Marking a paradigm shift in the conventional mindset of UAE nationals seeking employment, a recently concluded survey reveals that about 57 per cent of them showed interest in working for the private sector.
Of the 57 per cent, an encouraging 27 per cent want to work exclusively in the private sector and the remaining 30 per cent are amenable to working in either sector.
Only 43 per cent are resolutely looking at job opportunities in the public sector, which is a significant change from talent solutions firm TASC Outsourcing’s last year’s survey results that recorded an 80 per cent preference of the UAE nationals for government sector.
The survey also found that most Emirati candidates believe that the private sector provides better opportunities of career growth and training support to improve skills.
Apart from an attractive salary, the top three features that Emiratis feel would make them go for a private sector job are flexible work schedule along with job security and a diverse work environment.
TASC conducted the study among 275 national jobseekers from across the UAE during a recent career exhibition in Dubai.
About 61 per cent of survey respondents were female candidates and the rest 39 per cent were male candidates.
When it comes to their educational qualification, 50 per cent were graduates, 31 per cent high school graduates, 9 per cent masters and 6 per cent diploma holders; while doctorate holders were only one per cent.
“We have witnessed a growing change, wherein UAE nationals are now more open to working in private sectors. Millennial generation UAE nationals are more geared towards career progression, gaining experience, learning opportunities and growth, which is faster in the private sector,” Mahesh Shahdadpuri, CEO of TASC Outsourcing.
“The first preference of many companies in the UAE now is to hire Emiratis, partly due to various government initiatives and partly due to availability of growing talent resource within the region. So, understanding their expectations and preferences, the industry they prefer to work in and the salaries they expect to start out with, will help companies create better job opportunities and environment for them. Private sector firms could offer more internship opportunities to UAE nationals, and showcase a probable growth path; to pull more Emiratis into the private sector,” he added.
Abbas Ali, Senior Vice President of TASC Outsourcing, said, “The results indicate that government, banking & finance, and IT are the top three sectors Emirati candidates prefer to work in. Other industries that they expressed interest in were – media, biotechnology, law and logistics. We anticipate that this trend will continue to see momentum in the coming months.
“Digital media has become an indispensable job search tool for Emirati jobseekers. Several respondents mentioned that they look for opportunities on UAEJobs, and LinkedIn. Almost half the respondents look for jobs through online portals and another 20 per cent rely on recruitment agencies. Most Emiratis feel the biggest challenge in their job search was receiving no response from job agencies; while social media platforms yield a better response,” he added.
The survey results also show a marked improvement in the interest of Emiratis in the fields of HR, marketing and project management functions for building a career. Maximum Emirati respondents like to be placed in permanent positions, and job profile is extremely important for them. Majority of them looked for a median salary of AED 10,000 to AED 20,000 in a job of their choosing.