Post-recession, UAE Inc. has become extremely selective about the kind of people it's looking to hire, and most companies will go for nothing less than the cream of the crop.
While his newfound penchant for quality will, obviously, boost the firms' sagging bottomlines at some stage, recruitment firms in the country are complaining of coming under a lot more pressure than in the past to find ideal candidates for such companies.
Most recruitment agencies that this website spoke with say that as compared to the pre-crisis boom days, they are now faced with much higher employer expectations and longer decision cycles.
“Indeed, the employers have become more careful in their decision-making process, assessing carefully the candidates, looking really for the ‘right fit’, and of course this takes more time,” Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase, told Emirates 24|7.
“Yes,” confirms Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates.
According to Cliff Single, Commercial Manager at BAC Middle East, “clients are increasingly selective and only looking for the highest quality candidates. They are also much more cautious and taking more time over the recruitment process.”
A study by Gulf Talent shows that the greater expectations of quality candidates is contributing to the recruiting challenge. “Employers are keen to avoid a repetition of reckless recruitment drives seen during the boom years. Many reported having revamped their recruiting processes to make them much more stringent – including adding psychometric testing and background checks on all potential new hires. Recruitment agencies increasingly complain of much higher expectations of employers and longer decision cycles,” it said.
A number of HR managers say that quality is of paramount importance today. “We are not hiring as many people now and as a HR manager I have to explain the reasons why I picked up one candidate over the other. Moreover, the probationary period is taken seriously now. It’s not like before when everyone would be confirmed after completing three months,” a manager in human resources of a bank spoke on the condition of anonymity.