The Edge 53 March 2014 Editorial Letter GCC HR and Recruitment Challenges

Download The Edge 53 March 2014 Editorial Letter GCC HR and Recruitment Challenges

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1. 8 | The Edge It is common knowledge that in Qatar and much of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), attracting and retaining a talented and engaged workforce is a major challenge, particularly for many highly skilled positions. Some vacancies can often ostensibly remain openforlongperiods.Theresultisthattheburden is placed on others in the organisation to perform the tasks necessary, or these roles are filled by persons not necessarily qualified or experienced enough to do them with much success. This situation is clearly highly inefficient, and no doubt a drain on the bottom line of the organisations it affects, at least temporarily. When human resources (HR) requirements or departments themselves are poorly managed or not at all, the problem is exacerbated. And when it is a C-Suite or management role that is not filled or poorly performed, this negative effect is further compounded, as entire companies, departments or teams struggle to advance their aims without an effective leader. Low engagement, employee churn, wastage, breaks in supply chains, missed deadlines, botched projects and non-payment of staff or creditors are but a few of the repercussions of poor or non-existent HR management. In giving this further thought, it does seem ironic to me that this would be the case for Qatar and the GCC. As an expatriate worker myself, I am all too aware that being prepared to take the life-changing step away from ones home country is a massive decision. However, in most cases in the modern world, with so many economies in decline or at best stagnant, the Middle East and especially the Gulf region is an attractive option to furthering ones career and earning a good wage. So the fact is that there are legions of qualified, capable professionals around the world Miles MastersonManagingEditor editorsletter Misseddeadlines, botchedprojects, andnon-paymentofstaff orcreditorsare but some repercussions of poor or non- existent HR management. willing and ready to work in Qatar or in one of its neighbours. This region needs talent and it is out there, from Australia to Zanzibar. So why do recruiters here face so many challenges and potential employees seem to struggle to find jobs that suit their skills quickly? Why do so many positions remain vacant and the resultant HR challenges persist in this otherwise resource- and cash-flush region? This topic is outlined in our cover story The New Talent Reality, by Gulf-based HR experts David B. Jones and Radhika Punshi on page 42, which focuses on these and other related issues through the filter of Qatars preparation for the 2022 World Cup. Factors such as workforce nationalisation, employment systems and related public policy, demographic urgencies and improving recruitment, and other HR standards in Qatar and GCC are looked at by the articles authors, who incidentally recently released an engaging book on the subject entitled The Paradox of Plenty. The Gulf comprises six countries that are unique in their own ways, so generalisations, even between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, cannot be made. But these two countries in particular share many commonalities and challenges surrounding this topic. And they are also in competition for the same talent resources, afactrecentlymadeevenmorepertinentbyDubai being awarded the 2020 World Expo, increasing the need for talent in the region exponentially. Two elements in the lead up to these events will be key: how public policy evolves and how the private sectors HR segment improve their standards and processes. As our authors express, the repercussions of failure, both in the lead up to these two events and beyond, are immense. Will competent candidates fill all the emerging vacancies? How will nationalisation quotas within the public and private sectors affect the macroeconomic dynamic? Will the emerging youth bulge be sufficiently engaged? These are just some of the questions that need to be more widely acknowledged and addressed immediately, in order to ensure that Qatar and its neighbours upcoming HR challenges are effectively dealt with sooner rather than later.