UAE – Most HR Directors Not Recruiting In 1st Half Of 2015

Filed under: International,Labor,News |
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi

Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi

Up to 40% of HR directors plan to recruit staff in the UAE in the first six months of 2015, with their companies set to add new positions, according to a report from recruitment firm Robert Half, reports

The latest Professional Hiring Index was four points lower compared to the index for the previous six months. But the report stressed that the country’s labour market is continuing to expand, despite lower oil prices and their impact on the region.

Oil prices have almost halved since June 2014, when they stood at USD 115 per barrel. Although they rebounded somewhat in the last few weeks, rising to around USD 60 per barrel, certain oil and gas companies in the region have reportedly already started cutting down on staff.

The index by Robert Half UAE, however, found that only 5% of HR directors believe their company will reduce overall headcount during the first half of 2015. Another 9% said their company planned to freeze hiring in the next six months, by not filling vacant positions or creating new ones.

The majority (45%) of HR directors plan to maintain hiring levels by filling vacated positions when they arise, the index found.

Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director of Robert Half UAE, said: “The Middle East employment market has been undergoing a shift, where international economies are strengthening and therefore competing for the most skilled international talent.”

“This coupled with the instability of the price of oil may be prompting some companies to carefully consider their hiring plans for the first half of the year. However, others are taking the opportunity to augment their teams in a bid to drive profitability and growth,” he added.

The survey also found that employee retention is a major concern with 72% of HR executives concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the next year. This will likely see pressure on employers to increase salary and benefits packages in order to retain them, and is also likely to drive broader wage inflation through 2015 and beyond, the report said.

Eight-out-of-10 HR professionals also said it is a challenging environment to identify skilled professional-level employees for their organisation.

A lack of niche technical experts and increasing competition among employers were found to be major factors, with 30% of respondents stating that demand was outstripping supply for candidates.

The bi-annual index was based on over 75 interviews with senior HR executives from companies across the UAE.

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts Daily Newsfeed

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