Competition for Emirati talent reaches record levels

Competition for Emirati talent is the highest it has ever been, according to recruitment giant Hays.

An update on the firm’s Middle East operations, released this morning, reveals that hiring of UAE nationals – as opposed to expatriates – has risen over the past few months, with increased demand in both the public and private sectors.

The growth is occurring against a backdrop of ‘Emiratisation’ in support of the ‘Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030’ plan across private organisations and industry sectors, with around 30,000 private sector jobs expected to be created for UAE nationals in 2019.

As a consequence, Hays says the competition for top Emirati talent is hotting up, with organisations having to assess their attraction and retention techniques to ensure that they have the most effective processes in place for securing talented employees. The three core ‘pull’ factors are learning and development opportunities and initiatives, organisation culture, and employer brand.

The hiring of UAE nationals differs from that of expatriates and has its own complexities and requirements. Hays underlines the importance of the onboarding process being managed as professionally and efficiently as possible. Otherwise, employers can lose candidates because the hiring process takes weeks or months longer than anticipated, resulting in a lack of trust in the organisation and loss of interest in the role.

Consequently, Hays calls on employers to manage candidates’ expectations, communicate on the status of their application regularly and enforce the value that they foresee in them. If in doubt about the process for hiring UAE nationals, employers should work with a trusted recruitment partner that can provide support.

While there are many Emirati candidates available for work in the local employment market, there is a skills shortage in technical engineering roles, digital marketing and communications, finance and HR.

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