In 2022, 60% of the UAE’s businesses were in recruitment mode.
Around the world, economic shocks have brought recruitment drives to a juddering halt. Large multinationals from Google to Microsoft have given in to their realities and applied the brakes to talent acquisition. But still, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to buck the trend with the government having successfully overseen strong economic recovery and implemented bold measures to support investments in human capital. Bayzat analysed 2022 data from 127,000 employees in more than 1,500 UAE organisations. We found that throughout the year, 60% of the nation’s businesses were in recruitment mode. And the data also showed an average salary increase of 17%.
Such activity is a further sign of the heating up of the UAE labour market. HR, the perennial frontline operative in the battle for talent, must not only get the right talent on board. It must devise ways of keeping employees happy enough to have a positive impact on productivity. Studies around the world show links between the employee experience and everything from absenteeism to productivity. The self-service environment that every modern employee wants will be built on strong HR management systems (HRMS), underpinned by seven HR best practices.
1. Job security
If you can be a rock in a writhing ocean, you will look good to employees, especially those who have spent the past few years biting their lips waiting for their turn to be cast adrift. Instead, imagine an employee who can get on with living their life without feeling the need to constantly look over their shoulder. A clear employment contract, generated by a strong HRMS, with predictability built in — even for part-time workers — will help your staff relax. A worried workforce is not a productive workforce. Hours, salary, period of service — all should be clear and guaranteed. If not, it is hard to picture a functional, innovative environment, as everybody will be too preoccupied with looking for new opportunities where stability is baked in.
2. The right people
If your team is made of the right people, that is a recipe for success. The HR function will have a considerably easier time finding the right people if they have access to the right HRMS. Digitalising the vetting process means HR personnel will have rapid and convenient access to records of potential candidates which will enable them to focus less on the process and more on the assessment. Structured hiring processes based on skills gaps will make things smoother for recruiters and transparent for prospective hires. Be sure to assess IQ and personality, as well as look at peer reviews and references. The right HRMS platform will also streamline the onboarding process, thereby ensuring that when top talent is recruited, key procedures such as generating employee records, or adding them to the group insurance plan take place without the hassle or frustration of follow-ups and delays.
In the hybrid work paradigm, team trust is hard to build. And remember, this trust extends to every employee’s confidence that HR is there for them. Using a modern HRMS platform enables employees to self check-in and manage and maintain their hours. Using digital performance management, KPIs can be consistently and transparently measured in a way that does not cause friction. This is a key step towards enabling the organisation to build an impartial evaluation of everyone, regardless of their seniority. The HRMS provides the communication, feedback, project management, and goal-setting apparatus needed to build the team that works best.
4. Fair compensation
Salary, and indeed the entire remuneration package, must reflect the value added by the employee who receives it. Any disconnect will lead to a downturn in productivity, ranging from deflated output to quiet quitting and beyond. Sooner or later, you will see talent erosion and business goals will become untenable. HRMS is the best tool for calculating the best compensation. The platform accounts for everything from hourly pay to non-monetary perks, including sick and holiday pay, and healthcare and pension payments. Not just this, these platforms enable organisations to go the extra mile, offering perks such as dining and entertainment discounts via conveniently accessible apps. Such rewards go a long way in enhancing employee satisfaction and increasing brand loyalty.
5. Career Progression and Training
Even top talent must hone its skills. Professional development is a critical factor in many candidates’ decisions to commit to an employer. These days, nothing stays still. Not only do employees want to be prepared for the next change and the one after that, but businesses stand to reap obvious benefits from a well-trained workforce. The ways in which this training can occur are varied, and well-functioning HR departments will use a mixture of approaches, blending formal online training and workshops with on-site, on-the-job learning, all governed by robust feedback and mentoring systems.
6. Egalitarian culture
Attrition occurs under consistent conditions where there is a lack of clarity in communication, a lack of inclusiveness, a lack of trust, or all three. Through open communication, rapport-building management approaches, and empowering, supportive individualised engagement with all members of the workforce, employee loyalty will soar. In the age of remote and hybrid work, and offices spread across geographies, technology is paramount to such communication and rapport-building. Keeping a social environment (ideally supported by proprietary social platforms) — with simple things such as birthday mailers and regular group meetings that focus on personal issues — can go a long way towards building camaraderie in the workforce, independent of where employees are physically based.
7. Information at their fingertips
Sharing information has many advantages. If everyone has access to clear, easily digestible information, they can collaborate on its maintenance and update. With each employee knowledgeable on the key factors affecting them and the organisation, they can all move with a common purpose. A good HRMS provides self-reporting systems for employees to be consumers and editors of corporate information, including the supply of their own payroll data. Collaborative viewing and maintenance of such data means an error-free view of the enterprise from the board on down and is a critical step in creating the open, inclusive culture towards which modern talent tends to flock to.
The UAE remains, as its global peers do, in the market for talent at scale. HR departments, armed with the right technology, are set to be the heroes of this tale — builders of a new kind of work environment that will be a model of excellence for years to come.