Internet recruitment portals getting popular

Qatar, 25 May 2005

DUBAI - Middle East web-based recruitment portals are now displacing traditional Europe-based print advertising as prime recruiting source for educational institutions.

Internet recruitment portals are fast becoming the medium of choice for GCC schools, colleges and universities to find and hire qualified professional teachers, rapidly displacing traditional advertising in expensive European publications.

Web-based recruitment services with focused databases reach more teachers faster at a fraction of the cost than the traditional scattershot approach that once prevailed where educational institutions in the region would launch expensive annual advertising announcements in publications like the UK-based Times' Educational Supplement or The Guardian.

"Times have changed," said Anisha Kassim, a former teacher who now heads up teacher recruiting for GulfTalent, one of the region's fastest growing web-based recruitment portals.

"GulfTalent has thousands of qualified and professional teachers on its database, both in the region and internationally and we have already helped several schools and colleges across the region hire qualified teachers," said Kassim, stressing that education was only one of many professional sectors GulfTalent serves, with similar trends being observed in healthcare, engineering and financial services.

Educators and HR managers from across the GCC endorse this new HR solution.

According to Michael Mullen, Principal of the Modern Renaissance School in Dubai, who used a web-based recruitment portal to source teachers for its new school, Internet hiring is very effective.

"We had access to fantastic teachers and the e-system is so well designed that it makes the whole process easier," he said.

John Forrester, Recruitment Officer for the Kuwait-based Institute for Private Education and Training (IPETQ), said: "We were looking for a service that would give us access to quality candidates who would be valuable assets to our institution. We were very impressed by the results that we received and hope to use it again for our future needs."

Even in Saudi Arabia, where recruiting from outside the Kingdom can be problematic, recruitment portals are building an impressive track-record.

Dr Khaled Ahmed, Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department of Jubail Industrial College, said: "Being a highly reputed educational institution in Saudi Arabia means that when we look for staff they have to be of an extremely high calibre. We discovered that using an online recruitment service the whole process was much more time efficient and cost-effective and we were able to identify many international candidates in a matter of days."

The implications for education of web-based recruiting by schools are only beginning to be felt.

According to Kassim, GCC schools now have greater access to the global talent pool of educators than at any time in their history.

"Web-based recruiting has allowed schools and universities to identify the most qualified teaching professionals wherever they may be in the world," said Kassim, adding that the job market is becoming more transparent for teachers too, as they can now more easily compare salary and conditions between schools based anywhere in Dubai, Riyadh, Beijing or Budapest, and take their pick.