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Talent trends in the 2016  job market 

Posted by Hays UAE, December 2015

Technology is changing everything, and in 2016 recruiting experts say its influence will be felt on who and how we recruit. Flexibility, adaptability and diversity will also add their weight to the top talent trends you need to be aware of in the year ahead.

“Technology is becoming increasingly vital to an organisation’s competitive edge, regardless of the sector in which they operate.” Says Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays Middle East.

“To stay ahead of the curve, employers need talented individuals who can demonstrate both technical and interpersonal skill; to utilise the latest technological innovations in a way that the rest of the organisation can deliver."

According to Hays, the top 10 recruitment trends for 2016 are:

1. Growth of flexible workforces: Engaging talent on long-term contracts will be a key trend in 2016 as organisations seek a flexible headcount. Organisations will also continue to engage employees on a contract basis with a view to making them permanent if more projects are undertaken.

  • For candidates this means that being flexible and staying open to both contract and permanent is a must in 2016 if you want to access a greater range of opportunities

2. Like-for-like skills and local experience: Whilst doing business in the UAE remains quite different from conducting business in many expat communities, the economy is becoming increasingly globalised. As a result employers are on the lookout for employees with both local and international expertise, who are used to working across different cultures, using their initiative to make decisions in often ambiguous situations.

  • Candidates should gain as much multi-cultural experience as they can in order to progress ‘up the ladder’ within their desired career. Those who demonstrate practical skill in local and international markets will be favoured over those with only limited regional experience.

3. Digital Influencers and Analysts: Data analytics has been a big focus in 2015. Now more organisations will look at the trends data reveals and how they can scale those up into actions. This is about making data relevant to a business as they continue on the digital transformation journey.

  • For employees in relevant roles, this means upskilling in order to understand how to make insightful and commercially relevant decisions based on data trends.

4. Focus on security: With an increasing focus on data protection, security professionals will be a focus of recruitment in 2016, to help organisations keep ever increasing volumes of data safe and ensure quick action and recovery in the event of a cyber-attack. Organisations of all sizes are looking to secure their systems and information particularly considering higher adoption rates of wireless and cloud-based solutions.

  • Consequently firewall experts, cyber security specialists, security engineers and those with particular certifications namely CISSP and CISMs will see demand for their skills increase.

5. Digital & Mobile Apps: With customers looking to transact with companies in more user friendly and simpler ways a higher number of mobile applications are being developed. This is driving up the need for developers well versed in this area as well as support staff with experience in mobile devices. User experience/user interface experts (UX/UI) will also be a recruitment focus in 2016 as organisations seek to understand how customers use websites and products/services, then provide these insights to marketing and research & development (R&D) teams.

  • Jobseekers in this field will need to show potential employers they can offer more than technical skills alone. They need to be able to show employers they can reflect a company’s brand and values in their development.

6. DevOps: In 2016 expect to hear more of the term ‘Dev Ops’ (short for development and operations) as organisations build and deploy more software more rapidly. In addition, software deployment tools are being increasingly used to automate the deployment of customised applications.

  • This will force DevOps professionals, including engineering managers with strong software development and application deployment experience, to upskill or look externally for specialists in application management.

7. Customer experience: We will see an ongoing focus on Customer Experience (CX) as organisations put the customer at the centre of everything they do. To better understand customers, data will play a key role and we will see individuals who can tailor the message and cater to their customers at the forefront of decision making.

  • For jobseekers, the use of technology in this area will be key. Showing employers you can design a leading customer experience across all platforms will be critical to secure your next move.

8. HR to harness content marketing: We expect HR to create more original content in 2016 to engage with potential new recruits. HR are using video, blogs and social media posts to promote workplace culture, showcase projects and profile existing employees to demonstrate the type of person that succeeds in their organisation. Given that candidates are hungry for content that will help them make informed decisions, we expect HR content marketing to be an ongoing trend in 2016.

  • Jobseekers should research exactly what their prospective employer is doing by way of utilising technology to create original and engaging HR content. Candidates should also ensure that they showcase examples of where they have done this in past roles in order to demonstrate their suitability for the role and organisation.

9. Workforce diversity – Employers in the UAE continue efforts to increase Emiratisation of their workforces both in public and private sectors, as well as increasing the number of women in leadership positions across the region. Whilst many Emirati’s have secured roles in the Governmental sector, the same cannot be said for the private. This has resulted in initiatives to upskill nationals from secondary school age, with particular focus on skills akin to working in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as banking & financial services, engineering and technology.

  • As CRM systems become more customary to an organisation’s operations, employers will be better equipped to proactively recruit increasingly diversified workforces. Therefore, labour forces are likely to consist of an increasing proportion of Emiratis and women in the region. For expatriates, this should not pose too negative a threat to career prospects, as the market outlook for 2016 is very positive with an ever increasing number of roles predicted to become available across all sectors. In our recent 2016 Salary & Employment survey (findings to be released in the New Year), we found that 52% of employers who participated expect their company’s headcount to increase in 2016.

10. Revolution of recruitment outsourcing: Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) will experience a revolution in 2016 with the next generation of outsourcing solutions being adopted by a wider range of businesses. Smaller organisations, sometimes with less than 50 hires per year, are now looking for RPO solutions, especially in the engineering, IT and mobile communications sectors. This demonstrates a growing acceptance of this form of staffing solution, using specific and tailored CRM systems to manage and plan staffing intake.

  • RPO is one of the industry’s most exciting and fastest growing services. Job seekers in 2016 will notice they may be dealing with partner RPO companies throughout a hiring process, who will introduce them to the employer at a specific stage of the recruitment process.

Make sure you're on track with the trends for a prosperous 2016!


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