JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Tuesday 7 May 2013
Last update 7 May 2013 3:33 am
Recruiters from Saudi Arabia’s technology and IT sector are seeing greater demand for talented Saudi national candidates at all levels, said experts speaking on a London Business School recruitment panel in Dubai recently.
Regional experts reported that Saudi Arabia remained the biggest growth market for technology recruitment in the region, with Western educated national candidates highly sought-after amongst local and multinational firms.
“Increasing availability of, and access to, talented Saudi nationals is driving greater demand, as well as government initiatives,” Ali Qazi, senior consultant at Michael Page Middle East, was quoted as saying in a press release received here.
“The top Saudi national candidates are usually Western educated at graduate or post-graduate level, and are usually attracted by the banking, government, IT or telecoms sectors,” he said.
“Top global talent still remains in demand, especially as the economy is growing in real terms and more international businesses are setting up Saudi based business hubs to cater to Saudi Arabia as opposed to servicing the market from the UAE or elsewhere.”
Recruiters, however, still admit to difficulties with hiring talent externally.
“It is a much easier task to move talent from within Saudi Arabia than hiring externally, especially when hiring Western talent,” says Lee Rook, Sales Director MEA at Eutopia Solutions Ltd.
Increasing localization targets are beginning to become more of a focus for local companies and multinationals in the country, experts said.
“Over the last eight years the majority of companies have not committed to the selection, development and retaining of local talent,” says Sean Rutter, managing consultant MEA region from RP International.
“What this has now resulted in for the multinationals is a commitment deficit,” he continued.
“Many, not all, organizations have a huge catch up exercise on their hands now and I would predict a talent and price war for Saudi nationals. Those with the strategy and long-term vision to match saw this coming, and may soon be seen as the real employers of choice.”
While companies are demonstrating growing thirst for people with regional talent, competition remains incredibly tough. The panel members discussed what candidates can do to stand out from the crowd.
“Personal PR is very important,” says Lee.
“Building a strong, extensive network around yourself could be the most important thing you do. Does your network know what value-add you bring to a job?
“An MBA might also be the smarter way to take your career forward, and help differentiate yourself from competing candidates. It’s by no means the golden key, but it can be the thing that shows you are committed to career progression and personal development.”
Speaking on the Technology, Media and Telecom Insights recruitment panel were:
·Jonathan Holmes, managing director at Korn Ferry International;
· Vishal Patel, Division Manager at Robert Half Technology;
· Ali Qazi, senior consultant at Michael Page Middle East;
· Sean Rutter, Managing Consultant MEA Region at RP International;
· Lee Rook, sales director MEA at Eutopia Solutions Ltd.
The panel was moderated by Francis Matthew, editor-at-large, Gulf News.