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Labour Market Trends in the UAE and Global Markets Essay

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Updated: Jun 13th, 2020


Organisations understand the importance of the right talents and their contributions. Consequently, they always strive to get recruit top talents in the industry. This comparative analysis was chosen to assess labour market trends in both local (the UAE) and international markets with the aim of determining how organisations could find the right talents. A local, public organisation (Tanmia) was used to assess recruitment practices in the UAE, while Hays was used to providing recruitment practices in the international labour markets. Diverse elements that influence the labour markets were identified in this study based on a comparative approach. Finding the right employees during recruitment is the major obstacles for recruiters. This study demonstrated that different recruiters could adopt a suitable model to ensure that they only get the best talents. Besides, new technologies can help recruitment agencies to improve employee recruitment processes and outcomes.

Rationale / Reason

Every reputable firm understands that its most vital asset is its employees. The right workforce can help a firm to stay in business, remain competitive during turmoil, and assist in company’s overall growth. These benefits partially explain why some organisations spend many resources on hiring the best talent available in both local and international markets through human resources departments or employee recruiting agencies. The purpose of this proposal is to conduct a comparative analysis of Tanmia, a local recruiting agency based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hays, a global recruiting agency.

A comparative analysis is chosen to assess labour market trends in both local (the UAE) and international markets with the aim of determining how organisations can find the right talents.

For organisations that require specialised roles to be filled, they are most likely to turn to more specialised recruitment firms to assist them in finding the right talents because such candidates are in high demand across industries. Employee recruitment is interesting because it helps organisations to get higher-skilled employees. Such agencies rely on a wider network and their deep knowledge in a specific industry and skills to find the best talents and, therefore, give corporations an edge over competitors.

Understanding how recruiting agencies work is imperative because of professionalism expected in the recruitment job. With regard to these selected agencies, they are considered stable and reputable and, therefore, they are most likely to demonstrate elements of recruitment in the local market as well as in the international markets. The regional and global strategies used by employee recruiting agencies and trends observed in the labour markets could change in the future.


This comparative analysis of recruitment agencies offers an overview of the relevance of such agencies to both the employer and the employee with regard to local, regional and international labour markets. The organisations used in this analysis are Tanmia and Hays.

Established in 1999 through the Decree of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (TANMIA) was mandated to attain full employment for the UAE human resources. In addition, it was to reduce dependency on foreign labour, enhance the supply of highly qualified personnel to meet the national workforce demands and create practical competencies for the workforce (National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority 2013).

Hays was established in 1969 as the Career Care Group (Hays Plc 2015). The company became a part of Hays after a successful acquisition in 1986 as the Specialist Recruitment. In 2003, Hays embarked on a strategic review to reposition itself as a pure specialist recruitment firm. Consequently, the company disposed of other non-core business, including logistic and commercial activities. Since then, the company has restructured to become a leading specialist recruitment firm in the world.

Given the demographic shifts in the workplace, employers have found themselves in highly competitive labour markets, struggling for the best talents in the industry. Consequently, pressures have been noted in employee recruiting strategies and subsequent retention tactic. As such, these two human resource recruitment firms have emerged due to shortages of skilled labour in local and international markets. In addition, they reflect the scramble for top talents as organisations strive to create a competitive edge through their staff. They are local, and international labour market intermediation and their roles cannot be understated.

EGSOP (Environ, Governance, Strategy, Organization and Performance)


Generally, the local and international labour markets are characterised by changing environments driven by demographic shifts, globalisation and technological changes, among other factors. Specifically, labour migration flows to the UAE have increased, and they are expected to rise in the next decades. In 2013, there were about 9.2 million people in the UAE. From this figure, 7.2 million were migrants who were seeking employment and better living standards (Malit Jr. & Youha 2013). Tanmia focuses on streamlining labour market and employment issues in the UAE through Emiratisation policy.

On the international scene, the labour market is diverse and wide. As such, many labour market intermediation firms such as Hays have emerged to address various factors, specifically sourcing the right talents. For instance, Hays’ global network covers Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Australasia, North America and South America countries.


Various national and international laws and regulations have been formulated to govern the labour industry. Tanmia, for example, relies on Emiratisation laws to advance employment issues in the UAE. Under this policy, the UAE government focuses on employing locals, specifically in important and efficient ways in both the public and private sectors. One major drawback for the UAE labour market is discrimination and abuse of foreign workers (Malit Jr. & Youha 2013). In addition, Tanmia practices are restricted to the UAE.

