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Old Sep 9th 2017, 8:11 am   #1
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Default Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

Hi all,

Currently in UAE and I'm seeing more and more western expats leaving each day. I myself am facing some problems as I'm currently on indefinite leave with my company unless they can win some more projects due to cash flow issues. I was recommended into my position and if has been great until the recent downturn meant that clients have been unable to pay, which in turn created cash flow issues resulting in cutting staff and now there is minimal business development happening inside the company. It's a real shame as everything was going good and they had some good projects lined up but now don't have the staff to put together the same quality of bids that they could previously.

Searching on job sites and calling agencies is proving to be pointless as jobs posted online seem to target Asians and recruiters only appear to be interested in speaking with prospective employers as opposed to prospective candidates (these are what I could consider to big reputable such as HAYS).

I have been lucky in the sense that I do have some contacts in ME so have been able to secure some overseas contract/freelance work to tide me over but I would much rather be in full time employment.

What are people's thoughts on this? Are things really this bad or am I doing something wrong? Do you think the introduction of VAT will have a larger impact for us?

Are there actually any decent recruitment guys in UAE who deal with O&G, IT/Telecoms/Security, Construction (Engineering and Project Management) who are helpful to candidates? I appreciate that people have targets, etc. but it seems like recruiters in general over here work differently to a lot of places in the U.K. Where you can provide them with your CV/profile and they will inform you of any opportunities available.


If anyone has any questions or good advice they would like to offer, feel free to PM me. I've always been terrible at networking I'm afraid so I'm finding it difficult for someone to "recommend" me into a position.

Thanks
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 5:18 am   #2
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

Good candidates will always get a phone call if there are jobs or not.
Average candidates might get a call if there is a job at that exact moment in time.
Not good candidates will never get a call.

I'm really sorry to be this blunt but having spent a long time in agencies, your time is dedicated both ways. You have great jobs to fill or great candidates to market. Having a great candidate for a great job requires lucky timing.

Tracking great candidates requires a brain and some skill that a lot of recruiters lack. Keeping great clients requires the same.

Keep dabbling, if you've got a strong, good CV you'll find something else....but only by doing the right things - applying, networking and networking some more.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 10:41 am   #3
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

If it's like last time, the worse it is for everyone, the better it is for me. #bottomfeeder.


Edit to add - just received a cold call from a cleaning company offering promotional cleaning deals. My god things must be bad if people are cleaning their own toilets now.

Last edited by Millhouse; Sep 10th 2017 at 10:44 am.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 11:26 am   #4
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

I do feel for you in this situation.

If it is "that bad," no one will ever admit it, for a large number of cultural and political reasons.

That there is a VAT introduction, should tell you all you need to know about the situation.

I can guarantee you - VAT is not there to help Westerners.

My own sector, made medium- and long-term plans based on wildly unrealistic and hyper-optimistic financial projections, and now are suffering for it.

There have been layoffs, but mostly they are doing things like enforcing the mandatory retirement at 60 rule, whereas before they were happy to let people go to near-70. They also reduced salaries for incoming hires which has really diluted the talent pool - they no longer offer a competitive salary for many of the Western countries they recruit from, like the US, which then feeds into the spiral cycle. They also cut benefits like education allowances.

You may need to go back to the UK and regroup for a little while. So many people being laid off, or feeling insecure in their jobs, is a lot of extra competition for you at the moment.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 12:27 pm   #5
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

I heard today that cash flow is so tight that some (large) companies are even asking their insurance companies if they can delay payment of insurance premiums for the mandatory health coverage. That really doesn't sound great at all.

There's still life in this place but it's certainly getting harder for us.
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 12:32 pm   #6
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Good candidates will always get a phone call if there are jobs or not.
Average candidates might get a call if there is a job at that exact moment in time.
Not good candidates will never get a call.

I'm really sorry to be this blunt but having spent a long time in agencies, your time is dedicated both ways. You have great jobs to fill or great candidates to market. Having a great candidate for a great job requires lucky timing.

Tracking great candidates requires a brain and some skill that a lot of recruiters lack. Keeping great clients requires the same.

Keep dabbling, if you've got a strong, good CV you'll find something else....but only by doing the right things - applying, networking and networking some more.
Yup.

In my experience there are only a few good recruiters.

The amount of time I have had wasted because of recruiters who didn't do their homework either with their client or with their candidate is not even funny - including being sent for interviews with people who had not been briefed on my experience or whose roles were entirely unsuitable makes me wary of them. Then again some companies are also terrible, engaging recruiters for roles that don't exist or that haven't been approved.

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Old Sep 10th 2017, 12:37 pm   #7
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

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Yup.

In my experience there are only a few good recruiters.

The amount of time I have had wasted because of recruiters who didn't do their homework either with their client or with their candidate is not even funny - including being sent for interviews with people who had not been briefed on my experience or whose roles were entirely unsuitable makes me wary of them. Then again some companies are also terrible, engaging recruiters for roles that don't exist or that haven't been approved.

