MEA News

MEA Roundup May June 2023

Recruitment Experience Critical to UAE Candidates

A new Cisco AppDynamics survey revealed that 83% of people in the Emirates want to work for an employer that provides seamless digital experiences during the recruitment process.

The report found that on average, people in UAE use a total of seven applications or digital services when looking for or applying to a new job. Sixty-three per cent said that if these applications fail to perform, they are less inclined to want to work for that employer, and of that group, 73% said that if the applications and digital services they use to find and apply for jobs fail to perform, it will leave them feeling anxious and annoyed.

In a press release, Cisco AppDynamics’ CTO Advisor, James Harvey, said that efficient technology has become something that people, especially job candidates, require. “Expectations for digital experiences have soared over the past few years as people in the UAE have increasingly relied on the convenience and flexibility that applications and digital services provide in almost every aspect of their lives,” he said. “At the same time, reactions when people encounter issues with these applications have strengthened.”

Some other survey findings include the following.

• To find new jobs, 70% of the respondents said they go to social media platforms, 65% said they check the company website, and 63% look at job sites.

• 99% of UAE respondents said it is important that the applications they use to find and apply for jobs provide a fast and seamless experience, without any delays or disruption.

• 56% said that potential employers have only one shot to impress them with their digital services.

Organisations that get the recruitment digital experience right better position themselves to attract the most skilled talent. Harvey says that in today’s market, putting your best foot forward is essential. “In an intensely competitive labor market, there are no second chances for employers—the first sign of a problem when using an application or digital services and many jobseekers will immediately walk away,” he said.

The Four Most-Desirable African Cities for Expansion

A number of African cities are on the up-and-up up are being scouted as top destinations for professionals and organisations looking to expand their operations. According to Africa HR, here are four cities to keep on radars as places that could possibly become global powerhouses.

1. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s connection to neighboring countries and to the world, through the Port of Abidjan, makes it a very desirable place to live. The busiest in Africa and the second largest in the region, it isn’t just used for import and export companies, but also represents opportunities for many sectors. Also, 90% of Ivory Coast’s industrial sector is found in Abidjan, including some of the world’s largest cocoa plants.

And for companies looking to set up shop in the city, they can benefit from Ivory Coast’s fiscal incentives for investment and other tax incentives that also last for five years.

The top sectors in Abidjan include the following.

• Industrial sector
• Fishing
• Medical sector
• Consumer goods (import and export)

2. Dakar, Senegal. Home of the Central Bank of West African States, Dakar, Senegal is a hot spot for professionals and business investors alike. Like Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, its location makes it a port of entry for shipping firms and lies at the intersection of the main sea lanes connecting Europe, Africa and the Americas—all in all, trade is plentiful and easy, thanks to the slew of trade agreements that Senegal has with other countries.

The country’s Infrastructure has also undergone significant developments with important upgrades that include major road rehabilitation.

3. Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous city with more than 26 million inhabitants and has developed tremendously, becoming a reference for many industries, like fashion, fishing, import/export, and more. It is also a leader in manufacturing with the most popular sectors being the following.

• Electrical equipment fabrication
• Car assembly
• Food and beverage processing
• Metalworking
• Paints and soap
• Textile, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical.

Lagos is also home to a thriving fintech industry. In fact, a recent report found that Lagos is the most developed African city for startups and has been ranked in the top 50 cities for e-commerce and retail technologies.

4. Johannesburg, South Africa. Johannesburg, South Africa is perfectly situated, receiving more than 50% of the cargo that enters the world through the ports of Durban and Cape Town, making the shipping port at City Deep the largest “dry port” on the planet.

The city is also home to the South African headquarters of many well-known multinational corporations like McDonald’s, Toyota, Coca-Cola, and more. And the district of Sandton in Johannesburg is further regarded as the center of South Africa’s financial industry, being home to many of the country’s financial institutions and Africa’s major stock exchange, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Additionally, with a $418.02 billion GDP, South Africa is one of the more developed African markets, making competition fierce, but it is a secure place with a strong banking and financial infrastructure for FinTech investment.

AI, Talent, and Inflation are Most Concerning for CEOs

A recent Gartner survey revealed that 21% of CEOs think artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly impact their industry over the next three years.

The survey of executives from across The Middle East, South Africa, North America, Europe, and others sought to find the top strategic business priorities for between 2023 and 2024 for CEOs around the globe, as well as their top concerns.

Though AI has been highly influential in recent years, Mark Raskino, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, said in the report that the technology may be dauting for many, but also feel they can’t risk not getting in on it. “Generative AI will profoundly impact business and operating models,” he says. “However, fear of missing out is a powerful driver of technology markets. AI is reaching the tipping point where CEOs who are not yet invested become concerned that they are missing something competitively important.”

But AI was not the only thing on leaders’ radars. More than half of respondents cited growth as their top strategic business priority, just before technology. Workforce issues came thereafter.

Of the priorities on the list, cost management made the biggest increase this year, climbing by 69% from last year. It ranked six out of 10 in the top business priorities.

Environmental sustainability also saw a 25% increase from the previous year’s survey, marking the first time sustainability ranked among CEOs’ top 10 priorities. In fact by 2026, Gartner predicts environmental sustainability will be a higher CEO strategic business priority than the technology-related category.

The survey also revealed what business leaders thought would be the most damaging business risks, and atop that list was the talent shortage (26%). Further, nearly a quarter cited greater price sensitivity as the biggest shift they anticipate this year, and 22% cited inflation as the riskiest. In response to the latter, CEOs plan to:

• increase prices (44%);
• optimize costs (36%); and
• productivity, efficiency, and automation (21%).

Raskino sees all of these priorities and concerns as moving industries forward and giving leaders something other than the pandemic to focus on. “After three years of volatility, CEO priorities are stabilizing,” said Raskino. “Executive leaders are looking past the aftershocks of the omnicrisis period to a time when talent, sustainability and next-level digital change will be the levers of competitive performance.”

Tags: EMEA May June 2023

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