Dubai-based leading Business process outsourcing (BPO) organization Data Direct Group (DDG) has urged the UAE’s private sector to follow the recent guidelines established by the country’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) and hire more local talent to boost Emirati employment rates.
The Ministry earlier this month announced that around 79,000 UAE nationals were working in the private sector. In September 2022, UAE’s authorities set out quotas for hiring Emiratis for the first time and gave private companies deadlines to reach them.
Private sector companies with at least 50 employees needed to ensure 3 percent of their workforce was made up of Emiratis by July 7. Four days later on July 11, MoHRE announced a new update to the rules, whereby private companies with 20 to 49 employees are now included in the government’s Emiratization drive with the new rules now applicable to companies across 14 economic sectors including property, education, construction and health care.
“This is the time to infuse the current market with a great new talent pool that is homegrown and localized. Emirati employment rate is projected to increase to 10 percent in 2026 with steady growth every year and it is the time for private businesses of the country to step up by reaching targets laid down by the MoHRE. We achieved outstanding results in going beyond to fulfill the government’s targets for hiring Emirati talent. A major part of that success is due to the fact that Emiratization has always been a part of our role to keep local clients happy while enhancing the customer experience.”
As part of the company’s commitment to support the nation’s vision and foster local talent, Data Direct has been implementing strategic initiatives since the company’s inception in 2002, and much before the UAE government started ‘customer happiness centers’ across the country to serve the local population. An internal audit by DDG after the first half of 2023 has shown staff representation among Emiratis at nearly 5-7 times the minimum required, especially in certain departments.
“We do not see Emiratization as a minimum quota to achieve just for the sake of representation. The more the merrier, and there is a constant endeavor to seek out local talent first before we look at other options,” added Mr. Dalmia.
“Employees within our team setup and familiar with the work culture at Data Direct Group provide good referrals to future employees. References are our best sources of talent. The accomplishment of surpassing Emiratization targets is a testament to our commitment to the UAE’s socio-economic growth and vision for a prosperous future. By empowering local talent, we also strengthen our own organizational capabilities,” said Ms. Nona Sharma, HR head at DDG.
DDG has been working with many government entities to enhance the customer experience during interactions. Meanwhile, the rise of Gulf countries’ economies has also seen a surge in hiring local talent. “A collaboration with Talabat in Bahrain, for instance, has happened due to our track record on this and their requirements to keep 100 percent staff local. In Oman, it is 80 percent of our strength while the highly cosmopolitan nature of UAE means we have about 35-40 locals who cater to clients, including key government agencies. Having talented local colleagues is not tokenism for us. They are, in fact, the guiding light for us in many cases,” Mr. Dalmia added.