Executive talent search intensifies in Mideast
Dubai, June 30, 2014
Major international events are intensifying the search for top executive talent in the Middle East, according to experts at a networking event in Dubai.
The experts at the London Business School’s Executive Search Networking Event pointed out that events such as Dubai Expo 2020 and the Fifa World Cup 2022 in Qatar will see employers in the region demanding particular skill sets and adding more criteria to candidate profiles.
Jonathan Holmes, managing director Middle East at Korn Ferry International, said: “The Dubai Expo will see a significant influx of people into the UAE’s talent pool as job creation escalates at all levels from the ‘vital many’ to senior executives.
“Corporate entities will be looking to identify and recruit best-in-class talent from all corners of the world and will not compromise on quality.”
Niche skill-sets and particular areas of expertise will shape the demand for a particular cadre of executive talent, with candidates who have substantial regional experience topping employers’ wish lists, he said.
The experts have predicted that changes in the supply and demand for talent will become especially profound in the five years before 2020.
“There will certainly be a keen interest in professionals who bring high levels of functional expertise in areas currently absent from the region, combined with individuals with highly honed soft skill, such as cultural awareness,” Holmes added.
Dubai’s Vision 2021 initiatives such as the emirate’s proposed position as an Islamic Finance hub will also spur changes in the region’s demand for talent at senior executive level, said a statement.
With the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia leading initiatives for women, particularly nationals, also represent an exciting area of change, according to the Executive Search experts.
Muna Awwadova, partner at CTPartners, who was also on the school’s panel, said: “Despite the high percentage of women graduates in the GCC, the percentage of women in the workforce is significantly lower. There is a lot of encouragement and empowerment for women related to an evolution of the cultural customs in the GCC.
“More time is needed, however, for the growth and development of women to move into more senior roles as government-led initiatives start to take effect.”
London Business School’s annual Executive Search and Networking Event was attended by 100 current students, alumni and recruiters at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Conference Centre. - TradeArabia News Service