x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

HR pros hoping to draw 1,000 to Dubai job fair

Event will give a chance for people of all nationalities to find work

DUBAI // A group of Filipino HR professionals will hold a job fair in Dubai to help qualified job-seekers of all nationalities, including laid-off workers, secure employment in the UAE.

Organisers of the event - the first of its kind - hope to attract 1,000 job-seekers of various nationalities to the Philippine School in Dubai on March 4.

"Last year, there were many jobs available but many were also on the streets after being made redundant in Dubai," said Alan Bacason, 46, who works as an assistant manager specialising in benefits and compensation at Dubai Maritime City.

Mr Bacason is also the president of the Filipino Human Resources Practitioners' Association, known as Fil-HR, which was formed in April.

He said the fair will bring together job-seekers, employers and recruiters in a single venue. No recruitment fees will be charged.

Many companies are testing the waters but should soon be hiring, he said: "We expect the UAE economy to pick up towards the middle or the end of the year."

At least 30 companies and recruitment agencies are expected to offer jobs at the fair in the oil and gas, education, manufacturing, construction, property and maritime sectors, among others.

Mr Bacason said the fair's organisers had concentrated on employers who might need staff in the first to third quarters of this year.

The process is straightforward. After an applicant registers, he or she is assessed by a Fil-HR member. The members work as human resources managers in their respective companies.

"These managers will refer him or her to a specific industry," he said. "The applicant later gets the chance for a face-to-face interview with a recruiter or potential employer."

Two types of applicants are expected to attend the job fair, he said. "These are individuals arriving in the UAE on tourist visas to work and those returning from their home countries after being laid off; and professionals and skilled workers who are employed but would like to be jump ship," he said.

Bengil Erquita, 34, a Filipina computer science graduate, is the second type. She worked as an office administrator in Dubai for two years, resigned in August and has been jobless since then.

She had been to six job interviews but was disappointed as recruiters were offering less than Dh3,000 a month. Her mother and her seven siblings are all relying on her remittances each month. "I'm youngest but they consider me as the breadwinner in the family," she said.

Mr Bacason said Fil-HR will not interfere with the salary that both the applicants and the recruiters or companies agree on at the job fair.

But as early as next month, help is on hand for all nationalities who wish to learn interview tips, negotiating one's salary and writing a curriculum vitae, he said.

Fil-HR, which has about 100 members, is accredited by the Philippine embassy and consulate in the UAE. The majority of the members are from Dubai and work in recruitment and consultancy firms, while others come from sectors including oil and gas, education, manufacturing, construction, real estate, maritime industry, logistics and law.