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Is Confidence Returning to the Middle East Construction Recruitment Market?

In our last blog relating to the Middle East we looked at the positive signs coming out of the region, hinting at the possibility of more vacancies for expatriate Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers and Engineers. In this blog I will hope to give more insight into how construction companies attitudes to recruitment in Qatar and the Middle East seem to be changing for the better.

A few months on and I am seeing companies attitudes starting to change regarding the size of their construction recruitment workforce. Over the past couple of years companies have typically run a 'skeleton crew' of engineering and QS staff. They were expected to cope with live building and civil engineering projects and to be involved in the highly competitive tendering process for future work. There was a complete lack of confidence in the market that meant external recruitment for many companies was only a viable option once a project had been awarded.  I’m sure many recent job seekers have been involved in an interview process that has gone cold whilst the company waits for news. It’s certainly been a common occurrence that I have had to deal with in the last year or two and my candidates seeking Qatar, UAE & Middle East based work. 
 
Well, I’m not going to go as far as to say those days are over in the Middle East just yet. However, I can let our subscribers and potential job seekers know that I have witnessed a distinct change in attitude from companies of late and we have a steady throughput of placing people in Middle East vacancies again. There has been a significant feeling of 'looser purse strings' when it comes to the assessment of a company’s staffing needs for Q2 of 2012 onwards.

Many of Maxim’s clients are now tendering for such volumes of work that they are beginning to look at their current work force and think ‘What if’ we did win that project tomorrow?' Some are even daring to wonder ‘What if we win 2 of those projects this month?' The most important change in attitude has been that these companies are now telling me that they are willing to take the ideal candidate before the award of any project. This is a huge shift in attitude compared to what we have witnessed in years past - this is often because awards are now actually being made & projects are now actually starting on site unlike before.

In short, this is just another sign that the Middle East construction market is beginning to move in the right direction, and will continue to do so once construction work in Qatar fully gathers pace as it is expected to do later this year. 

If you have previously been involved in an interview process that has left a sour taste in your mouth, do not let it deter you from exploring opportunities with construction companies now looking to recruit again - Middle East based companies may well be pretty serious about hiring you. With Asia and Hong Kong in particular booming as well, the best construction industry expats may even have a choice of location and role to consider. 

As ever the recruitment consultants at Maxim are working hard to make sure we have the best vacancies available for Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers and Engineers in the Middle East region and around the world as they become available; please keep in touch & let us know when we can be of assistance!

Best wishes,
Stuart Hackett
Maxim Recruitment UK & Middle East Region

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