Competition, cost of living, visa restrictions top HR challenges, say experts

Qatar, 14 May 2014

In a high-profile gathering of senior human resource professionals on Tuesday in Doha, a leading panel of experts debated the key challenges faced by companies in attracting and retaining talent.

Over 100 HR managers from leading companies in Qatar attended the event, which was organised by regional online recruitment firm GulfTalent.

The discussion panel consisted of senior representatives from Ooredoo Group, Hassad Food, Ramco Trading, GEIC as well as GulfTalent.

The panel commented on Qatar's position as the Gulf region's second most popular destination for expatriates, which helps the country attract strong expatriates talent, while at the same time it faces stiff competition from employers in the UAE.

Also under discussion was Qatar's strict NOC rules which provide some protection to employers against poaching by competitors, but severely limit the employers' ability to hire the talent they need from the local market.

The panel further touched on the rising cost of living in Doha and its implications on salaries and retention. The high cost and limited availability of schooling options for expatriates with families were also cited as major challenges for retention of expatriates during the discussion.

The impact of the Arab Spring on supply of talent from certain countries in the region was another topic that received mention during the session.

Participants in the event consisted primarily of human resource managers and directors of large companies in Qatar, from both the public and private sector.