GNcareers, from Gulf News

Non-oil industries still hiring amid oil slump

While the fall in crude prices is driving down recruitment in oil-sensitive industries, many jobs are still being created in certain companies in the UAE, according to a new report.

The latest Monster Employment Index Middle East, a monthly gauge of online job postings in the Middle East, showed that job seekers can find opportunities in today’s top growth industries:  information technology and telecommunications; banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and health care.

There is currently a high demand for software, hardware and telecom professionals, with the IT and telecom industry registering a 23 per cent year-on-year growth in hiring as of May 2015.

There are also vacancies up for grabs for those with banking and finance qualifications, with the BFSI sector posting a 22 per cent growth in recruitment.

The third top growth industry worth looking into is health care, whose online job postings increased by 21 per cent in May 2015 compared to a year earlier.

“We attribute the growth in online hiring to positive developments in the health care sector, such as the upcoming launch of the unified national health database, which would make the UAE the first country in the region to have [such a facility],” said Sanjay Modi, managing director at India, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Modi, however, said that the health care sector is currently looking to hire for a variety of occupations, such as IT specialists, marketing and communications experts and accountants, rather than medical specialists. The Economic Intelligence Unit, however, projected that the number of medical professionals need to increase by 50 per cent over the next six years to meet government targets, so vacancies for nurses and other health care specialists will likely open up in the near future.

Across the Middle East, companies registered a 27 per cent year-on-year increase in hiring. “However, growth momentum has slowed down, with a 1 percentage point decrease in May compared to last month,” said.

Companies that are less likely to offer new jobs in the UAE are those in the consumer goods, fast-moving consumer goods, food and packaged food, home appliance, garments, textiles, leather, gems and jewellery industry, which registered a 9 per cent decline in hiring.

Oil and gas companies in the UAE are also not a good option for job seekers, with online recruitment in this sector showing a 19 per cent drop.

In the engineering, construction and real estate sector, hiring activity has dropped by 23 per cent, the highest among the industries monitored.

Following reports of continued decline in oil prices, slump in real estate values and lower global economic growth forecast, a number of companies have announced that they are implementing some job cut backs or restructuring. Emirates Global Aluminium, for example, has just confirmed it is going to cut its workforce by four per cent. HSBC, which has offices in the Middle East, said it will lay off thousands of employees.

A separate analysis by showed that job postings have not registered a shock, citing that hiring levels in the UAE are “pretty consistent with hiring levels last year.”

Suhail Masri, the company’s vice president of sales, said this suggests that there is “increased turnover and reconsolidation” in UAE companies, if not growth.

Masri said that in their recent survey, the majority of the companies (68 per cent) intend to hire in a year’s time. About 19 per cent of the employers expressed plans to hire accountants, as well as sales managers (16 per cent), customer service representatives (14 per cent), receptionists (14 per cent), human resources professionals (12 per cent), project managers (12 per cent) and executive assistants (12 per cent) this year.

Candidates with business management qualifications are considered most desirable by 28 per cent of the companies, followed by applicants with an engineering degree (24 per cent) and commerce (20 per cent.

Those who are team players have better chances of landing a new job, as they are preferred by 50 per cent of the employers, including those that have good leadership skills (49 per cent), strong communication skills in both Arabic and English (45 per cent) and those that are trustworthy or honest (44 per cent).

“We regularly cater to companies in the industry at all stages of their growth and retrenchment cycle across career levels and specialties and so far, there has been little indication regionally of mass layoffs in the industry,” Masri told Gulf News.

“In fact, our job posting and search activity remains relatively robust and quite similar to levels at this time last year.”



Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter,