HR directors say rise in audio-visual conferencing is due to increased recruitment of international candidates…

James Sayer, Director, Robert Half Middle East.

James Sayer, Director, Robert Half Middle East.

WITH CANDIDATE shortages and recruitment challenges reportedly plaguing organisations throughout the Middle East, increasingly Human Resources directors are relying on the advancement in technology to support their wider recruitment drive, according to new research from specialist recruitment consultancy Robert Half UAE.

Nearly four in 10 (37%) UAE HR directors say that compared to three years ago, they have increased their use of video conferencing to conduct interviews, presenting a radical shift in the overall hiring process.

Highlighting the increased challenges that companies are facing to attract suitable candidates, nearly nine in 10 (87%) senior executives across UAE businesses report that it is at least ‘somewhat’ or ‘very challenging’ to find skilled professionals.

75 UAE executives were asked, ‘How challenging is it for your company to find skilled professionals today?” Their responses:

Very challenging 36%
Somewhat challenging 51%

When asked why their company increased the use of video conferencing to conduct interviews, nearly four in 10 (39%), respectively, cited the increased recruitment of international candidates as well as having access to better quality of video conferencing tools main reasons, followed by the increased prevalence of free or low-cost tools (including Skype) and the increased recruitment of out-of-town, domestic candidates, (both 36%).

James Sayer, Director, Robert Half Middle East said: “The recruitment of expatriate candidates is commonplace in the UAE and the rise in ease and prevalence of videoconferencing tools has facilitated the recruitment process, allowing UAE businesses to attract the skilled overseas as well as out-of-town, domestic talent they need. It also provides cost savings as much of the interview process can take place while the candidate is still in his/her hometown.”

75 HR directors were asked, ‘Why has your company increased the use of video conferencing to conduct interviews?’ Their responses:

Increased recruitment of international candidates 39%
Better quality of video conferencing tools 39%
Increased prevalence of low cost tools (ie Skype) 36%
Increased recruitment of domestic, out-of-town candidates 36%
Shortlisting candidates for in-person interview 29%
To avoid the commute 21%

“It is very important that candidates treat video interviews as they would a normal face-to-face interview. Hiring managers will still be assessing physical attributes such as non-verbal communication, professional attire and confidence when being interviewed on screen,” said Sayer.

“While technology has facilitated much of the recruitment process, video conferencing should not replace in-person meetings when assessing a candidate for hire. Recruitment consultancies with offices in global markets can help pre-screen and meet candidates in person, helping to secure the right match between job seeker and employer,” he added.