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Employers increasing staffing levels due to economic growth

UAE still an employers’ market for the professional and service sector despite tough global economic conditions

  • By Alexander Cornwell, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 19:04 September 15, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • Job seekers queue up at Shaikh Zayed Road for job interviews after a company advertised vacancies. Recruitment levels are likely to gain speed over the next 12 months.

Dubai: Employers are increased hiring for new job openings in 2013 compared to the previous year due to increasing confidence in the country’s economic performance, HSBC’s Middle East & North Africa Chief Economist Simon Williams said.

Williams said businesses had increased their recruitment levels because they are confident the increase in the pace of growth would be sustained.

However, despite the increase, he said recruitment levels were still in the relatively early phase and are likely to gain speed over the next 12 months.

Gulf News spoke to employers from three different sectors, healthcare, retail and utilties, who all said they had increased staffing levels in 2013.

Raveendra Rai, Vice President — Human Resources & Personnel at NMC Healthcare, said recruitment had increased by 76 per cent up until June 30.

NMC ise one of the UAE’s largest healthcare providers with hospitals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain.

The healthcare company has hired 729 new employees up until the end of June this year, Rai said.

He said the opening of new healthcare facilities had driven recruitment of medical staff.

Rai said the company had also hired management, technicians, pharmacists, accountants, and front-end customer service staff.

NMC will look to hire up to a further 300 new employees before the end of year for existing facilities, he said and that another 400 would be needed for new facilities.

Rai said NMC Healthcare, which also encompasses IT and pharmacy businesses, strictly focused on outside recruitment when hiring expatriates.

Rai said the hospital was continuing to diversify its staff in an effort to meet the UAE’s increasing cultural diversity.

“We use to recruit primarily from the Sub-Continent,” he said.

NMC Healthcare, who still recruit from the Sub-Continent, also source staff from Jordan, UK, South Africa, and the USA among other countries.

Rai said the increase in staff levels was due to the nature of business and organic growth as NMC Healthcare expands to meet driving demand for healthcare in the UAE.


Attrition levels

Rai said it was sometimes challenging to hang on to staff that are predominantly expat workers due to new opportunities and homesickness, among other reasons.

However, he said the company had reduced its attrition rate to 6.11 per cent.

It was 8.6 per cent for the same period last year, he said.

Attrition refers employees who have been laid off or have resigned.

He said the perception of employment security had improved since the company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

 

Service demand

Ahmad Al Suwaidi, Director of Human Resources at Tabreed in Abu Dhabi, said the company had 599 employees across its local and international operates.

Al Suwaidi said current staffing levels were 4 per cent more than in 2012.

Al Suwaidi said an increase in demand in its services across the region had driven the district cooling company to increasing staff at different levels of the company including corporate, administration, HR, and technicians.

He said most applicants were qualified for the position and it was more a matter of aligning suitable candidates with the Tabreed culture.

He said that the recruitment market was very competitive.

 

Retail sector growth

Shishir Jha, Head-Human Resources at Jumbo Electronics, said its retail arm remained the growth engine for recruitments.

Jha said Jumbo Electronics had hired more than 235 staff between April and August 2013.

The company hired 100 over the same 2021 period, he said.

Jha said organic growth and strategic expansion across their distribution, enterprise, and other business lines and contributed to a rise in recruitment levels.

He said the attrition rate was similar to 2012.

Among the 235 employees hired at Jumbo Electronics between April and August there were 48 management staff, including 20 management trainees, he said.

Jha said he expected the company to add at least a further 200 employees by year-end. However, this would depend on market conditions.

He said the company would also look to add 25 Emiratis to their roster.

There are 30 Emirati’s currently employed at Jumbo Electronics, he said.

Despite recruitment growth, Gareth Clayton, Director at recruitment consultancy Charterhouse Middle East, previously told Gulf News that recruitment levels were “not back to the dizzy heights of 2007 and 2008.”

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