N.
Often it's the recruiter's fault, but out here it can genuinely and surprisingly often be the company that have engaged the recruiter with whom the blame should lie for being....shit. Some of the outfits I did work for seemed, acted, projected and professed 'professional' but were let down by their own shoddy processes, useless individuals and bureaucracy.

I think 'shoddy processes, useless individuals and bureaucracy' may come as a major surprise here but it's true....I promise
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 12:50 pm   #8
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Often it's the recruiter's fault, but out here it can genuinely and surprisingly often be the company that have engaged the recruiter with whom the blame should lie for being....shit. Some of the outfits I did work for seemed, acted, projected and professed 'professional' but were let down by their own shoddy processes, useless individuals and bureaucracy.

I think 'shoddy processes, useless individuals and bureaucracy' may come as a major surprise here but it's true....I promise
I have to say, I have zero tolerance with a crappy recruiter. A dime a dozen so one strike and they're out...

All good recruiters I've come across, I keep on my radar whenever I'm looking at changing role
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Old Sep 10th 2017, 4:07 pm   #9
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

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Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
I do feel for you in this situation.

If it is "that bad," no one will ever admit it, for a large number of cultural and political reasons.

That there is a VAT introduction, should tell you all you need to know about the situation.

I can guarantee you - VAT is not there to help Westerners.

My own sector, made medium- and long-term plans based on wildly unrealistic and hyper-optimistic financial projections, and now are suffering for it.

There have been layoffs, but mostly they are doing things like enforcing the mandatory retirement at 60 rule, whereas before they were happy to let people go to near-70. They also reduced salaries for incoming hires which has really diluted the talent pool - they no longer offer a competitive salary for many of the Western countries they recruit from, like the US, which then feeds into the spiral cycle. They also cut benefits like education allowances.

You may need to go back to the UK and regroup for a little while. So many people being laid off, or feeling insecure in their jobs, is a lot of extra competition for you at the moment.
don't know what industry you are in, but we keep good people with quality experience. I'd rather punt a junior than someone that adds value.
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Old Sep 11th 2017, 9:18 am   #10
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

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don't know what industry you are in, but we keep good people with quality experience. I'd rather punt a junior than someone that adds value.
That's great. I'm happy that in some places it works like that. Really.

In an ideal world it would always be like that.

It matters, quite a bit, who is running your HR.
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 4:43 am   #11
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Good candidates will always get a phone call if there are jobs or not.
Average candidates might get a call if there is a job at that exact moment in time.
Not good candidates will never get a call.

I'm really sorry to be this blunt but having spent a long time in agencies, your time is dedicated both ways. You have great jobs to fill or great candidates to market. Having a great candidate for a great job requires lucky timing.

Tracking great candidates requires a brain and some skill that a lot of recruiters lack. Keeping great clients requires the same.

Keep dabbling, if you've got a strong, good CV you'll find something else....but only by doing the right things - applying, networking and networking some more.
Thanks for your input with this. I really appreciate your advice.

I have been travelling and only just settled down so been unable to catch up with this thread.

You mentioned that good candidates will always get a phone call an extent I do agree with you. I'm not saying that I fall into that category by all means, but I have received lots of calls from recruiters and internal recruitment of large companies. I have also received random calls / emails from LinkedIn, etc.
The issue I have personally seen though is that there is either no transparency from the hiring company / recruiter on what their ideal candidate actually comprises of. It always seems that recruiters want western competency for an eastern price which is fine but they could at least advertise this fact at the beginning of a phone call rather than waste their own time.

I have received offers elsewhere but honestly, I would like to stay in the middle east. unless I can get something in southeast Asia but I think good jobs over there are even harder to come by.

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Old Sep 15th 2017, 5:04 am   #12
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Default Re: Are things as grim as they appear for westerners? Do you think it will get worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Good candidates will always get a phone call if there are jobs or not.
Average candidates might get a call if there is a job at that exact moment in time.
Not good candidates will never get a call.

I'm really sorry to be this blunt but having spent a long time in agencies, your time is dedicated both ways. You have great jobs to fill or great candidates to market. Having a great candidate for a great job requires lucky timing.

Tracking great candidates requires a brain and some skill that a lot of recruiters lack. Keeping great clients requires the same.

Keep dabbling, if you've got a strong, good CV you'll find something else....but only by doing the right things - applying, networking and networking some more.
Thanks for your input with this. I really appreciate your advice.

I have been travelling and only just settled down so been unable to catch up with this thread.

You mentioned that good candidates will always get a phone call an extent I do agree with you. I'm not saying that I fall into that category by all means, but I have received lots of calls from recruiters and internal recruitment of large companies. I have also received random calls / emails from LinkedIn, etc.
The issue I have personally seen though is that there is either no transparency from the hiring company / recruiter on what their ideal candidate actually comprises of. It always seems that recruiters want western competency for an eastern price which is fine but they could at least advertise this fact at the beginning of a phone call rather than waste their own time.

I have received offers elsewhere but honestly, I would like to stay in the middle east. unless I can get something in southeast Asia but I think good jobs over there are even harder to come by.

Winners
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