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Technology and the search for talent

Technology and the search for talent

Talent management technology is becoming a vital guide in the quest for local talent, writes Mohamed Emad El-Din Salih

Competition for talent has once again erupted in the United Arab Emirates as the job market swings in favour of the most capable job seekers. Today’s educated knowledge worker is enjoying multiple offers from different employers who are challenged to attract applicants from a smaller pool of qualified individuals.

One potential reason for this increase in demand for the country’s most knowledgeable candidates could in fact be the shift in consumer spending habits. As Nielsen’s 2015 Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions shows, consumers are less willing to spend freely and are instead choosing to invest their disposable income. This is despite Nielsen’s findings noting a slight rise in confidence among the UAE’s residents. In fact, 39 percent still believe the nation is in recession. The knock-on effect is slower GDP growth that is stalling business development, meaning fewer jobs.

As firms move full-steam ahead into 2016, the quest for talent shows no signs of letting up. Monster.com MD for India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia and Hong Kong Sanjay Modi noted in December 2015 that Dubai in particular is a hub for attracting talent with employee turnover higher than in other parts of the world. According to recruitment firm Hays, data analytics will also be a top trend influencing UAE job searches in 2016 as more organisations look at making data relevant to their business and upskilling employees in this area.

The simple truth is that businesses need to work smarter – not harder – to stay ahead of the competition. Having the best people in the right roles enables them to innovate and overcome their rivals. Yet how can firms attract and retain that talent when supply is so limited?

One of the most effective and efficient tools is something known as talent management software.

The global talent management software market is expected to grow from approximately $5.2bn in 2014 to $11.3bn by 2019. The current transformation being seen in the UAE’s economy in areas like real estate, technology and energy only heightens the need for businesses to invest in intelligent applications to make sure they hire right the first time.

But just why is software such as this so effective at enabling firms to get the best from their staff? A major factor is the breadth of its influence. Today’s talent management software brings together cloud-based technology and consulting services that combine both people and processes to help firms engage their staff and maximise their effectiveness.

The software does this by enabling organisations to pinpoint the best candidates for high-value roles using behavioural science expertise and analytics. It helps companies build compensation programmes that take into account employee analytics and surveys. Talent management software also enables firms to create an engaging ‘social culture’ with online learning and collaboration tools, also being developed at a rapid pace, catering to an increasingly mobile and flexible work schedule.

By developing highly organised teams of impassioned staff and an environment that gets the best from them, businesses in the UAE are ultimately in a stronger position to bolster their bottom line. This could mean the difference between being sunk when market conditions are choppy or being able to weather the storm and reach a sunnier horizon.

Mohamed Emad El-Din Salih is an executive at IBM Collaboration Solutions

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