GNcareers, from Gulf News

15% of GCC firms face talent crunch

GNAccording to a survey, GCC companies are having issues hiring new staff due to lack of suitable candidates, unrealistic salary expectations and competition l Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Employers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region need to do more to attract and retain employees, with 15 per cent of them still lacking the right talent to achieve their goals for next year.

According to a survey among 2,800 professionals in the GCC, companies are having issues hiring new staff due to lack of suitable candidates, unrealistic salary expectations and competition from other employers.

“While it is not easy, particularly during more challenging market conditions, organisations must review their approach to both talent attraction and retention. They need to understand how their offerings compare to others in the market and identify what they can do to stand out from the crowd,” said Chris Greaves, managing director for Gulf at Hays, which conducted the survey.

The talent shortage has been a perennial problem for recruiters. Other human resources specialists had earlier predicted that the hunt for qualified staff will get even more challenging next year as many organisations in the region are still dependent on foreign human capital and employers worldwide are also going through a talent crunch.

“The competition for skilled professionals are heating up in the market as the majority of organisations are seeking skilled professionals. Within the current market, over a third (35 per cent) of employers cite a lack of niche, technical experts as the primary reason it’s challenging to find talented professionals,” said

Gareth El Mettouri, associate director at Robert Half UAE.

“As international markets seek these skilled professionals local, SME and multinational organisations are having to compete not only with their local counterparts, but also with their counterparts within Asia, Europe, the UK and US.”

Work-life balance

Hays’ survey also found that when considering employment with a company, candidates pay important attention to benefits package, organisational culture, work-life balance and job security.

There’s also a good number of professionals who consider flexible working an important factor when deciding on new job. About 70 per cent of the respondents said they are in favour of “active-desking” and working from home.

When it comes to career development, however, employers have room for improvement, with 55 per cent of GCC professionals saying they feel there is no scope to progress in their current organisation and the same number looking to move to another company next year.

“We have seen developments in the region with organisations addressing career development opportunities for current and prospective employees. There has been a visible increase in the number of learning and development professionals being recruited by organisations, particularly towards the second half of 2016. These professionals are being recruited to upskill workforces, to develop a sense of loyalty from employees and to increase overall resource capability. A win-win situation for both employer and employee” added Greaves.

Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, gulfnews.comGN