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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 8 March 2021

Five foolproof ways to prevent a talent shortage

Here is a list of the top five ways managers can attract and retain talent for years to come.

Finding skilled talent is hard enough, retaining top talent is even harder. Managers are always on the lookout for new professionals who can add value, elevate the company’s status and increase productivity.

For businesses to keep growing and developing across the UAE and in the region, it is urgent to take action and seek long-term solutions to minimise the effect of the skills gap. Fortunately, there are some actionable steps you could take today to prevent a future talent shortage for your company.

Here is a list of the top five ways managers can attract and retain talent for years to come:

Introduce apprenticeship and internship programmes

Some businesses have already reaped the benefits of building their own talent pool in-house through apprenticeship or internship initiatives. This is a real win-win solution because, in getting their hands dirty, candidates gain hands-on experience and first-time exposure, while offering the employers a real-time overview of their employable skills and qualifications.

Provide guidance and mentoring for young talent

Too often, young ambitious talents, who are not offered the opportunity to grow and move into leadership positions, tend to turn their back on their current jobs and seek career opportunities elsewhere. The new generation of workers needs to be mentored to thrive in the job market, develop leadership capacity and learn how to achieve their full potential. Mentoring is a tremendous resource to tap into and is growing popular as a way to tackle shortage of talent.

Embrace sustainable retention strategies

When it comes to retaining qualified talent in a highly competitive environment, compensation is never enough. Often the problem is that companies are not investing enough in training and talent development, or are not getting creative with offering options such as a work-life balance – which are particularly appreciated by job-seekers.

Companies are asked, now more than ever, to invest in better talent development so they can build resilient experts and keep them on board. But before that, they need qualified training personnel, who are able to empower employees with those soft-skills, such as negotiation, critical thinking and communication, that might have taken the back seat for too long.

According to’s Skills Gap in the Middle East survey, “technical skills” are often seen as posing the least challenge, while “soft skills” are regarded as most lacking. According to 42 per cent of respondents, the best solution to tackle the skills gap crisis is by having companies provide enough on-the-job training opportunities to their employees.

Future-proof your hiring

You don’t know what the future has in store for you as hiring managers and HR professionals. But what we all know is that the workplace is evolving and your pool of candidates needs to grow too to survive the changes and a marketplace that keeps getting even more competitive.

The easiest way to nurture your talent pool and grow it is to invest in the right types of technologies that can streamline, organise and boost your hiring activities. Widen your search parameters to access larger databases of talent and use the latest tools that can increase your efficiency in securing talent.

An applicant tracking system, for example, enables you to keep on top of the recruitment pipeline, work with your recruitment flow and make every single CV meaningful by including your valuable feedback.

Generate interest at a young age

It’s no secret that the world’s future depends on the choices made by the younger generations today. So how can you empower the next generation of employees?

To ensure and sustain the flow of the next generation of workers into a given industry, it is important to stimulate interest in the subject among people at a young age. Key stakeholders from industry, academia and governments need to come into play to implement joint strategies and inspire the next generations, drive their perceptions, engage them from a young age and sustain their interest all the way through university, postgraduate research and professional life.

For example, students’ understanding of a specific sector can be deepened by taking them on site visits and holding presentations and conferences to provide them with insights of the industry. Many young people don’t know how to navigate the labour market and lack information and knowledge of what the world of work is actually like. By partnering with schools, employers can provide youth with much-needed career guidance at a time when they are making the most important decisions about their professional future. At the same time, employers can champion their way to a stronger and a more reputable brand that people want to associate with and work for.

Suhail Masri is the vice president of employer solutions at the Middle East jobs site

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Published: June 22, 2017 04:00 AM


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