Dubai: If you’re looking to find a new job anywhere in the UAE, expect to wait more than a month to either get hired — or rejected.
New research findings released by Glassdoor suggest that the hiring process in the UAE, which includes the time a job application has been submitted until an offer or rejection letter has been issued, is one of the slowest in the world, with most employers taking an average of 35.8 days to recruit a new staff member.
In fact, applicants need to wait longer in the UAE than in many other countries like the United Kingdom, India, United States, Singapore, Germany, Japan, Spain or Canada, according to Glassdoor’s survey based on feedback from 84,000 respondents.
Overall, hiring duration is longest in Brazil, registering an average 39.6 days, followed by France (38.9), Switzerland (37.6), Italy (36) and Belgium (36). In contrast, India tops the list as the fastest country to get hired in, with the hiring process averaging only 16.1 days.
Experts said the length of time it takes to complete the hiring process may be proportionate to labour market regulations that organisations have to deal with, but it can have an impact on productivity.
“The longer it takes to hire, the greater the productivity loss for employers, And, the longer money is left on the table waiting for potential candidates,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist.
But in the case of the UAE labour market, there are valid reasons why the recruitment process can take longer than what one might expect.
Gary Ward is a commercial director at recruitment specialist Hays Gulf region. He said job vacancies in the UAE attract a huge number of applicants compared to many other expatriate destinations, so it is only normal to expect screening times to last longer.
“Every job vacancy receives hundreds of applications and the shortlisting process takes significantly more time than other regions, where there are lower numbers of applications to review,” Ward told Gulf News.
Another factor to consider is where the person doing the screening is based at. “Often, there is at least one stage of the interview process that requires the candidate meeting with someone based abroad. This can cause delays due to travel arrangements and finding a suitable time for all parties to speak,” Ward added.
Those who are looking to work in the public sector or for a semi-government organisation in the UAE may also find that there is a strict security clearance process to go through to secure a visa for the employee. This part of the hiring process can take three weeks to three months.
As far as screening of applicants is concerned, there is no one-size-fits-all procedure being followed. Many potential employers, however, carry out the interview process in two or three stages.
“This often consists of a screening interview with an HR representative from the company, followed by a competency based interview with the respective line manager. A third stage is more common for technical roles and will include a test or case study,” explained Ward.
“The whole process is also dependent on the organisation hiring – some may require that you meet with a number of different representatives, each of whom may want to interview the candidate separately before coming to a decision.”