Search for talent in the Middle East continues

Search for talent in the Middle East continues
Recruiting suitably qualified candidates in the region has become increasingly complex and competitive.

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Mon 12 Jun 2017, 8:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Jun 2017, 10:09 PM

Despite employers across the Middle East taking steps to attract the very best of available talent to their companies, many still report a certain level of difficulty in recruiting skilled professionals, a recent study has found.
Recent research from Robert Walters has found that recruiting suitably qualified candidates has become increasingly complex and competitive, with 72 per cent of employers in the region being affected by talent shortages. Over 60 per cent of businesses in the Middle East don't have a plan for sourcing and hiring white collar staff, while over 50 per cent have had at least some difficulty recruiting skilled professionals from abroad and other talent pools.
One of the main challenges associated with hiring today is that traditional strategies such as offering higher salaries may no longer guarantee a candidate's acceptance of a position at the employer's company.
"A large number of candidates rate a good work-life balance or interesting assignments as more important that pay. Ultimately, understanding the role these influences play will help you craft successful attraction and retention plans. Businesses that act on what employees want from their career are more likely to appeal to professionals with the right skill sets," says Jason Grundy, country head at Robert Walters - Middle East.
According to a survey, it is still challenging for employers to find candidates with the required skill sets, particularly for senior positions. In fact, 57 per cent of companies in the UAE say that finding candidates for senior positions with the required skills is difficult, while 43 per cent say that finding candidates for junior positions with the required skills is difficult.
Suhail Masri, vice president of employer solutions at, noted that the skills gap in the Middle East is not one of technical skills, but of soft skills. "To add to the challenge, it's much easier to assess and qualify a candidate based on his or her technical skills, as opposed to soft skills."
"In today's dynamic and ever-evolving job market, candidates need to be constantly looking for new ways to enhance their skills in order to differentiate themselves, optimize their profile and effectively navigate complex work environments," said Joao Neves, senior research director at YouGov. "Ideally, to maximise the impact of their efforts, industry leaders, educational institutions and governments should work together to provide job seekers with clear guidance on future growth areas in the region and most desirable skills to succeed."
Grundy also added that recruiting from a mix of talent pools is a good method to combat skills shortages. "When looking to source skilled professionals from overseas, less than 10 per cent of employers use 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, you may benefit from working with a partner that offers you access."

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