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Should Arabic be Essential when Recruiting

20-Nov-11

Mark Timms - Campaign

Dear editor,

When the advancement in technology and the innovation of product from the East combines with the marketing methodology and techniues of the West, what is left in the Middle (East)?
You may ask yourself what this has to do with recruiting Arabic speakers; well actually it has everything to do with this hiring mindset

When global organisations attempt to centralise their operation or build products, define brands and strategise their global launch, how much of that comes from the Middle East? When you consider these factors, how much exposure do indigenous marketers actualy get to cutting-edge techniques, innovation or true global strategy?

Four out of five marketing briefs we receive at Gulf Recruitment Group at a middle and senior management level request the need for Arabic speakers even though the best person for the job may not be from the region. Trends, however, in our organisation have indicated that more advanced organisations are now focusing on the best talent and enabling us to conduct global searches with the view to adding true value to their busienss.

This is not to say that this region doesn't create talent that could sit on a global stage with pride, but we do need to ask the question: 'Are we suppressing the growth of our marketing talent in the Middle East?'
From working with our clients we can see this region is operating about five years behind more developed economies in terms of marketing and advertising and I would say that 20 per cent of professionals are providing 80 per cent of the quality output.

There is little difference between the top companies in mature markets but this isnt't the case in this region and the only way to close this five-year gap is to develp an open mind when recruiting.
In today's transient market, when will the dirham drop that value and expertise is accessible and doesn't need to speak Arabic? The Gulf Recruitment Group hopes soon.

Mark Timms - Director, marketing division

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