Abdulaziz Al Ali from Emirates Group told the London Business School's forum: "Organisations need to change their approach in understanding aspects that make a company an employer of choice. It is no longer a matter of simply being the highest payer or providing the best benefits. Employees are now more discerning when choosing an employer."
The event was part of London Business School's series of thought leadership forums which provide insight and understanding into the latest business trends and marketplace developments. The session was attended by the School's current students, alumni as well as recruiters, who listened to some of the key issues faced by companies recruiting talent in the region.
Panellists discussed various recruitment topics, including how companies could start leading change and create positive and productive workplaces for women in the Middle East.
"Companies have to spend time making sure they are fully aware of their market," said Stefan Hart from HSL Partners. "They need to understand what the competitors are doing, what the pay scales are currently to enable them to be fully prepared both internally and externally. It is not always about money. Training needs to be standard to develop the staff so that they can see that they are valued and can see a path."
"There is a lack of senior level females in the market when diversity is the key word today. It has to change and it is," he added, highlighting the UAE government's recent announcement that it will become compulsory for women to be on companies' boards of directors.
"I asked a question to a very senior Saudi on my last trip: 'What is going to be the major growth area over the next five to 15 years in Saudi Arabia?' His answer was women. He believes with education and the change in attitudes to women in the workplace, that they will make a massive mark within the Kingdom. Things are certainly changing."
Emiratisation will also be another key focus for the UAE in 2013 following the announcement by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, that it will be the year of employment for Emiratis in the private sector.
"We can expect an acceleration of the focus on building sustainable, meaningful work opportunities for Nationals within the commercial and entrepreneurial sector in the decade ahead as legions of young men and women enter the labour market," said David Jones from The Talent Enterprise.
"Emiratisation 2.0 will concentrate more on building the psychological capital and personal strengths which sustain a positive orientation in the workplace and the long term performance and productivity so necessary for sustaining our ongoing economic growth in the UAE."
The forums are hosted as part of London Business School's commitment to the Middle East and provide thought leadership on the key issues facing the region. The School opened the doors to its Middle East campus, based in Dubai, in December 2006, in response to the growing demand for business education such as management courses and leadership training in the region.
Making innovation happen, the School offers an Executive MBA programme in Dubai and delivers executive education to corporates in leadership and management positions in the region.
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