The Benefits of using a UK Based agency vs a GCC based agency for a GCC based recruitment assignment:
I am currently at 38,000ft on a flight returning back to the UK, reflecting on what has been a very busy and successful week in Qatar & Dubai.
Over the course of the week there have been some consistent themes that have arisen in the 26 meetings we attended. Naturally in the GCC market, frustrations on the slow tender processes are always present, but there definitely seems to be some progression in both the Dubai and Qatar markets. The Qatari government in particular has released the major metro projects which certainly have placed an emphasis on companies now putting together organisation charts to deal with what are some of the world’s largest projects. Dubai is building up to an exciting time with projects associated with the Expo 2020 now in their early stages.
The main theme I wanted to discuss was the question that was asked in probably 18-20 of the 26 meetings. 'Have you got an office out here in the GCC?' The natural thought process of clients in the main was that they just assumed that we would need to be present in the GCC market to be effective in the market. My responses always changed perception.
Whilst it may be something Genesis will look to do down the line, right now we feel it far more effective to be based in the UK, for 6 main reasons:
1)Face To Face Time With Clients - ‘How often do your GCC based agencies come and see you?’ Every 3-6 months being the common response. We invest heavily in client visits to the region as we understand it is important for our consultants to actually have been to their markets of work. We are always present every 3 months which in most cases more than our GCC competitors. In particular the UKTI have been very helpful in subsidising part of this process and that service comes highly recommended. ‘Fly in-Fly out’ far out- weighs the cost of a satellite office, therefore we can continue to spend this money that is saved on developing the skills of our consultants who deliver our service. Genesis are based 10 minutes from Manchester Airport where there are now up to 8 flights a day to the GCC region, therefore we can be in most clients offices in 24 hours, just like the GCC based agencies
2)Knowledge Or Should I Say Experience Is Power - This is Genesis 6th year working in GCC region and in some cases our consultants have recruited in the GCC markets for longer. This equips us with a great deal of experience when dealing with personalities that fit the region, processes for families to relocate to the different cultures in the GCC, visa’s, cost of living etc. See our country guides on our website for further reference.
3)Our Network Of Candidates - Recruitment is in the main still a phone based job and therefore it doesn't matter where in the world our recruiters are based. Using traditional phone based methods and social networking sites allow us to easily map out the candidate market, the days of advertising in local paper or attending breakfast networking events are gone.
In the last 6 years we have built a multinational database of candidates that are currently in the GCC or have worked in the GCC. We know that these types of candidates are always in demand because experience of working in such a unique market. Add to that as a UK based agency of course we have a strong European candidate database and again this week we have heard how much these types of candidates are still in demand in the GCC.
4)Recruitment Is A Service Business - The UK is widely recognised as having some the best recruiters in the world. That pool of candidates with which we can grow our business reduces if we are based in the GCC. Other recruitment companies in the GCC region often use cheaper forms of labour to cut costs, but this typically comes at a great cost in terms of quality that we simply are not willing to compromise on, after all, we are in a service business and our people are fundamental to that.
5)Quality, Quality, Quality - We have recently been awarded the prestigious honour of 'Investors In People - Gold Status'. This puts Genesis in a very elite group of companies in the UK that have achieved this, I am talking less than 0.1%. Development of employees skills are key to achieving this award and that development in turn should shine through in the quality of service we deliver to our clients. By having all of our consultants in one place means that as a director I can oversee how our consultants provide that service to their clients and use my wealth of experience to guide and offer advice on a daily basis.
6)Working The GCC Market Way - we have shifted our working day to start at 6:30-7am (UK time), therefore we are available to resolve and assist with important issues as soon as clients and candidates rise for the working day. Often our consultants are coming in on Saturday and Sunday to get ahead of the working week.
By no means am I saying that Genesis will never pave the way for an international office in the future because I think we will, but at this point in time when you weigh up the pro’s and con’s, I actually think it gives us a strong competitive advantage for us to be UK based and travel out to the GCC market on a regular basis.
So back to the office after the weekend to what is going to be a very busy Quarter for the team. I am already looking forward to getting back out to the GCC region in November.