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What exactly is it that makes UAE job seekers tick? ***Spoiler Alert*** it’s not all that different to what job seekers around the world generally want; a job that pays well, the opportunity for career progression and an engaging company culture. So no real surprises there. However, findings from the 2016 MENA Talent Trends Report from LinkedIn show that UAE job seekers are very clear in terms of what they really want in a job and unfortunately stumbling blocks exist within the recruitment cycle that are preventing them from getting what they desire. Today, we’re taking a look at 5 job seeker must-haves and what you as a recruiter can do to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward to attract the best talent on the market.
1: They want to hear from you
That’s right, recruiters. A whopping 94% of professionals in the MENA region are interested in hearing about new job opportunities – that’s regardless of whether they’re actively looking for a new position or if they are perfectly content in the job that they currently have. What’s more, is that MENA has a higher-than-average level of active talent. If that isn’t a sign that recruiters in the UAE should be increasing their sourcing efforts, we don’t know what is!
What you can do: Increase your sourcing activity to find active and passive candidates on LinkedIn. Be safe in the knowledge that professionals are open to being contacted by you (for the most part, anyway!) If your searches are on-point and inMails are engaging, there’s every chance that your response rate will increase and you’ll also be building a high-quality pipeline for future opportunities in the process.
2: They want feedback
Not surprisingly, UAE job seekers would like to hear back from an organisation once they have applied for a job. The number one roadblock for candidates changing jobs was ‘not hearing back after applying to a company’, with 32% of those surveyed highlighting it as a major issue, well above the global average of 26%. Other roadblocks included salary negotiations (31%) and not really knowing what it’s really like to work at the company (27%).
What you can do: At the very least, respond to every applicant to let them know if they’ve been successful or not, regardless of what stage of the hiring process they’re at. Do this in a timely manner and provide feedback wherever possible so that candidates don’t develop a negative perception of your organisation.
3: They want to know what it’s like to work in the UAE
Remember, just 13% of the population of the UAE is made up of Emirati nationals. That means that an overwhelming majority of the people applying for jobs are:
1) Not originally from the UAE
2) Not necessarily familiar with specific geographical locations within the country
3) Aren’t always aware of the cultural differences within an office environment in the Middle East
4) Or may still be living in another country and are considering relocating to the UAE
What you can do: Job seekers are looking for companies to “be open and transparent about both the positive and negative aspects of working in a particular country”. Painting a realistic picture of this on your company careers web page as well as across your social media channels will give candidates the information they need in order to decide whether or not yours is a company that will suit their needs, both geographically and culturally.
4: They want to know about company culture and values
When it comes to what candidates most want to know about a company before applying for a job, culture and values are a top priority, albeit behind the global average of 66% at 54%. Perks and benefits followed closely at 49%, so a case can be made for both to be included in the recruitment strategy of all organisations. Candidates don’t want to work for a company whose values they don’t share, so much so that it’s actually more important for them to know this than what compensation they’ll receive!
What you can do: Include information about the company’s culture in your job descriptions. Make it clear for the candidates to see what a career in your organisation looks like. Steer clear of jargon too. Explain what the company is all about, the journey it’s on and where new hires come in relation to all of this.
5: They want to know where they can go from here
Lack of career advancement is one of the biggest reasons as to why UAE professionals are leaving their jobs (40%), along with wanting more challenging work (41%) and being unsatisfied with their work environment (30%). They not only want to know if they will be able to progress within a company, but they also want a good idea of when it will happen.
What you can do: During the interview stage of the hiring process, employers should “explain about how promotions and career development work using specific examples and timeframes. So if the position you’re recruiting for has become available because of a promotion from within, make the candidate very aware of this.
All in all, UAE job seekers don’t particularly ask for much. They know what they want and they aren’t afraid to spend time researching organisations extensively before they submit a job application. Now that you know what they’re looking for, spend some time making sure that those needs are met because once those roadblocks are removed, you stand to not only attract top talent for your organisation, but to also keep them there!
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