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How the UAE hospitality sector can finally solve its hiring problems in 2018

Hotels and other hospitality businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have long had to deal with hiring problems that are expensive, laborious, and time-consuming. From my own experience working in recruitment over the last 6 years, I’ve seen how employers struggle in high-volume hiring industries. And it doesn’t matter how big their recruitment budget is. All companies face similar problems. In this article, I look at some of the biggest problems I’ve seen that employers in the UAE have and how as a sector, we can solve them together. I then look at what I believe is the solution that UAE hospitality companies are crying out for. 1. Do you have high volumes of unsuitable candidate applications? When job seekers apply for vacancies that they are unqualified for, it delays the hiring process and makes it more difficult to find the right person for your team’s needs. Recruiters need to sift through and assess all applications, which can be so time-consuming. One position can receive hundreds or even thousands of applications. It can also affect your HR team’s morale, and can negatively impact business performance. Additionally, it raises your company’s recruiting costs. I believe that the solution for employers is to receive applications from suitable candidates only. If they don’t match the vacancy requirements, they can’t apply. It should be that simple, right? You should receive applications that match your requested qualification levels, experience, language skills and any other attributes, no exceptions. 2. Do you spend a lot of money on recruitment agencies and job boards? Recruitment agencies offer a very expensive option to hire new staff. Another reason that their fees can be costly is due to the high staff turnover rate in the hospitality sector. The UAE in particular has one of the highest staff turnover rates in the world, meaning that companies using recruitment agencies for high volume hiring sectors must invest in recruitment rounds again and again. Job boards are another external recruitment cost for employers. For high-volume recruitment industries, typically attract a high number of candidates. This equates to a lot of work sifting through applications and managing the associated steps and administrative tasks. 3. Are traditional CVs burdensome and outdated? CVs can show you vital information on the candidate’s history, but they create a lot of manual and administrative work. This includes email back and forth, filing and storage, and examining CVs to find the right candidate. Employers often have to ask candidates for further information and proof of qualifications, which further prolongs the process. Not all candidates know what employers are looking for, meaning that a lot of time is wasted for everyone involved. There are other steps of course, including the need to check references, which can take days. Common issues that make the process more frustrating include CV typos and inconsistency in structure. Traditional CVs also fail to clearly highlight candidate length of time in a specific job role, business function or industry. Additionally, it’s impossible for employers to filter CVs, a free text document, for this information. The new technology that replaces free text fields is now possible for employers. Rather than have to examine every single unique CV, employers would be able to search candidates by the level of experience and other attributes. For instance, this technology would help a hotel searching for a receptionist with two+ years of experience in five-star hotels, who can start within one week. It allows for much more efficient candidate analysis by zoning in the matching candidates and automatically discarding applicants who don’t fit. 4. Do you find most first-round interviews are a waste of time? With CVs alone, there is an inability to see candidate personality and cultural fit suitability. A lot of employers that I’ve worked with a view the first interview as a necessary evil but there hasn’t been any alternative. UAE companies in hospitality have always needed to meet candidates in person to get an understanding of their personality and cultural fit. Again, the costs involved are a drain on resources and it slows down your hiring process. Cutting out this step would speed up your hiring process. Rather than spend time and company resources on interviews, an introductory video from candidates would provide the solution. For customer-facing roles in hospitality, this is where an intro video would be particularly useful. 5. Can you build a talent pipeline while mobile and on the go? Up to now, the recruitment industry has followed protocols that don’t offer employers much, if any, flexibility. The processes are linear, long-established, and don’t accommodate employers on the go. Hotels and other types of hospitality companies would benefit from more flexible processes; to be able to speak to candidates in real-time without a middleman, at any time with no established schedule and location. This flexibility is now possible and focuses on speed, efficiency, and on building the talent pipeline your business needs while on the move. The takeaway These are the main pain points I have seen for the hospitality sector in the UAE. Are they all too familiar from your own recruitment experience? I’ve worked and spoken with countless companies, both large and small, and they all face such problems. And this is why we have spent the last year working on StaffPlace, the new recruitment app for the UAE hospitality sector. The StaffPlace app uses a cutting-edge matching engine and automated processes to solve these hiring problems. Here’s what it will do for your recruitment strategy:

  1. Reduce your hiring time

  2. Cut your recruiting costs

  3. Find you the right candidates

Get in touch for a free consultation here and let’s take your recruitment to the next level together. Contact us at

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