Talent Acquisition

How to Win at Social Recruiting in the Middle East

One of LinkedIn’s Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agencies hails all the way in Dubai, a city that has seen tremendous growth in such a short period time and continues to make great strides in all aspects of modern life.

Situated along the coastline of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is widely recognized as a cultural melting pot with only 10% of the population being local ‘Dubaians’, and the other 90% hailing from all four corners of the globe. So as a recruiter, let’s just say life must be interesting!

We decided to have a chat with John Fitzpatrick, the Regional Director of Executive Solutions, one of the region’s best recruitment agencies, whom our friends at LinkedIn have recognized as one of the best in the industry for social engagement on the platform. We sit down with John to find out what the recruitment industry is like in Dubai and the Middle East in general. As well as gaining some insight into the award-winning work they have done online.

Competition for talent in the Middle East

The Middle East, as an employment market, remains very buoyant in a majority of sectors we operate, however, and safe to say, areas such as Oil & Gas/related support services have been affected by low Barrel prices and this has obviously/visibly affected the levels of hiring in this previously booming sector.

As some compensation, other verticals within the region, such as FMCG, Construction & Engineering, Alternative Energy, IT/Digital, Cyber Security, Rail & Transportation have witnessed significant increases in hiring, this mainly being due to essential projects, government initiatives and is partly related to upcoming EXPO 2021 activities, of which have organically complemented evolving markets.

As an expat, originally from London in the U.K, in my mind, the Middle East represents a rich and harmonious melting pot of international talent, all of which share business methodologies and personal cultures. I believe there is no other such successful example in the world and this is why the number of expats coming to the region, versus other popular worldwide destinations, is on the increase.

LinkedIn is everything

Firstly, LinkedIn is a living and breathing part of our business and does not represent a chore, I must add, regardless of any expert advice/hot tips you receive on how you can make your business grow, it’s very much about the structure and full commitment by all the team to the common goal of “Digital Excellence”.

Under my guidance, our entire business operates and commits to a daily/weekly/monthly routine of posting relevant articles, engaging with candidates/clients alike, plus taking the time to respond to all (where humanly possible) comments or inquiries that individuals most generously leave.

I would also emphasize that to sculpt winning ways in this arena, team/business members have also got to commit to maintaining the brand on weekends and evenings. The reality is that due the fact that we operate over several continents, myself/consultants are often called upon to cater to their online media/communications that arise quite possibly when the working week starts on a different day to yours, or the time zone is significantly different (i.e. Korea, USA, Europe & Australasia). After all, we all now live in an electronic world which rightly or wrongly, expects a response and now!

Employee advocacy

The employee’s contribution means everything. If you haven’t got genuine buy-in from your business/workforce, simply don’t bother. As far as tasks or creating good habits are concerned, LinkedIn is a marathon and not a sprint. Anyone can showboat, or demonstrate great activity over the course of a week or two but that does nothing for forging longer-term connections or fostering the correct levels of communication.

Hands-on engagement

It’s massively important to engage your audience and to only share items that may be of “real interest” to connections. Any irrelevant or insensitive postings could well result in losing contacts, as opposed to growing your network.

On the matter of thought leadership, I like to have a much more hands-on approach to managing this area of my business, as opposed to providing theory and do not merely bark instructions on how we can be amongst the Industry digital elite! I refer to my previous comment “ If you haven’t got genuine buy-in from all your business/workforce, simply don’t bother.

Top 3 take away tips for social recruiting

  1. Draw up a personal/business “social media plan” and most importantly stick to it.
  2. Be sure to only post interesting and industry relevant content.
  3. Diarize quality checks to ensure you’re maintaining the plan.

Connect with John on Linkedin.

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