Private companies must rethink their branding and recruitment strategies as UAE nationals face multiple opportunities, experts say
Experts say companies in the UAE have implemented some “robust strategies” to meet emiratization quotas, not only to hire top talent but also to retain current employees, who are currently being offered multiple job offers.
Companies with more than 50 employees must increase their emiratization rate to 2% by the end of 2022; otherwise, they will have to pay a penalty of Dh6,000 per month for each citizen not employed.
Recruiting and human resources consultants said there was good talent in the market, and candidates received several job offers.
Samantha Wright, an emiratization management consultant at Michael Page, said companies are taking emiratization seriously and have implemented some strong strategies. Many are paying close attention to what role UAE nationals can play in their organisations.
“Companies that are new to the emirate and starting their emirate journey, mostly take a bottom-up approach to talent – recruiting fresh graduates and people with less than two years of experience. Given that they continue to develop their Emiratisation strategy and are at or close to Organizations that hit the quota are hiring and looking to attract both entry-level and advanced Emirati candidates with a range of specialist skills,” Wright said.
Korn Ferry’s EMEA regional director, Vijay Gandhi, said organizations were looking for young fresh graduates and experienced Emirati talent.
“Young talent from universities can participate in learning and development programs associated with the Enterprise Academy,” he said.
Nazar Musa, CEO of PRO Partner Group, said that with the rollout of Emiratisation, they are seeing more and more inquiries from clients asking for feedback on appropriate staffing quotas and clarification on their emirates requirements.
“In order to fully meet the requirements of Emiratization, companies must not only employ a certain percentage of Emirati employees, but also ensure that all Emirati national employees are employed in technical jobs,” Musa said.
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UAE national Moza Alblooshi is happy to see more opportunities and better services from the private sector.
She said wages were low before so the private sector didn’t even hire Emiratis. “Now, things have changed. We see a lot of jobs; we are surprised to see so many private companies,” she said.
Young graduate Sara Ali is also keen to work in the private sector.
“I prefer working in the private sector because I feel like I can be innovative. I want to be creative and discover more of my talents,” she said.
Wright said there has indeed been some movement in the salaries offered to citizens. This is especially evident at the graduate entry-level end of the market.
“Given that there are more opportunities in the market, the demand for fresh graduates from the UAE has increased and thus salaries have increased. We are seeing candidates receiving multiple offers as well as challenges to counter-offer and companies do not want to lose their UAE national employees,” she said.
However, not all companies have the budget to meet this requirement; therefore, some will have to examine what can be done internally to meet their Emiratisation quota and avoid fines.
Wright stressed that companies must focus on their emirate employer brand, online brand and the recruitment process itself.
“In some cases, there are considerable gaps here, and UAE nationals have recognized that. Emirati candidates want to work where they can make a difference, work hard and learn – not be counted as quotas or numbers, ’ she added.
Highlighting the challenges facing the company, Gandhi said the talent pool for professional and experienced senior positions is small but competition is strong.
“Communicating the employer brand and value proposition will be key to attracting the right Emirati talent,” Gandhi said.