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Nine out of 10 UAE Firms Aim to Recruit in 2012


Middle East : 26 December 2011

Source: Emirates 24/7

A vast majority of UAE firms polled by a regional recruitment agency say they will increase their headcount in next year.

According to a survey published  by Gulf Recruitment Group, employers in the country are planning to improve their recruitment strategies for the coming year, but not all sectors may see the same kind of activity.

The survey reveals that 93 per cent of employers in the UAE anticipate increasing their headcount in 2012, but will be looking at recruiting more cautiously in the first quarter.

The positive sentiment was shared by both international and local firms. “UAE companies including multinationals and leading local companies have expressed strong confidence that 2012 will see accelerated business activity and with this greater hiring in the UAE and the wider region. Our market review suggests it will be a good start to the year when it comes to hiring in the UAE,” the report said.

In the current economic circumstances, some sectors may offer more opportunities as opposed to others. “Overall, employers anticipate a continued hiring pace compared to 2011, with the brightest job prospects reported by employers in the FMCG, construction and pharmaceutical sectors. On the other hand, opportunities in the corporate and retail banking sector are expected to be more challenging while the investment banking sector intends to maintain the same level of employment as the last year. There will, however, be some good news for candidates seeking careers in the insurance industry though,” said Mark Timms, Director, The Gulf Recruitment Group.

The findings state that the construction sector will see increased demand in the first two quarters of 2012 with 17 per cent of organizations reviewed having a manpower plan in place for next year. Job openings will be in project management and engineering especially out of the UAE. On the other hand, outlook for hiring in the financial services industry in 2012 is still uncertain across the region.

Similar views were shared by an October survey by Bayt.com and YouGov, which stated that over the next one year, UAE Inc and the region will be in a hiring mode. Within this time-frame, 34 per cent of MNCs will be ‘definitely hiring’, as will 31 per cent of large local companies, 26 per cent of local SMEs, and 23 per cent of public sector companies.

“Statistics across the region are very similar. Companies for the most part are less likely to hire in the coming three months, though it’s interesting to note that local companies have the largest cumulative percentages of ‘definitely’ and ‘probably hiring’. In that respect, SMEs will make up the bulk of employment possibilities in a year’s time, suggesting that there may be an increase in start-up companies,” said the survey.

The survey shows that majority of the openings will be at junior levels but demand for executives is also expected to pick up steam. The findings show that companies across the region looking to hire in the next three months are predominantly seeking employees for junior executive positions (37 per cent), although there is also a relatively high demand for executives (30 per cent), coordinators (29 per cent) and senior executives (27 per cent). Most companies (49 per cent) will offer less than five jobs, while an additional 20 per cent will look to hire between 6-10 new employees. In the same timeframe, a cumulative 71 per cent of UAE companies who claim they will hire in the next three months, will look for ten or less employees; of these, 48 per cent will have five or less positions to fill.

The industries that are attracting or retaining top talent across the region are banking and finance (36 per cent), telecommunications (35 percent) and construction (31 per cent). In the UAE, oil, gas and petrochemicals ranked first (39 per cent), followed by banking and finance (36per cent) and construction (27 per cent).

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