GNcareers, from Gulf News

HR focus on growing service industry jobs

HR focus on growing service industry jobsImage Credit: Supplied

A service job is one in which you perform a task for customers. Experts suggest that there would be a hike in demand for retail, hospitality, industrial and real estate services. More than 300,000 jobs are expected to be created across the region in the next five years. Thousands of people are required to work in fast food retail, call center/BPO, direct sales, organized retail and real estate maintenance services.

The UAE must be cautious in attracting lower level talent in these sectors. The country needs quality workforce with the right mindset. There should be an intervention to regulate these roles in terms of pay and benefits.

Unfortunately, employers have a ''can hire'' mentality, which leads to the import of cheap labor with inappropriate know-how. A serious HR approach is required in organized retail. There are good career opportunities; the biggest opportunities are expected for local talent.

There has to be a standard when hiring for the service profession. Besides their tertiary qualifications, employees in this sector need on-the-job-training (OJT). For instance, call center agents need OJT in call handling. Coffee shop, restaurant and fast food chain employees need to be oriented in servicing customers. CRM staff should have customer service skills. Direct marketing agents must have product knowledge.

Besides decent compensation, employees must be assured of career growth and the possibility to reach senior management position. This is an area where we can tap local talent. For example, people with UAE experience must be a solid specification to employ.

Retail experts claim that retail chains, fast food outlets, travel and hospitality businesses, banks, insurance firms and logistics companies will employ around hundreds of thousands of young people, in the 20-30 age group, mostly for frontline sales functions. Their competencies must be checked before they come on board.

Handy Hints:

• Employees in the service profession need to undergo OJT

• The service sector includes hospitality, real estate, retail, etc.

• The country needs quality workforce with the right mindset

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Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant