After a year of job cuts and pay freezes in several sectors hiring activity is expected to remain stagnant in the Gulf in 2017, according to TASC Outsourcing
Mahesh Shahdadpuri, the firm’s CEO, told Gulf business that 2016 had been a year of cautious hiring with some sectors impacted more than others.
The company noted a 10 per cent increase in IT sector hiring compared to 2015 as government smart initiatives and digitisation increased the demand for technology jobs.
In comparison, hiring in banking and retail softened with a 5 per cent drop in hiring for the latter.
Shahdadpuri said the demand for permanent staff had slowed in the more difficult economic environment but contract staff demand was stable as companies switched to project-based models.
“I believe there has also been a shift towards affordable hiring; entry-level hiring is on the rise while hiring for mid or senior level has been limited; hiring is more specialist focused so that employees can contribute from day one; organisations are merging job roles; moreover, organisations are no longer keen on going abroad to hire, and are seeking talent from within the country,” he added.
Shahdadpuri said in light of these trends he expected hiring activity to “remain stagnant” in 2017 and maybe mildly improve towards the end of the year.
“As the oil and gas sector remains volatile, it’s likely that the sector may continue to witness job cuts in 2017. Organisations in the retail sector may reinvent themselves to adapt to the changing environment, which means some jobs will be lost, but, some others will be created,” he said.
Nex year hiring activity is expected to focus on specialist jobs with demand for cyber security, big data, cloud infrastructure and internet of things technology expected to translate in IT hires.
TASC also expects hiring to increase in healthcare and other related industries, in light of the region’s health tourism plans, and education as the number of students increases.
In addition, hiring in e-commerce, aviation and telecoms was poised for growth across the GCC as diversification plans take shape, Shahdadpuri said.
On a position basis, he indicated there would be particular demand for digital marketers, email marketers, data analysts, content marketers and web developers as retailers switch to digital.
Current popular roles in IT include programme and app developers, ERP planners, project managers, IT security managers, cloud architects, business and analytics exports and individuals proficient in SQL/Oracle database.
For education and healthcare good quality teachers and professionals will be required with demand for experts in niche and general subjects.
“While technical expertise is important, more and more organisations are seeking professionals who not only have the technical expertise but also collaboration skills, the right attitude, and the ability to get things done,” Shahdadpuri said.