Top 4 considerations for hiring in the UAE

Quality has never been more relevant than it is today. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Right now, recruiters have an important job to do when it comes to finding and hiring candidates in the UAE.

In this article, we will highlight the top 4 considerations for hiring candidates in the UAE. In addition, we are going to detail a few things you should keep in mind and some tips to make your recruitment process more effective.

  1. What is the recruitment process in the UAE like, and what are its main steps?
  2. What should you pay attention to when hiring candidates in the UAE?
  3. Improving your social media profiles – Consideration #1
  4. Nationalization – Consideration #2
  5. What capabilities are relevant? Business vs. Candidate – Consideration #3
  6. Hard-to-fill positions – Consideration #4
  7. How to hire employees in the United Arab Emirates
  8. What else do you need to know about the UAE Labour Law?
  9. EOR Middle East helps you expand your business in the UAE

1. What is the recruitment process in the UAE like, and what are its main steps?

The main asset of any company is its union strength or employees, which are acquired through the hiring process. This process is based on following a set of specific steps to discover, select, interview, and hire qualified candidates. Some of the most relevant steps employers should take when hiring employees in the UAE are the following:

  • Write accurate job descriptions to generate job advertisements, which will be helpful in attracting highly qualified candidates.
  • Receiving the demands and analyzing them will be the next step to start choosing the most suitable candidates.
  • Once the reviewing process is complete, employers should begin interviewing selected candidates. These interviews can be done through remote or face-to-face meetings.
  • The previous step will define which candidates to hire. After that, the employer and selected candidates must negotiate the terms and conditions of the employment contract.
  • When hiring candidates, the employer must complete each of the employee’s entry periods for the employee to feel welcome.

2. What should you pay attention to when hiring candidates in the country?

It is important to follow the steps mentioned above if you want to start hiring in the UAE. However, it is also important to take into account some considerations before starting the contracting process in the territory. For example, some of the most important components that we should consider beforehand in the process are the following:

  • The purpose of your hiring process in the UAE.
  • Your candidate’s current visa status.
  • The area of the current and previous place of work of the candidate.
  • Finally, the requirements for hiring technical and high-level positions.

These are the main factors to consider before starting the process, but there may be more. For example, other resources have the ability to influence the hiring process in the UAE, so they are also vital. Important candidate skills are necessary throughout the process, as well as nationalization, social media enhancement, and others.

3. Improving your social media profiles – Consideration #1

There is a significant mismatch between where candidates look for job opportunities in the UAE and where organizations post them. The report shows that companies primarily use recruitment agencies and their own websites to advertise jobs. As it is often the case, social media is the number one resource professionals use when seeking opportunities and researching organizations.

Unfortunately, the UAE lags behind when it comes to using social media platforms for recruitment purposes. A large percentage of organizations do not have a company page on the principal work apps or pages. In other cases, they do have one but do not update it with consistent content. This means that while a company may have any proportion of suitable job openings, potential candidates may not even get a chance to see them. Or worse, they may already have excluded an organization due to their lack of activity in the job market.

Solution: Spend all your time working on your company’s pages and social media. Make sure the organization’s philosophy sets the tone for what they post on social media. Moreover, it is essential to share the job opportunities on each of the main platforms in order to reach the largest viable part of potential candidates.

Design a strategy that incorporates social media into your hiring tactic and work with your digital team to generate engaging content that engages jobseekers and builds your organization’s overall brand.

4. Nationalization – Consideration #2

Although nationalization has been a huge talking point in the MENA region for some time, only 28% of UAE employers continue to take action to attract Emirati ingenuity.

The Ingenuity Gap Report results further revealed that 31% of Emiratis surveyed believe that their job does not match their field of study/experience. And 38% believe their salary and benefits are below their expectations for their skills. Therefore, it is important that the national talent pool is qualified in both education and union experience to meet the demands of a growing economy.

Solution: As a recruiter in the UAE, having a transparent recruitment process is vital. It is also essential to have clear specifications from the start to attract the best talent nationally.

5. What capabilities are relevant? Business vs. Candidate – Consideration #3

The skills deemed most relevant for those continuing to recruit for positions in the UAE incorporate technical expertise, multicultural expertise, and strong communication skills. However, they do not rank as high among experts who rank election management skills, analytical skills, and effective timing at the top of their list in terms of what they think is most relevant.

With such a gap, it is easy to see how some skills that remain accessible in the talent pool may not be exactly what employers are looking for, making the recruiter’s role even more difficult.

Solution: In order to find candidates who have the required experience and skills for open positions, it is imperative that you highlight those particular skills in the job description. Transparency is essential.

