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Irreconcilable differences?

Irreconcilable differences?

There isn’t much point to, well, pointing fingers, if it’s not breaking any barriers or glass ceilings, says Precious de Leon

March 20, 2011 5:01 by

Recruitment agencies and HR departments are like matchmakers. Their job is to find the perfect marriage between a company’s ideal candidate and the real world qualifications of job seekers.

And when the word ‘nationalisation’ comes up, the job instantly seems doubly difficult.

However , according to a Citi report, that really shouldn’t be the case. It sees twice as many jobs available in the GCC then there are nationals between the ages 15-64 years old, as reported in Emirates 24/7.

Ratios vary from country to country though. “There are just enough jobs in Oman for the entire working-age population, but over 10 jobs per person in Qatar. In principle, full employment should, in all cases, be the norm,” according to the report.

However, the report also sees less than 50 per cent of Bahrainis, Saudis and Omanis of working age are officially employed and the figure is less than 60 per cent for the rest of the GCC.

So if there are more than enough jobs out there, why is unemployment still an issue in the local labour market?

In any other region, when an international company sets up shop, the business instinct is to take on local hires because they know and understand the market and they don’t come with expat packages.

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  1. Matthew Blair on March 21, 2011 6:52 am

    While there is a lot of truth in the numbers quoted on job availablity a crucial factor in the Middle East is that an expatriate is more likely to be cheaper to hire; is ususally considered more reliable [controlable] as he seldom has another source of income to support himself or a family; he is constrained by the laws on residence rights and movement of contract;has less expectations on rapid promotion and unfortunately in comaparison to a “local” there is a perception that he will be more hard working.

  2. Andrew on March 22, 2011 7:07 am

    Finding qualified locals in any of those countries isn’t the issue. Finding ones that are willing to actually *work* instead of dossing about in cushy public sector jobs is.


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