LinkedIn MENA reveals what UAE employees are looking for
LinkedIn has announced findings from its annual 2016 MENA Talent Trends study providing insight into job seekers’ top priorities, and how recruiters can effectively engage potential candidates and compete for the best talent.
The study shows that almost everyone is interested in hearing about new job opportunities, even if they are not actively looking for a change. In the UAE alone, 94 percent of professionals surveyed said they are interested in learning about new jobs. And 53 percent of respondents in the UAE survey said they were 'actively searching' for new roles, which is higher than the global average of 36 percent.
Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa, said: “The region’s job market is evolving as a result of many external socio-economic factors. In this environment, it is essential for companies to assess their recruiting strategy and ensure it is aligned with the priorities of today’s professionals. Investing in channels for the public to research jobs before they apply and empowering employees to contribute towards recruitment needs are particularly advantageous. Getting specific about your company’s culture and values will also meet job seekers’ desire to know more about their long-term prospects before jumping into a role.”
The UAE survey also found that the number one request from candidates to know about prospective companies is to understand the company’s culture and values (69 percent cited this as a priority). This was then followed by a greater understanding of perks & benefits, as well as company leadership, employee perspectives, and the company’s mission and vision.
Compared to their global peers, professionals across MENA are actually more likely to find out about a new job from a corporate recruiter (13 percent) or someone in their personal network (25 percent) rather than reading online articles about the company. After hearing about these positions, job seekers in MENA tend to not apply right away, with more than half first researching the company in detail and nearly half saying that they update their resume before applying.
The use of technology is also instrumental in landing the final job. Professionals in UAE in particular were found to be more likely to land a new job by applying through social networks like LinkedIn—nearly 40 percent—and through company careers websites.
The annual Talent Trends report from LinkedIn is based on surveys of over 33,000 professionals around the world. The survey includes input from 3,298 LinkedIn members in the MENA region between January and March 2016, of which 35 percent of these were citizens of MENA countries.
Read the July 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”