Font Size

- Aa +

Tue 4 Feb 2014 02:05 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

UAE finance firms 'not meeting Emiratisation quotas'

Four in 10 employees believe their company is failing to meet local recruitment quotas - survey

UAE finance firms 'not meeting Emiratisation quotas'
(Photo for illustrative purpose only)

Four in 10 employees working in financial services in the UAE believe their company is failing to meet local recruitment quotas with almost half saying it was not adding value to the business, a survey found.

Despite 57 percent of respondents saying the Emiratisation strategy was in line with company objectives, eFinancialCareers said its localisation of the workforce survey found  “the jury is out on whether Emiratisation is useful”.

The results found almost half (45 percent) of respondents claimed it was not adding value to the business.

However, two-thirds (66 percent) claimed it would add most value to the front office, compared to only 14 percent support for back office operations.

Asked at which level Emiratis were being recruited, more than half (53 percent) of respondents indicated this was happening at graduate level, which put an onus on financial institutions to ensure a retention strategy followed on from recruitment plans.

James Randall, eFinancialCareers Middle East, said there was a gap evident in how the strategy was being rolled out with some people believing it was not working though the majority were aware of it.

He said while there was not necessarily anything wrong with how companies were approaching localisation they were hampered by a skills shortage.

“That is, you’re trying to create that skilled candidate to meet those quotas,” he told Arabian Business. “There are some areas, say within front office, where there are some skills missing and obviously Emiratis as well, they probably are more inclined to go into other areas of administration.”

Randall said addressing this was a “chicken and egg” scenario.

“You’re creating a sudden need by not having that percentage but then you’ve obviously got to have that workforce wanting to work within those sectors that you’re presenting,” he said. “To get that equally across all areas isn’t always going to suit everyone’s career aspirations.”

There was also the added of issue of competition between the private and public sectors for the “same pot” of employees.

Randall said Islamic finance was a growing area of business and potential key area for local hiring.

“All round it has to be dealt with, and it is being dealt with, but it’s got to keep being addressed and keep moving towards that common goal,” he said.

James Bennett, Global Managing Director of eFinancialCareers, said: “Emiratisation is a key focus for governmental entities across the UAE, and major banks such as the Emirates Islamic Bank are making it central to their talent development strategy.”

“Emiratisation, however, can be a challenge for recruiters.  There are just not enough experienced and trained UAE nationals to meet the talent requirements of the financial industry, and this will only get harder with the Government’s new targets.”