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19 April 2024

Don't quit now: Why some UAE companies will not hire you

According to an Economic Intelligence Unit, provisions for school fees is not a given now for professionals in the region as competition for jobs heats up. (Shutterstock)

By Shuchita Kapur

After seeing a good spurt in job growth in the past two years, companies in the UAE seem to be getting a bit cautious on their hiring plans, with fewer candidates being added than about half a year back.

According to figures released by recruitment company Morgan McKinley UAE, the jump in hiring has slowed down, but still shows an upward trajectory and looks promising in the long run.

The data reveals that professionals active in the UAE jobs market totalled 38,746 in Q4 2014, which was 2 per cent higher than 37,617 in Q3 2014.

In the last quarter of 2013, there were 38,043 job seekers looking for new professional roles which, when compared to Q4 2014, marks a rise of 9 per cent.

“As we can see, Q4 showed a low single digit growth in the absolute number of jobs against the previous quarter, but year-on-year there were 16 per cent more roles in Q4 2014 against 2013.

“In terms of those seeking jobs in the UAE, there is a slight slowdown in recent growth to 2 per cent against Q3 and while the quarter was 9 per cent up on the same quarter in 2013.

"We have seen an improvement in the UK and Irish economies that has begun to impact on the numbers looking for opportunities in Dubai,” said Trefor Murphy, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UAE.

However, other studies by recruitment firms show that 2015 could well be another hit year for hiring.

The latest Monster Employment Index shows that that hiring activity in the UAE has exceeded the year-ago level by a significant 19 per cent following a two percent annual drop the previous month.

“The UAE has bounced back in November as online recruitment activity has exceeded the year-ago level by almost a fifth (19 per cent),” says Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, Monster.com (India/ Middle- East/ South East Asia).

Recruiting firm, Reach, insists that demand for talent is still on the rise in the UAE and 91 per cent of the companies who took part in the survey intend to strategically recruit additional employees in 2015.

The survey polled over 200 companies in January of this year. Sectors such as banking & finance, retail, hospitality and healthcare sectors expressed the highest need, with sales, operations and technical functions among the most sought-after proficiencies.
And this projected increase in headcount is despite falling oil prices.

Despite the slight drop in growth numbers, the Morgan McKinley expert is upbeat about the job numbers going forward.

“The UAE is both focused on absolute growth but also in cost management and efficiency," he says.

“While the single biggest driver of growth will be the oil price,” he continues, “with construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, drilling all directly affected by the oil price, nevertheless with Dubai's diversified economy, the future looks pretty rosy.”