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Mon 12 Nov 2018 02:14 PM

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UAE firms look to new markets to recruit talent

Executives says UAE companies are no longer 'stuck' attracting skilled staff from Europe and the US

UAE firms look to new markets to recruit talent
Andrew Neil, ITP Media Group chairman, in discussion with Iman Al Qassim, Chief Human Resources Officer, ENOC; Danny Leinders, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Middle East, and Maha Al Qattan, Senior Vice President Group People, DP World.

UAE state companies are no longer “stuck” attracting high-tech talent from its historically favoured markets like Europe and the United States, executives from some of the biggest local firms said at the Arabian Business Forum on Monday.

Rather, the national businesses said they were looking at other markets while also heavily investing in developing and up-skilling their own technology workforce for the future.

“We are not stuck on attracting talent from the so-called top 20 countries,” Maha Al Qattan, Senior Vice President Group People, DP World, said on a panel about 'The Talent Shift'.

“We are not always going to Europe and America. We are more into Eastern Europe and Latin America.”

She added that the the Dubai-based global ports operator has no trouble attracting top talent from across the globe and that the government has made it “easy” for companies by making the country a great place to live owing to it’s superior infrastructure and living environment.

“When it comes to attracting talent to this region, it’s easy,” she said. “Everyone wants to come (move) to the UAE. The government and country has already done half the job for us.”

Iman Al Qassim, Chief Human Resources Officer, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), added that the supply of UAE national talent has also increased significantly.

“The supply of talent has come up,” Al Qassim said.

“It would be very hard to find nationals five or ten or 15 years ago. Now nationals are actually fighting for jobs and they have to actually prove themselves to get jobs.”

In fact, the ENOC exec said that the number of candidates exceeds now the supply of jobs.

“We have a lot who are applying but the number of jobs that are available do not match.”

However, she added that she is confident that the local market will be able to meet future demands.

DP World’s Al Qattan added that DP World is not short on talent and is, in fact, already building its future tech workforce especially in the area of blockchain technologies.

However, Danny Leinders, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Middle East, however, explained that even if there is no shortage of workers, there is a “mismatch” of skills.

“I think there’s a skill mismatch and therefore we have a shortage,” she said.

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