Luring skilled workers back to Dubai
Christo Daniels, Marketing Manager of Morgan McKinley UAE, says Dubai may well be back – but more work is needed if it’s to attract top talent again.
November 29, 2010 5:02 by kippreport
Andrew Day, Group CEO for Emirates Leisure and Retail said: “In today’s globalised market we need to access the best people. Therefore ELR always explores local opportunities in addition to accessing a wider workforce outside, ensuring we are selecting the best possible candidates – especially post-recession when more investment is being pumped into developing markets, partly because of natural economic growth and partly because certain markets east of Europe have tax-free incentives for technological production.”
Elsewhere in the report, Anisa Byrne, International Marketing Director for Swiss Life, said: “In these changing economic times, the most attractive international candidates in the region have backgrounds in financial services marketing, with demonstrable experience of working in environments where return on investment is a necessity. This means that proactive margin management in product marketing is part of their day job and the effectiveness of integrated communications is understood.”
But such talent is not readily available and companies in the region are, quite rightly, remaining selective by only opening up an opportunity to an international prospect if they have operated in a developed market, and have many letters after their name. Sourcing such talent means competing with other international markets that are seeking the same candidate. In turn this means promoting the UAE as much as it does the job and company.
In London, for example, management consultancies, accountants and bankers identify the best of the MBA graduates from Harvard, Yale or Oxbridge and will market the company with the same vigour and investment as they might to a million dollar venture capitalist. A programme of courting is highly strategic and involves senior partners flying out to visit a campus, understanding the candidate and their requirements both financially, professionally, and personally, and ultimately doing everything to ensure the graduate signs on the dotted line. This is just at the graduate level, so one can imagine what happens in order to recruit a senior level executive.
In this sense the role of the recruiting consultancy has to change. It must reach out to the international community, understand a job seeker’s requirement and do everything it can to promote an opportunity and the city within which it is based. This does not mean sending them the sales brochure on Dubai but meeting with them, and face-to-face, having conversations that alleviate concerns and promote a particular job or location.
So as recruitment consultants we must find new skills sets – we must be city ambassadors, PR practitioners, and investor relationship managers because its these responsibilities that will help us add value to clients and bring back the international talent to the UAE.
This is part of the reason iQ selection rebranded as Morgan McKinley; because we need to tap into the international job market and identify those candidates who are worth an upfront investment and convince them that, yes – Dubai is back.
Christo Daniel is Managing Director of Morgan McKinley UAE.
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