Massive hiring drive expected in Oman this year
July 15, 2017 | 9:48 PM
by Syed Haitham Hasan/[email protected]
Nearly 75 per cent of the companies in the Sultanate plan to recruit new employees this year as the Omani private sector expects to create 12,000 to 13,000 new jobs in 2017.

Muscat: After a year of austerity that witnessed companies freezing hiring if not firing employees, this year will witness most companies hiring in different sectors, according to data by HR agencies.

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Nearly 75 per cent of the companies in the Sultanate plan to recruit new employees this year as the Omani private sector expects to create 12,000 to 13,000 new jobs in 2017, according to the country’s budget statement.

“Seventy-two per cent of organisations plan to recruit an additional headcount by the end of 2017,” Farhat Shaikh, manager at Elite Global HR Solutions and Services said.

“Job offers and candidate registration statistics has seen a general uplift in demand for candidates across all industry sectors in the last two quarters.”

Hiring has increased at a rapid pace since the beginning of 2017 as firms have started a mild recovery, Bashair Al Shabibi, team leader at MENA HR Solutions, said. “There has been a rise in number of vacancies. A lot of firms are bidding for new projects in industrial zones and they need more people to fill in positions,”she said.

“Locals are most wanted and then people with GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) experience are also needed,” she added.

According to Shaikh, there was a huge demand in the last two quarters from clients emphasising on locals hiring, expats are requested on case to case basis and for highly niche skills.

“More than half (52 per cent) of the locals are working in government or semi–government roles and 48 per cent are working in either the private sector or family businesses. In order to maintain the Omanisation percentage, organisations are trying to replace the roles with locals where the talent and skills meet, along with the work experience the role demands. Hence, the ratio of locals to expats is at the 50:50 across levels.”

Even after massive reduction in hiring, the public sector still remains the largest producer of jobs in the country, accounting for 38 per cent of total jobs created. This is followed by the Oil and Gas sector (32 per cent) and Aviation and Aerospace (22 per cent).

A lot of hiring has been due to accelerated growth in industrial zones, such as Sohar and Duqm, while tenders being awarded for operations at the new airport, is also a reason.

“Major Industries that are aggressively hiring are into Construction, Banking and Finance, Hospitality, Automobile, Telecom, and Healthcare. The job opportunities in the private sector are expected through the establishment of investment projects that have “economic returns.”

With regards to individual skill sets, bi-lingual candidates who speak Arabic and English, as well as those with both local and international experience in their respective industries are always highest in demand,” Shaikh added.

“I have seen a lot of jobs listed. There is a huge demand when compared to last year as far as I remember. Last year was nearly nothing. Now there are jobs for accountants, something that I have been looking for. I have got interviews too so it seems quite fair to both Omanis and expats. No one can really complain that it’s only for locals,” Rohit Shukla, an Indian expat looking for a job in Oman, said.

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