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In every successful business worldwide, human factor will always remain the most critical factor that affects organizational life in its different stages; having and maintaining the right people is the critical task assigned to HR people; where the definition of the right people varies widely from one organization to another depending on the nature of its business, mission, sector, level of technology used, and the environment in which that business operates.
Profit maximization aligned with good business reputation is the key to sustainability, and that can be achieved mainly through understanding the current business situation and through the ability to forward thinking of optimum solutions to the forecasted trends in the market. In the today business world, change is expected as never as before, customer preferences change, supply resources vary, market dynamic is so active; besides, the availability of alternative products and services has widely increased with competitive advantages in price and in quality that have broadened customers selection and freedom.
Also, technological advances have shortened distances and expanded the market place, the today customer can navigate the internet searching for the best possible solution to his needs and select among a numerous variety of the same product or service. As a result, being competent and maintaining competitive advantage in such a dynamic environment became harder than ever.
Today, the term "right people" has been widely used and even more accurate than the best people; the right people are not only the best people, but also they are those who comply to specific organization considering its culture, business sector, internal and external environment, and who have the ability to optimally communicate its resources with the market needs maximizing its profit and maintaining its competitive position in the market.
The market in the UAE:
The United Arab Emirates has been perceived by business people as a highly competitive market with many challenges; as reported by the Growth Competitive Index (GCI), the country experiencing a stable macroeconomic environment; and as a result, that economic strength has attracted business people to widely invest in the UAE market, the matter that has intensively increased competitiveness in the region.
In the today regional market, and to successfully operate a business, the HR has a major strategic role in carrying out an effective recruitment and selection techniques up to the level of competition, aligned with organization's strategic objectives.
The recruitment process
In demonstrating the booming economic conditions in the UAE, I believe that as more investment is expected to be attracted, especially after establishing significant projects such as Dubai land, Dubai World Central, Dubai Sports City, and other projects, that will bring forth a higher level of competitiveness, more diversified workforce; hence, the nature of human resource in the region is diversified with variety levels of skills in different professions, with different cultures from almost all over the world; as a result working in diversity in diversified teams, and dealing with diversity of customers is a point of interest in selecting the workforce.
such growing economy as being supported by other businesses and services that will grow in several sectors parallel to the economic growth rate; attracted successful companies in the market will struggle to keep competitive advantage by emphasizing on attracting and maintaining highly skilled employees who have potential level of success and best fit their positions.
Hence, here has become more need than ever for designing people's profile at different levels in the organization able to advance organization's goals. Moreover, securing the availability of the required workforce now and in the future is a matter of concern after studying the business nature and balancing the need against potential problems. For example, constructing companies depend widely on Indian workers for their quality of work, and for their low level of problems, reason in that could be related to that Indian population in itself is so diversified that workers cannot be gathered around together. However, in cases of the need for higher level of professionals, qualifications and personal quality will be the determinant factor in the selection.
I believe that human resource management is at the core of every successful business; as a result, effective selection should be based on a properly designed screening process that is designed referring to careful study of the internal and external environment to grant that recruiting is conducted strategically to benefit organization's strategic goals, and considering the market trends as determinants of the current and future needed workforce.
I could divide considerations to be taken in designing the complicated Hr role in the UAE market into two categories; under each is a discussion for points to be aligned for screening and selecting the best fit candidates:
Having a strong competent HR department
HR department must be a strongly prepared to face the challenging conditions by attracting, recruiting and maintaining the right people in the organization. Their strategic role is more complicated than ever; I believe that the ability of the organization depends largely on the ability of the HR people to work correctly to match the internal needs with the external needs of the organization. The Hr department has to proactively work, to be always prepared for the next step before the need critically emerges.
Internal company needs
Company strategic objectives are the reference to which things will be aligned; hence, job description should be conducting in a way that match both, the internal communication with the proper level of efficiency and discipline that guarantees the flow of work with maintaining the organization's culture and rules; and the level of flexibility that allows the organization to effectively and timely respond to changes in the market.
Studying and analyzing the market trends to come up with reliable forecast in detecting the future demand of the organization's workforce, and prepare a pool from which the selection will be carried out.
The high level of technology used in the UAE market with its accelerated advancement is an important reason in maintaining the competitive advantage by being able to timely respond to the current and expected needs. As a result, maintaining people with the ability to cope with the organizational level of technology is an important consideration in the recruitment process.
Accurately conducting job analysis in a clear way that documents an updated job description in each position, and the best specifications fit that job considering core competencies in each position at different levels.
The cost of highly skilled employees is always as high as their qualifications, and experiences from one side, and also to match the high standard of living in the UAE market; cost must be balanced against the expected return from using such highly skilled people.
Fine-tune selection philosophy
Conformity vs. new blood; workforce in the UAE natured with their diversity, as a result new blood entering the organization might have creative different ideas and different ways of thinking due to their diverse backgrounds, at the same time a degree of conformity if required to maintain the company culture.
Immediate job requirements vs. careers; HR department should be able to plan for employee career path, and to determine the proper career for each according their competencies, and their match in their current and potential positions. Besides, assessment centers-either within the organization or outsourced- is an effective way in assessing people for promotion, training, and planning for career path.
Trained vs. trainable; though trained employees is a need and always have a level to accept or reject a candidate, however employees should be trainable according to the new trends that are always there in the regional market and require new skills, knowledge or abilities.
Orientation and training
Conducting new comer inductions as an orientation to the company culture and working conditions to achieve positive working environment that creates positive interactions among employees that are expected to be of different cultures and backgrounds, with maintaining the necessary level of flexibility. And carrying out training needs assessment to align the organization with the external trends.
The regional market generally and the UAE in particular is an active market natured with new trends that are always there; understanding the market trends to expect the future skills and talent needed, and to proactively work on updating job analysis in accordance is the way to have the organization aligned with the market and timely respond aiming to maintain competitive position.
Also, the HR function has to take the country blooming economy into considerations as the environment in which the company is operated with its nature for:
The high level of competition that requires highly competent employees.
The high standard of living that determines high salaries.
The quality of workforce that are expected to achieve the company competitive advantage.
The continuous changing trends.
The variation of customer preferences.
Gathering the necessary demographic data, either within UAE and other external sources of labor to determine best labor market to supply from (e.g. India is a good supply for workers; USA, EU, and Australia are currently suppliers of workforce); however, still there is a need and expected to grow as much as the investment growth.
By determining limitations, and supportive laws and rules in government regulations; and since it is supportive to attract more investment, companies should understand how to best gain advantage of understanding these regulations. Besides, Studying trends of the country economy to be able to effectively plan for the size and nature of human resource in terms of structuring and competencies.
Understanding the nature of the workforce market that is characterized with diverse cultures, religions, beliefs, backgrounds, socioeconomic status and political affiliations; and considering the percentage of local people versus expatriates; expatriates represents 98% of the work force due to the increased number of competent employees who are attracted by the good, secured and well paid positions from all over the world.
Advertising for vacancies
In advertising for vacancies available, literature should be designed to attract the right candidates in terms of:
Technical or professional skills.
Level of experience required.
Job description including its responsibilities.
Competencies; including their aptitude, abilities and personality, based on the company core competences should be determined, used properly in job specification and works as a base in the selection process for each job title and used in evaluation, promotion as well as training needs assessment.
Using recruitment agencies is an effective way to reach the right candidates; these agencies are becoming professional with rich experience in the market of workforce locally and internationally.