On the contrary, Hays has risen above restricted practices and cases of discrimination and abuse of workers. The company must serve workers from diverse backgrounds irrespective of their cultures, religions, nationality, sex, and gender, among others. In 2014, Hays placed 63,000 individuals in permanent employment and another 200,000 persons in temporary employment across 33 countries.


By focusing on Emiratisation and making it a top agenda for several years, Tanmia approach to recruitment is local and meant to facilitate the employment of the natives.

Conversely, Hays has listed more than 33 countries in all continents for both employers and employees to place jobs or find employees. It seeks strategic partnership with other organisations such as Etihad Airlines and football clubs, among others while its expert consultants work tirelessly to address the talent shortage in specialised industries. Hays generates income through the contingent fee model.

Both organisations strategically use online platforms to promote the recruitment of top talents.


Tanmia is small, not profit-oriented and controlled by the government. It lacks an area of specialisation in recruitment but offers different services to employers and job seekers.

Hays has a complex organisational structure because of its global approach to recruitment. The company must target several labour markets and structure them accordingly into formal procurement contracts referred to as Recruitment Outsourcing for permanent placements and Managed Service Provision for temporary roles (Hays Plc 2015).


Tanmia refers to Emiratisation as a guiding policy alongside its core roles and objectives. The agency is expected to achieve high rates of training, qualification and employment in the UAE among natives. Performance is generally gauged on the Emiratisation monitor.

Hays relies on well-trained recruitment consultants to find the best talents across the world for permanent employment and temporary placement across different continents. Its sustained performance is reflected in growth and profitability.

Issue / Problem

The changes in the labour market globally have brought about some technical issues for recruiting agencies. Hays and Tanmia recognise that recruiting the best candidates is imperative to organisational performance and success. Recruiting the required talents, however, can be extremely challenging. It can even be more difficult for specialised positions. In this regard, recruiting agencies have to undertake critical decisions on the target candidates, the message and effective recruiting strategies to use. Failure to do effective recruitment could result in the selection of ill-equipped applicants, who are not diverse or simply decline to take the position. Moreover, they could lead to high rates of turnover, leading to increased costs. In the case of Emiratisation, which directly relates to Tanmia, Samir Salama reported that Emiratisation suffered from “a lack of strategic plan, tangible outcomes and coordination of various agencies responsible for facilitating employment and training of job seekers” (Salama 2013, p. 1). Thus, recruiting firms require an effective model for recruiting new employees.


In this case, the labour market intermediation agencies covered focus on both local and international labour markets and, they are both public and private employee recruiting agencies. Thus, they experience different challenges related to employee recruitment, but some of these challenges remain similar throughout the globe. While Tanmia focuses on finding work for citizens of the UAE, Hays mainly concentrates on global markets. Besides, the company offers both permanent job placement and temporary opportunities for job seekers. For temporary work placement, Hays offers flexible work arrangements and assist organisations in alleviating staff shortage through short-term staffing strategies while still screening candidates that they find permanent placements.

For Tanmia, the Emiratisation policy is fundamental for its operations because it brought about critical labour reforms to reduce dependency on foreign workers. However, as previously mentioned, the policy lacks effective coordination, strategic approach and coordination among various agencies. These are factors, which lead to poor outcomes in employee recruitment. While changes in labour laws have promoted the recruitment and retention of employees in the UAE, the globe labour is characterised by employee mobility, fierce competition, and diversity and inclusion. On the other hand, the demographic trends in the UAE could present challenges for Tanmia as it seeks to build Emiratis’ human capital (Randeree 2009).

While Tanmia provides a narrow labour market specifically defined for Emiratis, Hays offers a global platform in which individuals from various parts of the world can compete for jobs and get placement. The labour force is generally large in the global labour market because it goes beyond geographical restrictions. This implies that global recruiting firms have a broader definition of the labour market relative to local firms. In fact, they have other perspectives such as culture, nationality, skilled labour, and sexual orientation, among others. In this respect, global employee recruitment firms aim to promote inclusion and convergence of best practices in the labour market (Sinha & Thaly 2013).

From a realistic observation, the reforms in the UAE have led to an influx of foreigners seeking jobs. However, policies and practices such as Emiratisation and Kafala Systems have led to poor labour market conditions for foreigners. Nevertheless, foreigners have introduced specialised skills and best practices in the UAE. Moreover, they have created a more integrated labour market in the UAE. On the other hand, Hays must operate within labour laws and regulations of different countries. This condition makes the company more flexible as it seeks to attract high skilled candidates for recruitment.

