Qatari firms need to raise salary bar: Expert

December 08, 2013 - 6:24:58 am
By Satish Kanady

DOHA: Qatari companies need to review their salary packages and benefits if they want to attract and retain talents in the run-up to FIFA 2022 development works, a leading recruiter has said.

The country also needs to speed up recruitment process to ensure that it gets the right hands at the right time, David Mace, Country Manager, REED (pictured) , told The Peninsula in an interview.

Qatar must understand that the region as a whole is growing. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have lined up mulit-billion-dollar projects. Qatar is committed to honouring the deadlines of several critical projects. To attract right people, Qatar needs to raise its remuneration bar, he said.

“I am not saying that Qatar is currently facing problems in getting right people. But with a huge number of projects coming up simultaneously, and neighbouring countries witnessing an unprecedented surge in development activities, Qatar might face the problem of getting talents at right time.”

The REED Qatar, involved in hiring for its clients in the oil and gas, banking and finance and IT and infrastructure sectors, feels the gap between Qatar and neighbouring countries in terms of the pay package and benefits has been getting wider over the past couple of years. “Qatar is a very safe and progressive place. If you get an offer from Qatar and a neighbouring country, you would definitely choose Qatar. However, should the neighbouring country offer a better package, people will definitely go for that. We have examples for that,” Mace said.

The slow pace in the recruitment process is another challenge Qatar’s job market is facing. The procedures are fast and quicker in neighbouring countries. The interview process in Qatar is quite lengthy. It has to be reduced. There are instances of very good companies losing good people because of long delays in sending offer letters after completing the long hiring process, he said.

Qatar’s job market is facing problem in getting people from the Asian-Pacific region, which has a talent pool of financial professionals. Qatar needs to attract them. “But the job market dynamic changes when we approach them. They are looking for far higher salaries than what we are offering. “We do not get many responses from Singapore, Hong Kong or Australia. They do not want us, we need to find them. So we need to offer them higher salaries. Their asking salaries are higher than the existing benchmarks.

“People of Qatar are very welcoming to expatriates. And this is the right time to be in Qatar.

“This is what we tell our people to attract them. On their side, the Qataris are very much proud of their country’s growing story and they really want real talents to be part of their growth story,” he said. Qatar’s expansion plans are very rapid and need people very quickly. REED recently held recruitment drives in East European countries, Singapore, Ghana, Malaysia and South Africa. It plans to run another recruitment drive in April 2014. “It is important that our clients are getting what they really want,” he said. The Peninsula
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