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Middle East – New report shatters senior management hiring myths

18 September 2013

A study has been published on how companies in the Middle East region hire their senior management staff. After an extensive analysis of 619 senior hire and 350,174 applicants, the study, by recruitment solutions firm Cazar, breaks some of the myths, and clears up some misconceptions, about the recruitment of senior management in the region.

The report takes into account more than 30 medium and large companies over a 15-month period between June 2012 to September 2013, across diverse sectors; including retail, construction, banking, transport, IT, broadcast media and telecom.

Vacancies were analysed for job titles; such as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, CIO, CFO, CSO; senior roles such as Director of Marketing, Financial Controller, Head of IT and similar job functions across departments.

Commenting on the report, the Arabian Gazette wrote, It is important to note that the Middle East, although used broadly to cover a large, diverse geographic region, comprises more than 24 countries (including Levant and GCC) is fairly complex, and fragmented, each with its own work culture, customs, business practices, economies and regulations. Despite this, the findings on top-level management hires across these countries were consistent.

The common belief is that recruiting senior management cannot be done online. However, Cazar’s study shows that senior candidates prefer to engage directly with employers online – much more than entry level or middle management candidates. Quality senior applicants also shied away from sending their CV to a generic application form, free job boards, public email addresses and preferred to engage with the employer directly via their career website.

While some may think that senior roles require executive recruitment agencies, Cazar’s study suggests that employers have become very proficient at finding top candidates online themselves. Such companies had a clear online recruitment strategy, tools and a content rich corporate career website – which was the biggest source of senior hires (38%). Similarly, candidates who applied to senior roles through professional networking, which is often done online, had a 37% chance of getting hired.

Building a talent pool is essential for employers looking to hire for senior positions. For instance, companies with a quality talent pool of previously qualified applicants hired 22% of their new senior recruits through it. A talent pool is also the quickest (24 days on average) and most cost-effective way of finding senior hires.

Companies in the study all had a comprehensive online recruitment strategy, a well-designed, content-rich career website and an application process with role-relevant questions.

Guy Rickett, CEO, Cazar, said: “Quality senior candidates know who they want to work for, so they directly go on those employers’ career website. That is why it is so essential for these companies to present content that is attractive to potential applicants.”

“Companies in the study all had a comprehensive online recruitment strategy, a well-designed, content-rich career website and an application process with role-relevant questions. No quality senior applicant will submit their CV to a generic application form or email address. They want to engage with the employer,” he added.

Furthermore, employers with a smart online recruitment strategy often get a surplus of qualified senior candidates, which allows them to build a quality talent pool to choose. “Having a good talent pool should be every employer’s objective. It is the fastest, easiest and most cost-efficient recruitment method. Especially, in the case of senior roles, it drastically cuts agency costs and can slash hiring time by 50%,” Mr Rickett concluded.

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