UAE jobs amid Covid: Which sectors are hiring


Dubai - Firms are looking to recruit a contingent workforce to have flexibility in headcount based on business needs.


Waheed Abbas

Published: Fri 23 Jul 2021, 10:34 AM

Last updated: Fri 23 Jul 2021, 10:46 AM

Sectors such as e-commerce, IT, healthcare, pharma, medical devices, customer service, and financial technology are hiring a highly skilled workforce in the UAE in 2021. This comes as firms recruit a contingent workforce to have flexibility in headcount based on business needs, say human resources executives.

Though hiring is expected to pick up in the second half this year, they believe that the local hiring is unlikely to reach 2019 levels soon.

Sectors hiring during Expo 2020:

>> Hospitality

>> Retail

>> Technology

>> Travel

>> Catering

>> Leisure

"With companies adapting to virtual recruitment and onboarding, there has been a shift from static jobs towards project-based or cross-functional work. Some organisations have started recruiting contingent workforce to have flexibility in headcount based on business needs. Temporary or project-based work may also be more widely accepted by employees looking to re-enter the workforce or venture into a different industry," said Mayank Patel, country head at Adecco Middle East.

Sectors that are hiring:

>> IT

>> Healthcare

>> Fintech

>> E-commerce

>> Customer services

>> Logistics

>> Telecom

>> Medical devices

>> Financial

Job numbers are increasing in the first half of 2021 and Patel expects this trend to continue going forward, with some countries now lifting restrictions and economies coming back to normal. Moreover, the Expo 2020 Dubai will also have a high influx of jobs in the UAE across catering, technology, software, travel and hospitality sectors.

"The demand remains for workers in jobs like construction, delivery, logistics and warehousing and vaccine administration. Many industries like retail, e-commerce, transport and delivery, logistics, information technology, software consulting, financial, fintech, telecommunications, healthcare, pharma, and medical devices have been actively hiring during this time to meet market demands and fulfil essential roles," he added.

The pandemic forced many organisations to fast track the adoption and deployment of new technologies to reduce costs, enhance productivity and stay in the game. Technology-based roles continue to be in high demand as e-Commerce booms and replace the brick-and-mortar experience. Restaurants and food delivery platforms have emerged and strengthened as many people opt to dine in.

Deepa Sud, CEO of Plum Jobs, said there is a greater shift towards recruiting experienced senior personnel with specialised and technical capabilities.

"Many of the lower-level roles have been eliminated from businesses for two main reasons – firstly, companies have realised that they do not need those roles, especially as many businesses have downsized and/or restructured and secondly cloud systems and automation have made roles redundant," she said.

There is also a greater demand for technology specialists, though this is not necessarily related to the pandemic but due to a significant rise in technology-based solutions.

She noted that the job market would improve, but it will take a while.

"The world has changed dramatically and every aspect of our lives has changed, so it is not surprising that we will not see local hiring reach 2019 levels again in the near future…Business leaders and investors will have to manage their costs more conservatively, resulting in many roles being redefined or eliminated because of technology or less face-to-face interactions with customers and suppliers," added the CEO of Plum Jobs.

As a greater number of people are vaccinated, Sud sees people becoming more optimistic and confident in stepping out again. This augurs well for the economy and the job market.

Mayank Patel projects reopening of the countries after the pandemic and the UAE's strategy to tackle it have resulted in new job listings in areas like travel, leisure and hospitality, as well as remote work and technology areas.

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