According to a survey, GCC companies are having issues hiring new staff due to lack of suitable candidates, unrealistic salary expectations and competition. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai:  Recruitment activity across the UAE remained sluggish during the second half of the year, but there are a few industries where the number of vacancies is actually on the increase.

The latest Monster Employment Index (MEI), released on Sunday, showed that online job postings by companies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the emirates  posted a 14 per cent decline in April, May and June compared to the first three months of the year.

But while overall hiring is subdued, employers who are in the business of selling or manufacturing consumables, such as processed foods, chocolates, candies or soda, have vacancies in store for applicants in the UAE.

According to the employment index, hiring by companies in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, as well as those in the gems and jewellery business, garments, textiles and leather, went up by nine per cent from the first quarter of 2017 and 26 per cent from the second quarter of 2016.

“The consumer goods industry has been increasing online hiring across the UAE since the beginning of the year. This may be due to the typically high turnover rate seen in this industry,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster.com, Asia Pacific and Middle East.

Employers in the healthcare sector, including clinics and hospitals, offered more job openings as well, with hiring increasing by seven percent.

Hiring at companies dealing with chemicals, plastic, rubber, paint, fertilizer and pesticides looks upbeat as well, with recruitment activity jumping by nine per cent in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of the year.

“It is also very encouraging to see growth in online hiring in the healthcare industry complemented by a slight stabilisation in occupations in the industry, as the UAE continues its efforts in advancing the healthcare offerings on a global level,” added Modi.

Where the jobs are scarce

Other businesses don’t have much to offer for professionals and fresh graduates who are on a job hunt.

This is especially true in companies in the information technology, telecommunications and internet services provider industry, which posted a 23 per cent decline in hiring, the highest among the sectors tracked by the index.

Jobs for candidates who have qualifications and experience in human resources and administration also registered the steepest decline at 23 per cent.

Vacancies also declined by two per cent for professionals with marketing and communications qualifications.