Make sure that there is a clear understanding of what the job will entail for the candidates. In this way, we can be sure to find the right people for the right jobs at the right time. The last thing you want is for experts to take on roles that do not match their abilities. Therefore, it is essential to list what is most relevant at the beginning of the hiring process in the UAE.

6. Hard-to-fill positions – Consideration #4

High-level positions are becoming increasingly difficult to fill in the MENA region. In the United Arab Emirates, 15% of employers cite “information technology” and “Human Resources” as the most difficult positions when recruiting. 12% of employers find “Engineering” a difficult discipline to cover, whereas “Sales” and “Financial Management” performed slightly better, as only 7-8% of employers struggled to find out candidates.

There is no doubt that technical ingenuity is notoriously difficult to break into, with several potential candidates not actively seeking work. However, this does not precisely mean that these experts are “not found”.

Solution: Become an expert on how to use the powerful discovery tools on social media and other recruitment platforms for the job offer. It is here that you should be responsible for attracting and retaining passive candidates for niche or hard-to-fill positions. In addition, it is essential to leave time at all times to plan your long-term strategy for hiring in the UAE. In this sense, you can generate a portfolio of talent that you can take advantage of as new opportunities arise.

7. How to hire employees in the United Arab Emirates

Recruitment in the United Arab Emirates is exclusive as almost all employees hired by local teams are expatriates (ex-pats) and such employees require visa sponsorship to live and work in the territory.

In this part of the world, you want to familiarize yourself with local expatriate employment laws. First, the organization will need to legally register in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in order to sponsor an employee’s work visa and conduct business in the territory. This is invariably a complex and lengthy process, although there are simpler procedures that we will discuss here.

Here are the 5 most important things you should know about hiring an employee to work in the UAE:

7.1 Legal entity implementation required

Forming a legal entity and obtaining the appropriate business licenses typically takes 8-12 weeks, during which the organization cannot directly sponsor an Employment Visa.

7.2 Expats will need a visa

Organizations must sponsor work visas and residence permits for employees in the UAE, which can be difficult depending on the geopolitical climate of the area.

7.3 Financial compensation may include more than wages

Severance pay is mostly paid as a simple flat rate (gross) or split 60/40, 60% is the base rate and 40% is housing and car allowance. This part does not include any variable payments such as commissions.

7.4 The business week is different from the rest of the western world

Friday is a weekly rest day, and most experts have free time on Friday and Saturday.

7.5 Tips at the end of the service must be taken into account in the total compensation

When applying for a job in the UAE, many consumers forget to budget for missing end-of-life tips and they accumulate as a benefit paid by the employer. If an employee served a year or more, he/she is entitled to an end-of-service bonus equal to 21 days of pay for all years of the first 5 years of service and 30 days of pay for all subsequent years. The maximum amount of end-of-service tips are capped at two years’ salary.

8. What else you need to know about the UAE Labour Law?

According to the UAE trade union law, an employee can work no more than 8 hours a day and no more than 48 hours a week. In some areas, such as canteen workers, hotels, and security guards, employees may work 9 hours a day.

As we discussed earlier, it is important to remember that in this area, wages are only part of the overall compensation package. Travel expenses and living allowance are standard for coverage.

Once the employer terminates the contract with the foreign worker, the employer is responsible for covering the full cost of repatriation.

9. EOR Middle East helps you expand your business in the UAE

In a location like the United Arab Emirates, having the necessary reasoning and experience is crucial to hiring positively. If you do not have those resources, our agency can hire the people you need on your behalf. With our own recruiting principles, you can discover and attract the most suitable and qualified candidates.

Building your team in the UAE can be difficult, but it does not have to be that way. A Professional Employment Organization or a registered employer like EOR Middle East can help you with the UAE work visa process, hire the employees of your choice and register your organization quickly.

We follow each aspect of your local labor legislation. At the same time, we contribute to the preparation of all the documentation and questionnaires necessary for your team member to obtain their entry visa and work permit. With us, you can have the ability to get your team member working in the UAE in weeks instead of months.

In addition, we provide Employer of Record services for organizations that want to add a team member without first opening a branch or subsidiary in the territory. These are the countries you can find us in:

If you wish to learn about what we can do for your business in the UAE with our HR solutions, please send us an email at [email protected]. In this way, you can share your inquiries with our team and we will send you an immediate response. Contact us!

However, if you are looking for the best remote workers, a platform like has everything you need. On this platform, professionals and recruiters can easily connect. You can create an account now, or request more information at [email protected].

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