Challenges in mobilisation
Unfeasible recruitment needs can harm not help, says Minelle Gholami
History tells us Rome wasn’t built in a day, but much to the marvel of the average person, Dubai sprouts new and imposing structures, which support hundreds of inhabitants overnight.
To manage the myriad of developments, a small army is mobilised by facilities management providers, and time is not always on their side to put together their band of merry men. Clients often expect companies to mobilise considerable manpower in no more than four weeks.
FM providers often face serious recruitment and mobilisation challenges for a variety of different reasons. Given that there is a limited pool of candidates locally and a significant number are subject to labour bans or have to serve a notice period of 30 days, recruitment and mobilisation within the UAE is not feasible for large contracts.
Overseas recruitment is a solution for mobilisation; however this is a complex operation in a challenging economic climate, where clients are driving down the price of contracts and manpower.
The price of the contract often determines which territories FM providers are able to recruit from, and factors that affect overseas recruitment decisions have to be taken into account.
These include but are not limited to consideration of the economic, political, legal and social dynamics of countries where recruitment is being considered. For example high employment rates in developing economies can lead to unsuccessful recruitment drives as opportunities for candidates in their own countries make working overseas less attractive.
Foreign government regulations play a large role in recruitment from overseas territories, such as the introduction of minimum wages where the cost of hiring manpower starts to exceed the cost the client is willing to bear.
Social factors such as language skills are critical for recruitment as the UAE population boasts approximately 200 nationalities and recruiting employees who speak the desired languages are highly sought after.
To successfully tap into the overseas labour market, detailed analyses of these factors are imperative to ensure that opportunities and risks are understood. Time constraints make it very challenging to carry out the appropriate analysis and the successful execution of recruitment.
Given broader time frames, FM providers have more success in hiring staff that have more longevity and productivity to effectively service contracts.
Furthermore, employees have more time to adjust and adapt to a new country, culture and environment. For many coming from rural parts of the world, the climate and landscape of the UAE can be very intimidating and their productivity can be affected when working in ‘alien’ conditions.
To tackle some of these issues, Emrill has a dedicated welfare team which works to provide the best standards of accommodation and recreational activities, while working with employees and managers to give a feeling of community and belonging.
It is not only important for FM providers to have more time to effectively recruit and mobilise staff, but it is in the best interest of the client and in service to them. Thorough strategic recruitment and mobilisation is essential for quality service delivery to the client, contract and for the benefit of the employees on site.
About the author
Minelle Gholami is senior HR business partner for Emrill