The job market in the UAE is highly competitive and rapidly evolving, offering some of the highest per capita income levels in the world. As the strategically placed hub of the Middle East, companies in the UAE are hiring for new positions every week. Thousands of individuals, including a diverse, international workforce, are eagerly looking to fill these roles.
Dubai routinely experiences some of the lowest unemployment levels in the world, currently around 0.5%, which translates to steep competition for available positions. The majority of the workforce in the UAE, up to 85%, is comprised of foreign workers. Many of them are from India, Pakistan, and other SE Asian countries, seeking better employment opportunities and a tax-free income.
The remaining 15% of jobs belong to Emirati citizens, who are encouraged to enter the market as part of the UAE’s recent Emiratisation of the job market. This policy objective marks a push for encouraging citizens to apply for public and, more importantly, private-sector jobs by introducing a quota system and other incentives.
Here, you’ll find more reasons to consider using a recruitment agency to effectively find your next job. This post also touches on the ten best agencies to find a job in Dubai and the top ten recruitment agencies in Abu Dhabi. These firms have established reputations for pairing highly qualified applicants with the best new positions.
How do recruitment agencies in the UAE work?
Plenty of people looking for jobs in the UAE rely on traditional methods of finding employment. There are several online job boards, like GrabJobs, which consistently provide up-to-date job openings in the UAE. Others prefer to walk around Business Bay in Dubai and choose to look for work by requesting a walk-in-interview or attending job fairs and hiring events.
To improve their odds in such a competitive job market, many job hunters in the UAE also choose to work with recruiting agencies. Recruitment agencies in the UAE are an excellent way to find employment in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi. These firms help match applicants with available positions.
As businesses evolve and expand, employers work closely with leading recruitment agencies in the UAE to simplify the job-hunting process and quickly fill open roles. Legitimate recruitment agencies are paid commissions by employers to quickly find the right person for the job, which is often tied to your starting salary.
Though many find these agencies helpful in undertaking the sometimes overwhelming task of looking for work in the UAE, there are plenty of horror stories and fraudulent undertakings to be aware of as well. Recruitment agencies in the UAE have been known to exploit vulnerable populations. Most notably, people from third-world countries looking to find work in the construction industry fall victim to fake recruitment agencies asking for a fee to access their services. This practice is illegal in the UAE but still quite common.
If you agree to pay a fee for enlisting a recruitment firm’s assistance with your job search in the UAE, this is a scam, and you’ll lose that money. It’s illegal for recruitment agencies in the UAE to ask you to pay for your visa, too. Unfortunately, this is also a common, fraudulent practice.
👉 Learn more about how to get a work visa in Dubai in our comprehensive guide.
What are the pros and cons of job searching through recruitment agencies in Dubai?
Depending on your qualifications, partnering with the right recruitment agencies in Dubai can make the difference in getting the best job quickly. Many of these firms are well connected with local employers. Those connections mean that you have the latest insight on fresh openings and can be particularly valuable to those immigrating to the UAE from other countries.
The job market in Dubai is already extremely competitive. Automated recruitment processes make it even more challenging to stand apart from other applicants. Recruitment agencies can be a particular asset when there’s a hiring surge as they can essentially move you to the front of the line of qualified applicants.
Some recruitment agencies in the UAE will help you package your application by helping you create a CV tailored to the audience in Dubai, to go along with your applications. You will have to pay for these services, but they can easily make the difference between whether you land a job or not.
Recruitment agencies advocate for you
Employers pay agencies for filling open positions, so it’s in their best interest to work hard to get you hired. Better still, since their commission is tied to your starting salary, they’ll advocate for your best initial offer. Some agencies may be willing to reveal how much your potential employer may be willing to pay you.
Working directly with a recruiter who specializes in your field will do wonders for your job search. It can save you lots of time and energy that can be essential in the bid to apply to the best positions first.
Resources are readily available if you know where to look
The opposite is also true. If you know how to work computerized recruitment processes in your favor, you may be able to do so quite efficiently on your own. Individuals have access to many of the same resources and job listings through online job portals. You just have to sift through them, which takes time and effort.
