Construction firms in the Middle East can address recruitment issues by investing in their brand, according to human resources and recruitment experts.

Marcus Taylor, managing partner at recruitment consultancy Taylor Sterling Associates (TSA), told Construction Week that companies facing a problem getting workers need to look into building their reputation in the industry.

“[TSA] works hard on this with clients, especially since many of those winning projects that would normally be beyond their comfort zone are SMEs and not mainstream names with the reputation of [being] employers of choice,” said Taylor.

“Build a profile and use [the] media to tell your story. Not everybody wants to join a big company, but [everybody] want to join a team of forward-thinking professionals.”

READ: Middle East construction recruitment market 2017 roundup


According to Taylor, companies would benefit from engaging the services of a public relations (PR) firm to develop “their story”.

“It’s not too expensive, and is very effective,” he added.

Meanwhile, Emma Seymour, HR director for construction at Al Naboodah Group Enterprises (ANGE), noted that 2017 saw greater emphasis on company brand and culture, a trend that she is expecting to continue this year.

She said: “Creative recruiting and talent management involves investing in brand presence, developing networks, and assessing new talent markets.”

According to Seymour, one of the challenges being faced by construction companies when it comes to sourcing labour is the change in demands from employees. “Education has improved significantly, as have the expectations of our workforce – there is no longer a job for life.

“Employees are becoming more aware of the social impact their employers make, and consider this when [deciding whether] to stay with them. Development and welfare are significant priorities, and companies must maintain their reputation and social standing to continue to attract competent employees.”

To read more about the recruitment landscape in the region’s construction sector, check out issue 683 of Construction Week, which will be published on 20 January, 2018.