Five Rules For Recruiters To Follow During Ramadan Networking | UAE News Five Rules For Recruiters To Follow During Ramadan Networking | UAE News
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Five Rules For Recruiters To Follow During Ramadan Networking

Five Rules For Recruiters To Follow During Ramadan Networking

Use iftars and suhours as an opportunity to connect rather than pitch, says Asha Wadhwani, key account manager at Efinancial Careers Gulf.


With the weather heating up, Ramadan starting and key decision-makers largely not contactable, many recruiters in the Middle East will view July as a good chance to take some much needed time off. With the holy month also comes festivities in the form of iftars and suhours, which are prime opportunities for networking and lead generation. Here you’ll find influencers from investment banks, consultants, family offices and powerful and influential locals. There are a few rules you need to follow while networking with them.

1. Take the soft approach

Any run-of-the-mill networking event in the Middle East can be an opportunity to harvest business cards and reiterate just how valuable your skills and services are. At a Ramadan gathering, particularly a private rather than corporate event, take a more subtle approach. Be respectful and use the opportunity to connect more than pitch. If you come face-to-face with a key decision maker, don’t be afraid to present your case, but do so without looking desperate or pushy.

2. Listen and Respond

Don’t go into these meetings with a pre-formed opinion about what the recruitment or financial sector market is like. Very often, you hear about upcoming deals or possible recruitment drives from particular banks, and key people in the region also offer their insights to what lies ahead for the remainder of the year. This can set the tone for the final quarter, and you can leave these meetings with valuable market intelligence as well as new contacts.

3. Choose wisely

At this point of the year, many big organisations or entities will host iftars and suhours, and it’s tempting to spread yourself far and wide to enhance the range of networking opportunities. In reality, you need to scrupulously research exactly who is likely to attend and what you can achieve by meeting them, as well as who you know that can offer an introduction. You might have an invitation, but once in, you’ll find it difficult to infiltrate groups of people sitting together in small cliques. Because it’s unlike conventional networking, you’ll need an avenue in.

4. Show some staying power

Iftars can start around 7pm, and it can be three or four hours of sitting and informal chatting before the tea and shishas kick off. It’s in this more relaxed environment where most of the business talk gets done. People get to a stage of discussing business mostly after this point and hence it is best to stay on for a longer time.

5. Don’t embarrass the person who invited you

If you’re an expat recruiter, the chances are you’ve been able to secure an invitation through a local or Arabic contact. It’s just as important for you to maintain that relationship as it is to develop new contacts. Remain aware of cultural sensitivities at all times. This can mean not overdoing it at the buffet – particularly if some of the fellow guests are still fasting – or avoiding the summer post work drink, even if you’re planning on turning up to the event later in the evening.


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