There are plenty of legitimate recruitment agencies in Dubai, but the field is also full of scammers. Construction workers looking to find work in the UAE are often targeted and forced to pay for the help of recruitment services. This practice is illegal and has cost lots of workers, including many poor foreigners, lots of money due to fraud.
What are the top 10 Recruitment Agencies in Dubai?
- Jivaro Search is one of the top recruitment agencies in Dubai. They specialize in seeking the best job opportunities in the Middle East for Marketing and Communications firms. Jivaro consistently places individuals in these job categories: advertising, branding, design and layout, digital and social media, events, sales and marketing, PR, and communication.
- NADIA Gulf Recruitment Consultancy has been the largest human resources consultancy firm in the Gulf and the Middle East for almost 40 years. It has placed more than 260,000 applicants into jobs across the Middle East and trained over 210,000 others to better their career opportunities. NADIA specializes in placing qualified candidates in the following fields: accounting, finance, advertising, public relations, customer service, education/teaching, electronics/IT/telecom, healthcare, medical, HR and training, sales and marketing, senior management, supply chain jobs and more.
- Charterhouse Middle East has worked for the last 10 years to acquire talent in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha, Qatar. This recruitment agency is one of the best and offers highly sought-after career opportunities. Their ability to place and consult in various areas has been instrumental in helping thousands add value to their careers or enter Middle Eastern job markets. Notably, Charterhouse specializes in Emiratisation, which is private sector employment for Emirati citizens. Charterhouse routinely fills openings for the following fields: architecture and design, accounting and finance, financial services, HR and talent management, IT, legal and compliance, management consultancy, real estate, facilities management, retail, hospitality, sales, marketing, supply chain, and manufacturing.
- Michael Page is almost a household name in recruitment. Their reputation as a successful recruitment agency is due to their routinely expert placement of permanent, temporary, full or part-time positions in the Middle East. Their website serves as a great jumping-off point for those wishing to begin a detailed job search based on your current expertise, location, type of employment, and anticipated salary.
- BAC Executive Recruitment was established in 1979 and is one of the oldest recruitment agencies in the Middle East North Africa region. BAC provides professional, cost-effective recruitment services to thousands of top-tier companies for all levels of employment. They routinely fill junior, middle, and senior management positions in several different sectors, including sales, hospitality and tourism, management, construction and architecture, engineering, technical, oil and gas services, consulting, media, design, and creative jobs.
- ESP International began serving Dubai in 2008 and ranks as one of the top recruitment agencies. Unlike other firms, ESP relies on events specific recruitment strategies, enabling them to learn about their candidates and clients to go above and beyond what is expected. They typically staff roles related to digital marketing, hotels and venues, and NFP.
- Gulfaar Recruitment Agency has been working to eliminate unemployment in the Middle East for the past 25 years. As a result, they have emerged as a leading recruitment agency capable of providing the most qualified applicants for the best positions. Their talent recruitment methods consistently help match professionals with roles that perfectly complement their skills, experience, abilities, and disposition.
- Accel HR Consulting Agency has worked in the UAE and India to match qualified applicants with their ideal positions for the past 12 years. They routinely match job seekers with human resource positions in manufacturing, servicing, and operating companies. They’ve successfully placed thousands of candidates in over 15 countries around the world.
- Hays Recruiting Agency in Dubai has been networking and recruiting in the UAE for the past 15 years. They provide career and hiring advice for consultants and recruitment services for the following sectors: sales, marketing, accounting, finance, engineering, architecture, medical, executive, HR, legal, IT, logistics, oil and gas, and supply chain.
- MCG and Associates provide recruitment services to Dubai and the other major cities of the UAE. Their esteemed clientele includes top-level companies like Cartier, Johnson & Johnson, Jumeirah, IBM, Majid Al Futtaim, SMG, MCN, and others.
What are the top 10 recruitment agencies in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is a little over an hour away from Dubai but has a very different feel about it. Many say that the smaller city of Abu Dhabi feels more traditional. In contrast, Dubai is more cosmopolitan, and decidedly western.
