Job seekers get instant interviews at career fair

More than 400 jobs up for grabs as hopefuls come face-to-face with potential employers.

Vacancies on offer include sales, marketing, management and customer service.
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DUBAI // Emiratis were given the chance yesterday to find employment through a novel system of on-the-spot interviews at a career fair.

A common practice running through the Careers UAE exhibition this year was the concept of matching the right candidate instantly to positions available.

The exhibition, which is in its 11th year, was inaugurated by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Dubai's Deputy Ruler. The event, which is for Emiratis, will run until March 23 and has more than 130 exhibitors.

The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) partnered with eight private companies this year to provide more than 400 jobs.

Applicants were encouraged to approach any of the eight companies operating out of Tanmia's stand for the chance to be interviewed. "We approached companies that have jobs available for UAE nationals and are looking to hire them quickly," said Mr Ibrahim Sabeel, the external relations manager at Tanmia. "The companies can look at the applicants' CVs and do on-the-spot interviews. The company will in turn let the candidate know if they qualify or if they have any weaknesses."

Mr Sabeel said that the firms have vacancies to fill in sales, marketing, management and customer service.

"We expect job seekers to directly meet and explore placement opportunities, this way we expect the process to be more credible and easier for job seekers," he said.

Amira al Wali, 26, was one of the applicants scouting for a job offer yesterday at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. "I applied to a few of the companies," she said. "I'd really like a job that can offer me the chance to work in the morning. I would be open to any offers that come my way."

Another applicant, Zahra al Bulooshi, 35, said she was glad firms were giving nationals the chance to meet with them face to face.

Neill Claasen, group human resource manager for Paris Gallery, which is recruiting for 30 jobs, said: "We have got several vacancies at the moment in sales, administration and supervisory positions. All are available as soon as possible, so qualifying candidates can literally start working within a week."

Online career portal, ershaad, was also offering about 100 jobs. The company introduced the scheme last year and found it enhanced the communication and feedback process. "Job seekers can experience some disappointment if they leave their CVs but never get a call back, especially fresh graduates. What we do is interview them and according to their qualifications and suitability, we can set up an interview with the employer on the spot if they are participating," said Ammar Shehadeh, a business development manager at ershaad. "It worked very well last year and employers have been receptive. For people who match the job, we take them to employers here directly and let them know that we've found a suitable candidate."

Mohammad Ahmad, 31, has studied engineering technology with management in the UK, but said he was sceptical about whether companies will get in touch. "It is my first time to come here and pass around my CV," said Mr Ahmad. "I'm looking for a job in the Islamic banking sector or at a company in Abu Dhabi, but I wonder if some of them come here just to show their presence."

Younger applicants such as Noora al Hashmi, 19, are far more optimistic. Ms al Hashmi, who is in her second year of a Bachelor's in business at Dubai Women's College, has come to network. "I'd like to specialise in finance and banking, but I'm also here to network for future summer and part-time jobs," she said. "I believe the private sector has a lot of jobs that are now available to UAE nationals."

Job applicants were also given the opportunity to do psychometric tests. Maryam Alawi, 22, said she was surprised at the accuracy of the tests, which were carried out by First Select Training.

"It is very true to my personality," said Ms Alawi. "I graduated with a degree in business administration in 2010, but have yet to find a job so I plan to apply everywhere and hopefully I will find a job."