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ME firms challenged in attracting, retaining talent
November 16, 2014, 11:50 am

Organisations in the Middle East are facing greater challenges than employers elsewhere in the world with 70 percent of the firms admitting difficulty in attracting and retaining critical skill and high potential employees, a report said.

75 percent of Middle East employers also said hiring activity has increased over the last year (versus 48 percent globally), and it is now more than ever crucial for employers to recruit and keep the right employees, according to research from global professional services company Towers Watson.

The Towers Watson 2014 Talent Management and Rewards (TMR) Study & Global Workforce Study (GWS) revealed:

•    Middle East employees state career opportunities and job security as the most important considerations when looking for a new role, while globally base pay is the number one attraction driver

•    Pay is even less important to the youngest segment of employees in the Middle East, those under 30, who give greater value to career opportunities, learning opportunities and challenging work

•    Employers do not recognise the importance of job security as a key retention driver for employees

•    Only 36 percent of Middle East employees are highly engaged and less than one third of all employees say they prefer to remain with their current employer

“As firms endeavour to achieve profitable growth, they should focus on crafting and communicating an employment deal that will help to attract and retain employees with critical skills, and engage all workers by striking a reasonable balance between employee and employer needs and expectations. With career advancement opportunities as the top attraction driver in the Middle East, improving career opportunities should be a key focus for all organisations,” said Dr Ahmad Waarie, managing director at Towers Watson Middle East.

“While pay is not a key attraction driver for employees under 40 years of age; for those above 40 it is still the most important factor and the same is true for pay as a retention driver for all age groups.

“This indicates that, while salary may not be the main reason for joining a company, it can become a reason to leave if pay does not keep pace with the employee’s development and increasing added value,” he added.

Despite the importance of pay when it comes to retaining employees, companies are falling short in the delivery of their pay programs, the study found.

“Our research shows that only a third of employees see a clear link between their performance and their pay, while two thirds of Middle East employees think they are not paid fairly compared to their peers,” added Dr Waarie.

“This reflects our experience that many organizations in the region do not execute nor communicate their pay programs effectively. The basis of a compelling employment deal should therefore be a clear pay philosophy and competitive pay programs that are clearly articulated to all employees,” he concluded

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