If you choose to find work in Abu Dhabi, you’ll find several of the same recruitment agencies in Abu Dhabi. Here are the recruitment agencies here for 2021:
- Michael Page
- NADIA Abu Dhabi
- Star Services, LLC is the largest supplier of skilled and administrative manpower to IT companies in the UAE. They routinely match qualified applicants with engineering, administrative, technical, and non-technical roles.
- BAC Executive Recruitment
- Robert Half and Associates are a leading provider of executive search services in Abu Dhabi. In addition, they also specialize in placing candidates in finance and accounting positions, financial services, human resources, legal and technology roles.
- The Reach Group has a large team of talent acquisition specialists with an extensive database of UAE-national candidates. They specialize in recruitment processes and outsourcing services primarily for the education, healthcare, aviation, oil and gas, and government departments.
- Adecco Middle East is a well-connected recruitment agency in Abu Dhabi and a leader in providing workforce solutions. They are skilled at assisting through every part of the employment lifecycle.
- Accel HR Consulting Agency
- Sundus Recruitment and Outsourcing Services specialize in matching applicants with positions in aerospace and defense, alternate energy, banking, financial services, insurance, education, government, healthcare, hospitality and retail, manufacturing, oil and gas, and surface transport rail and ports, IT, and telecom positions.
5 Tips for successful job hunting with recruitment agencies
Though recruitment agencies can do a lot to help expedite your job search, there are a few things that you’ll want to make sure to do to optimize your chances of success. These tips will help you capture the attention of the recruitment officers who can help you quickly find suitable roles and then formally land those positions. They’ll also help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that some experience when working with recruitment agencies in the UAE.
1. Choose a recruitment agency with a good reputation.
The longer that they have been in business dealing with your chosen field, the better. More established agencies often have better connections and opportunities. They will be able to find you a better opportunity more quickly. Having extensive experience in your local market is vital for securing a job in this tight job market.
2. Polish Your CV.
Get your CV up-to-date with your current skills and qualifications. Ideally, you’ll want to have a good handle on the type of role you’re looking for. A recruitment agency is not here to direct your career and help more efficiently if you know what you want. Some agencies will update your CV for an additional fee.
3. Network and Build Relationships
Sending mass emails with your CV to recruitment agencies is one of the worst ways to go about utilizing a recruitment agency. Instead, contact the agent responsible for your desired sector and begin forming a relationship to set yourself apart from other applicants in your field.
The best way to do this is by setting an appointment with the agency. If your CV is requested, send it directly and follow up. Be kind and courteous in your interactions because these are the people who can help you in your job search. They may be invaluable to you with future connections as well.
4. Practice Interviewing
If you land an interview for an ideal position, make sure you’re ready to seal the deal. If you fail to impress when you show up to your potential employer in person, you’ll have wasted the effort of engaging with a recruitment agency. It may wind up costing you any advantage that you might have gained through the connection.
5. Look out for Scams
Employers pay recruitment agencies to fill vacancies, and they’re also responsible for securing your visa if necessary. If a recruitment agency asks you for money to find a job or get a visa, you’ll fall victim to a common ploy. You won’t find a job, and you’ll lose your money.
Recruitment agencies in the UAE can be an invaluable tool as you undertake your job search in one of the most competitive job markets in the world. Understanding how recruitment agencies in Dubai and recruitment agencies in Abu Dhabi work will help you use their services to your advantage.
Many of these firms have been matching qualified job seekers with appropriate positions for several decades. Your best bet is to choose a reputable recruitment agency specializing in your chosen field in the city where you prefer to work. Some of the best recruitment agencies in the UAE are listed above and will do well in helping you find a job in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
While recruitment agencies can help you find a job, you still have to do your part. Connect with the agent assigned to your particular sector. Work hard to prepare for your interview, and be mindful of fraudulent tactics. Knowing what you want and using these tips will help you find a great job quickly through a recruitment agency in the UAE. Best of luck to you as you look for jobs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.