The Gulf recruitment company iQ Selection will rebrand itself as part of the worldwide professional recruitment firm Morgan McKinley to compete more effectively across the globe and attract highly skilled professionals.
The company said the tie-up would also address difficulties faced by UAE companies in attracting top talent, especially when compared with the expanding job markets in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
Christo Daniels, the managing director of the recruitment firm iQ Selection, said it was a positive move. "While we've a fantastic brand in this region, we're not able to leverage ourselves in other markets … it's going to be much easier if we're all coming from the same page in terms of pitching ourselves," Mr Daniels said.
He said approaching recruitment on a global scale would be useful in confronting the poor international image of the UAE's economy after the Dubai World restructuring.
"It [gives] an opportunity to refute some of the poor PR that might be coming out," Mr Daniels said. "We're in a position to be able to promote the fact that the economy is stabilising to some extent and we're able to give them an up-to-the-minute prime view of where the economy is and where their sector is."
Gerald Fitzgerald, the regional chief executive of Morgan McKinley, said iQ Selection's staff would at least double in the next few years, as it tries to place more staff seeking "better quality opportunities" now available in the region.
"Multinationals are increasingly looking at this market as a credible destination for their operations," Mr Fitzgerald said. "As a consequence, the GCC region is now starting to stand up and say that there are really good opportunities here too."
He said the key areas of growth would be in financial services and petrochemicals, with pharmaceuticals also likely to grow. "Globally it's held up very well," Mr Fitzgerald said. "There's not as much in this region as in other parts but I do see an expansion there."
Forty per cent of UAE companies said they intended to hire new staff in the coming year, according to a survey conducted by YouGovSiraj and The National this summer.
But John Sfakianakis, the chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi, warned the UAE would struggle to keep up with job growth in Asia as long as GDP growth remained buoyant in the Far East.
China's economy is expected to grow at 9.6 per cent next year, according to the IMF.
Mr Sfakianakis added that even Qatar, where the IMF predicts growth of 18.6 per cent next year, would experience growth largely in the oil and gas sector, and job creation would not be commensurate with the projected increase in GDP.
He added that while the UAE's financial services sectormay recapture some of the jobs lost during the recession, Asian markets would generally remain the preference for professionals in financial services.