Sunday, March 04, 2012
The fast pace of development in Qatar is forcing companies to hold recruitment sessions abroad to find talent.
Large infrastructure projects including the New Doha International Airport, Qatar Railways and projects associated with the 2022 Fifa World Cup are expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in the country.
"We need lots of people but we need them now, so time is probably more of an issue than actually finding the people," said Bernard Ward, the country director at Reed Specialist Recruitment.
The agency, which focuses on executive appointments, has held sessions in countries such as New Zealand, the UK and South Africa to speed up the process. Project directors and project managers with heavy industry experience are in particular demand.
"They all want the same people and there just aren't that many around," said Mr Ward. "Volume-wise we need lots of people with particular skills, so we're going to whichever countries have those people and we're doing it in bulk.
"It is taking clients out of their business, which can be quite difficult to negotiate with them but they have two days where they are consistently interviewing and that's their focus. It also gives us the opportunity to present Qatar in quite a positive light as well," added Mr Ward.
That job has been made harder by the Arab Spring. "When you do find the right sort of people, trying to convince their families that it's safe, there's nothing to be concerned about [can be difficult]," he said.
Reed has more than 350 offices across the world - and Qatar is number one in terms of appointments made. The agency has placed hundreds of people into companies, and it has not even scratched the surface yet, said Mr Ward.
"The airport is a critical need because they're transferring from Doha International Airport to New Doha International Airport and they have to do it by the end of this year. That project is probably our busiest. The railway project has just been released to us, so we're working on some very specialised roles and infrastructure."
The Dubai jobs website Bayt.com has also noticed an upsurge in postings and applications for positions in Qatar. It has more than 2,000 openings in the country.
"The feeling on the ground in Qatar is that there are more jobs and a lot more applicants chasing these jobs, not just from Qatar, but from around the region and beyond," said Lama Ataya, the chief marketing officer at Bayt.
Last July, each job posting in Qatar attracted 575 applications on average. In January, it was more than 670.
Bayt's first-quarter job index survey found that 33 per cent of Qatari employers said they were "definitely hiring" in the next quarter, higher than the regional average of 25 per cent. A further 26 per cent of Qatari employers said they were "probably hiring", compared to a regional average also of 25 per cent.
"Moreover, as an indicator of the health of the Qatar job market and its ability to attract relevant professionals, 33 per cent of professionals in Qatar are optimistic about the growth in the number of employees in their organisations, versus a regional average of 21 per cent," said Ms Ataya.