The issue of skill shortages, specifically in the knowledge-driven economies drives the growth of employee recruiting agencies, including Hays and Tanmia. While foreigners in the UAE present significant challenges to Emiratis, the issue of skills shortage reflects the inadequacy of the local labour market (El-Jardali, Tchaghchagian, & Jamal 2009). In other words, Tanmia may not find the right candidates for some specific, highly specialised roles. Excess demands for qualified employees create gaps and shortage of skills in the market and, therefore, Tanmia is most likely to experience low employment of rates of Emiratis and more unfilled positions. Conversely, this situation could be a rare case in Hays, which focuses on a larger pool of candidates for the best talents required for open positions. Besides, the company leverage its expertise and consultants to deliver the perfect match for its global clients.

It is imperative to recognise that gaps and shortages experienced in both local and international labour markets differ significantly. For instance, quality of education, immigration policies, economic advancement and geographical locations of countries could influence the quality of candidates available for employment.

These two organisations assist potential employees and employers in meeting employment goals. Specifically, Tanmia and Hays offer standardised recruitment procedures for all candidates who apply for available vacancies. These firms have a specific objective – finding the right employees for the job. They have strong brands and a reputation to protect. Thus, handling recruitment processes are based on confidentiality and standardised procedures.

Way forward

For Tanmia and Hays to enhance recruitment processes and outcomes in their respective geographical areas of focus, they should adopt a favourable model to overcome challenges noted during employee recruitment. In this regard, a model developed by James A. Breaugh to enhance the recruitment process can assist these organizations in overcoming these challenges (Breaugh 2009). This model is meant to assist recruiting agencies to make informed decisions throughout the recruitment process to enhance outcomes.

Establish Recruitment Objectives

Recruiting agencies should have specific objectives, for instance, the specific candidates for the job, skills, experiences, diversity, level of education and expected retention rates, among others. These objectives would ensure that only the right candidates are recruited.

Develop a Recruitment Strategy

This process requires a detailed plan of action to achieve the recruitment objectives. For instance, the plan of action should show how recruitment decisions would be reflected in the views of candidates throughout the recruitment process.

Carry Out Recruitment Activities

Recruitment activities such as advertisement of open positions and encouraging candidates with diverse abilities and qualifications would enhance the value of the process. These strategies may include placing an advertisement on other Web sites.

Evaluate Recruitment Results

Once the recruitment process is completed, it is vital to assess outcomes realised from the activities. Thus, the focus should be on specific objectives against outcomes. Evaluation should be a standard for any recruiting agencies.

Recruiting agencies are encouraged to collect the required data to use as metrics for assessing performances. Data would ensure that recruiting agencies could learn from the past and revamp future processes.

Finally, new trends in recruitment supported by data analytics could significantly assist recruiting agencies to improve their processes and outcomes (Singhmar 2015).


This was a comparative study on human resources recruiting agencies, Tanmia and Hays. It was established that the current labour market is characterised by various factors that influence the quality of candidates for recruitment. Local and global recruitment practices have considerable differences, but some characteristics remain the same. Consequently, recruitment agencies have emerged for local and international candidates from both public and private sectors to meet the unique needs of various employers. It is shown that a reliable model for recruitment can assist recruiting agencies to overcome notable challenges, specifically finding the right talents during recruitment processes.

Reference List

Breaugh, JA 2009, Recruiting and Attracting Talent: A Guide to Understanding and Managing the Recruitment Process, SHRM Foundation, Alexandria, VA.

El-Jardali, F, Tchaghchagian, V & Jamal, D 2009, ‘Assessment of human resources management practices in Lebanese hospitals’, Human Resources for Health, vol. 7, p. 84. Web.

Hays Plc 2015, , Web.

Malit Jr., FT & Youha, AA 2013, , Web.

National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority 2013, About Tanmia, Web.

Papoutsakis, H 2010, ‘Towards A Global Labour Market In A Knowledge-Dominated Economy’, Journal of Knowledge Management Practice, vol. 11, no. 1 , p. 1.

Randeree, K 2009, ‘Strategy, Policy and Practice in the Nationalisation of Human Capital: ‘Project Emiratisation’, Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, vol. 17, no.1, pp. 71-91.

Salama, S 2013, , Gulf News, Web.

Singhmar, Y 2015, ‘Human Resource in 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities’, International Research Journal of Human Resources & Social Sciences, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 25-34.

Sinha, V & Thaly, P 2013, ‘A review on changing trend of recruitment practice to enhance the quality of hiring in global organizations’, Management, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 141-156.

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