The UAE generally has little regulation regarding recruitment and selection. One of the main aspects is that each person seeking work, both UAE national or expatriate, must have a work permit issued Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Expatriates must have appropriate work and residential visas. The legal working age in the UAE is 15 to 65 years old. Throughout the UAE, there is a priority to hire UAE nationals, followed by nationals of other Arab states, when such situations arise. Similarly, a UAE national cannot be replaced by an expatriate without a strong reason.
Employers must offer an employment contract which must be filed with the Ministry, and other personal information on the employee must be kept. Upon hire, a probationary period of up to 6 months is legal. General discrimination provisions exist, but they are broad, with the only specific rule aimed at people with special needs. General practices for recruitment call upon employers to consider a wide variety of channels when advertising positions and providing a wide variety of applicants to demonstrate capabilities. The two free zones, such as the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Dubai International Financial Centre, operate under distinct legal systems based on common law rather than the UAE Labour Law.
One most popular methods of recruitment and selection are job advertisements. This can be both internally within an organization as well as external, with job vacancies announced through print and electronic media with a specific job description and specifications. The positive aspects of this method as it ensures a wide coverage while being relatively low-cost, attracting a high volume of candidates, and providing the organization the ability to evaluate and weigh options. It is effective for filling broad, non-high specialty positions in an organization. The high volume of candidates is, however, also a downside as broad advertising may attract non-qualified candidates, which takes time and resources away from HR to interview and screen them. Advertising is also potentially ineffective at filling in high-specialty and experienced positions, often remaining vacant for months, as those candidates are difficult to find in the general public.
Meanwhile, a strong method of selection that is commonly utilized by HR is preliminary test assignments for candidates. During or after the interview, candidates are provided with an assignment specifically developed by HR or department managers to test their skills, capabilities, and sometimes abstract traits such as critical thinking in the candidate. The strength of this selection method as it is highly effective in rooting out unqualified candidates that may not be fitting for the organization and its needs. However, its weakness is that because HR creates the test assignment, it may be either too easy or too hard for the candidate of that position, or a candidate best exemplifies themselves in practical settings rather than theoretical testing.
Employee turnover is a complex issue, as people stay or leave their jobs for a multitude of reasons ranging from personal circumstances to satisfaction and work environment to pay and future prospects. It is just as important to consider why people remain in their jobs just as much as why they leave them. Two key internal factors impacting both are job satisfaction and comfort in the company environment. There must be a level of compatibility between an employee’s values, worth ethic, and the expectation and values of the company. When employees work in a positive environment that utilizes their strengths, and they find their work enjoyable while gaining new experiences and getting paid an appropriate amount, employees tend to remain. These are all factors identified by surveys and analytics of why people quit. However, many times there are personal factors at play as well, such as poor relationships with co-workers and management, all of which ultimately affect satisfaction.
There are both direct and indirect costs associated with unhealthy employee turnover. There are concrete financial costs associated with turnover, including recruitment, advertisement, training, testing, filing, and severance costs. One has to take into account both the old employee and the new one. For salaried employees, it is estimated to cost 6-9 months’ salaries to replace them. For highly specialized or educated positions, that cost may be as high as 213% of the annual salary. There are also many indirect costs, such as lost skill and knowledge, loss of productivity in transition periods, decreased workforce morale and motivation, and harm to an organization’s professional reputation, among others.
One method of retaining talent is providing career development and progression within an organization. Some companies do internal promotion when necessary, while others make internal promotion a major part of the culture. If employees work with HR to develop a career plan and see that there is an opportunity for progression for them, they are far more likely to remain in the company. However, this method is costly and requires long-term planning in the organization with the employee in mind. Other circumstances can easily deviate, resulting in disrupted strategic plans and wasted costs. Another method is by providing security to employees. This can be effective by offering stability, benefits, and employment, especially in times of economic crisis. A significant majority of employees in an organization value security. However, the downside is that it is a short-term solution and often does not affect long-term employee turnover.