The majority of the top 50 small and medium sized businesses in the UAE are planning to hire over the next six months, a recent survey has found.
The study, which polled the top 50 SMEs in the country, found that 82 per cent of them are looking to add staff to meet their growing operations.
Forty of those surveyed said an expectation of strong business results in the final quarter of the year has added to their expansion plans.
SMEs in the construction, IT and project management sectors are in the biggest need of new hires.
However, despite the need for additional staff, 60 per cent of the SMEs polled said they were concerned about the costs of recruitment, with visa expenses cited as the biggest challenge.
“Recruitment is really a big challenge for SMEs, as they are competing with bigger organisations who can perhaps offer a better compensation package,” said Robert Keay, managing director, Ethos Consultancy.
“For SMEs, they need to be more creative in developing an employment package that could include non-financial benefits that prospective candidates may find appealing.”
Keay also said employees have advantages working for SMEs and start-ups, with the opportunity to grow with the company and build long careers.
Dubai SME, the agency under the Department of Economic Development mandated to develop the Dubai SME sector, says small businesses should implement retention and development strategies for existing employees.
“While many enlightened, willing and able SMEs realise the need to attract, retain and develop good employees, there is still a long way to go,” said HE Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.
“Through the Dubai SME100 initiative, it will work with the top SMEs to create more awareness of human capital development, and showcase good SME role models for other SMEs to learn good practices of their SME peers.”