Gulf lacks talent: Firms unhappy with candidates

The UAE and the Gulf region at large are facing a shallow talent pool, according to some recruitment experts in the country. Quality is hard to find despite the increased availability of candidates in the job market and identifying them is another challenge, they say.

Cliff Single, Commercial Manager at BAC Middle East, admitted that “highly skilled candidates with consistent experience in the region with leading companies are in relatively short supply.”

Agrees Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase. “It is indeed true.  Identifying the right candidate is still difficult, despite the supposedly bigger availability in the market.  Everything depends on the definition of the words ‘right candidate’.  The qualifications that make a senior executive ‘the right one’ especially at this challenging period, are rare and do not depend on the potential availability of people,” she told Emirates 24|7.

According to experts at Gulf Talent, an online recruitment portal, many companies interviewed by it complained that despite more candidates being available in the market it was still hard to find good quality.

“With the market uncertain, high‐performing professionals continue to be weary of a career move that may expose them to ‘last in, first out’ downsizing policies. At the same time, a greater number of weaker candidates have entered the job market, either, following termination or fearing the possibility thereof, making it even more difficult to identify the strong candidates. Meanwhile, downsized and operating at capacity, many companies have made staff retention a top human resource priority – as they find themselves without any margin for staff departures. This has made it more difficult for competitors to poach their staff,” it said in a recent report.

However, there are some experts who differ in their opinion. Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates, a recruitment consultancy believes that there is enough talent in the region but identifying them could be difficult.

“Quality candidate exist in abundance here in the Gulf. However, identifying them, approaching them and employing them is a different matter altogether. We feel that there is an excellent pool of qualified and motivated candidates in the Gulf region from all nationalities,” he told this website.

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