CEO,” he told Arabian Business.

“We’re seeing a lot of jobs go on the platform but the rate of completion is not high because it’s taking the companies a very long time - and we can see it from the back end - a very long time to go from the initial job through the multiple interview stages to the offer stage. And we can clearly see that on iRecruiter,” he said.

Al Samarrai said some job positions are kept open for six months and longer in the UAE, where the average time it takes an employer to hire an applicant on iRecruiter is 3 months, compared to just 10 days in the UK.

“It’s a very indecisive process from start to finish… In the UAE, probably about 3 months to fill a position. In London, we’ve had a couple of jobs posted and within 10 days to 2 weeks, [companies] have an offer for the candidate. It’s very, very efficient,” he said.

Al Samarrai is also the founder of Dubai-based recruitment agency Dawaam, which was founded in 2012.

In the first quarter of 2019, online job postings in the UAE registered a 42 percent jump compared to the same period last year, according to the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI).

The UAE, an active business hub for entrepreneurs and international investors, also issued 2,459 new licences in March alone in Dubai, compared to 1,816 licenses issued in the same month last year. The licenses reportedly created an additional 9,661 jobs in the UAE.

The education industry recorded the highest growth with 21 percent increase in online recruitment, followed by the production (including manufacturing, automotive and ancillary) industry at 15 percent.

The most sought-after occupations in the online space in the UAE were those in HR and administration at 38 percent growth, closely followed by finance and accounting at 36 percent from the same period last year.

Dubai’s unemployment rate reached 0.5 percent last year, while the economic participation rate as a percentage of total working-age population reached 83.2 percent, according to official figures.

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