Great companies seldom have any trouble attracting job applicants; they’re high-profile and often the first place people will look when it comes to looking for work. But just because they’re great at getting candidates, doesn’t mean they aren’t out trying to recruit the best possible people out there.
But how do they do it? Salaries and benefit definitely help, but for the high-achievers, they’re far from the be all and end all. In order to get a clearer idea, we’ve taken Great Place to Work’s top 10 companies to work for in the UAE for 2016 and examined how they go about recruiting top candidates.
1. DHL Transportation
Industry: Package Transport
According to Great Place to Work, DHL earned its top spot by prioritising its core values, “nurturing employee development, creating a fun work environment, being transparent, listening and acting on employee feedback and celebrating successes”. It also ensures that management spends time with employees at every level of the corporate chain, including courier rides and customer service calls.
All of those things are great when it comes to finding top candidates – if you have a reputation for being a great company to work for, recruiting’s going to be that much easier — but recruitment doesn’t start and end there.
DHL has a four-step recruitment process which starts with an online application, followed by an online test, a phone interview, and a series of interviews at a DHL assessment centre.
On its recruitment page, the company says:
We believe that all stages of our recruitment activities are a two-way process for us to see whether candidates are suitable for roles they have applied for and also for candidate to understand whether DHL is the right organisation for them.
2. THE One
Industry: Retail | Specialty
Luxury online retailer THE One has a growing reputation as one of the UAE’s top employers, having jumped up two positions since 2015. It was also named the seventh-best place to work in Asia by Great Place to Work in 2016.
A large part of that success appears to come from THE One’s determination to “involve all our people, suppliers and you in a higher purpose than just selling and buying stuff”.
On an employee front, the company says it aims to make a difference through “Challenged Employees, Local Volunteering and our Big Idea: THE Onederworld — our Sustainable Village Community programme”.
The company sells that culture heavily in its recruitment efforts. Check out this extract from its careers page:
We are looking for people with heart. People who are on the same planet as us and who share our Core Values: LOVE, LIVE, DARE and BELIEVE. If you don’t fully agree with these values, don’t even bother applying.
3. Omnicom Media Group
Given the reputation that advertising and marketing companies have for being stressful places to work, it is perhaps a little surprising that Omnicom is so high up on the list.
But if the company’s site is to be believed, it’s earned that place by providing its employees “with careers instead of jobs, stimulating and rewarding their creativity, media expertise and team spirit”.
Given that Omnicom is a holding group for a variety of companies, it’s obviously recruiting for a variety of skills. One thing that’s clear though is that companies within the group are trying to be adaptable. OMD MENA for instance, has started including math, science, and lateral thinking questions in its recruitment tests as it looks to build of the kind of skills necessary for its digital pivot.
Industry: Retail | Clothing
Fashion retailer Splash is a part of the Landmark Group, one of the biggest retail conglomerates in the Middle East and India. It has 200 stores and 50 brand stores across 13 countries in the India, Middle East, Pakistan, Tanzania and Libya.
Led by the flamboyant Raza Beig, the company has a tight employee manifesto covering the values it lives by. While much of the manifesto is dedicated to serious stuff, there’s a fair amount of space given to fun. Among the activities its web team have taken part in are “off-site paintball, halloween/diwali/christmas/annual parties, fashion shows, table-tennis competitions, inspiring guest speakers, yoga, Sudoku contests, team lunches, dinners, parties, PS4 and pool sessions”.
While the business isn’t as open about its recruiting practises, its careers page is very much on-brand, urging potential employees to “flirt with fashion and walk hand-in-hand with the region’s leading high-street fashion retailer”.
5. The Estee Lauder Companies
Industry: Retail | Specialty
We actually wrote about what makes Estee Lauder a great company to work for a little while back. Looking after employee wellness at the company is an eight-strong corporate responsibility team, which not only promotes a culture of health and fitness, but is also responsible for driving innovation across all elements of the business.
It’s not afraid of the odd old-school touch either, with each employee getting a personalised welcome note before taking up their new role.
When it comes to recruiting, the beauty company tries to make the process as open and communication-driven as possible, responding to every application. That may sound small, but it does make a difference.
Industry: Information Technology
When it comes to tech companies that are attractive employers, we tend to think of the big consumer players – Google, Facebook, Twitter – but as cloud provider EMC² shows, an enterprise tech company can also keep its employees satisfied.
Among the benefits that helped land EMC² its spot in the top 10 are longer holidays than those required by UAE law, paternity leave, and marriage leave.
Those are all major recruitment factors, especially for a market like Dubai. But it doesn’t just rely on those benefits, also pushing a very clear approach to recruitment education.
7. Weber Shandwick
Industry: Professional Services
The professional services company is a regular feature on Great Place to Work’s annual list, largely thanks to the way it tailors its employees’ working environment to their needs. Its receptionist desk, for instance, is built to match the height of the receptionist.
While the company site doesn’t say much about its recruitment process, there is an extract worth noting:
We recognise our employee’s lives both in and outside of work are important and that both make us stronger contributors at work, to our clients and for each other.
8. Hilti Emirates
Industry: Retail | Speciality
When one thinks about great places to work, a company that sells tools and building products to the construction industry isn’t exactly top of mind. But Hilti Emirates does just that, while providing top class working environment for its employees.
Looking at the company’s global page, Hilti is an example of the maxim that beanbags and brightly-coloured walls don’t make you a great place to work. Instead, Hilti is all about hiring people who want to be the best of the best and helping them achieve their goals through training and education. It also allows for people to work in different regions and different sections of the company, both of which are great incentives for potential recruits.
9. Hilton Worldwide
Industry: Hospitality | Hotel/Resort
Given the UAE’s status as a travel destination, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that a hotel chain finds its way into the top 10. After all, if a hotel’s staff aren’t happy, it’s going to reflect in the guests’ experience.
So what exactly is it that landed Hilton Worldwide a place on this list? Well, alongside the usual retirement and country-specific holiday perks, Hilton Worldwide offers staff reduced hotel room rates in its hotels worldwide, plus discounts on products and services offered by Hilton Worldwide and its partners.
When it comes to recruiting, Hilton Worldwide heavily emphasises its various awards as a top employer as well as the diverse array of options available to potential employees.
Industry: Transportation | Package Transport
Another global corporation, in the shape of FedEx, rounds out the top 10. At the heart of the Fed-Ex employee experience is its “people-service-profit” (PSP) philosophy. Exemplifying that philosophy is its Purple Promise Award, which “recognises a team member who goes beyond the typical expectations for his or her job to ensure the customer’s needs are met.
The company is also home to award-winning wellness programs that concentrate on health promotion, injury prevention and disability management.
As a recruiter, FedEx heavily promotes its reputation as an award-winning employer and pushes company culture. At its 25 recruitment centres around the globe, the company makes use of peer recruiters, who have actual experience in the jobs applicants will be doing. Not only do these peer recruiters help select recruits, they also give job applicants a more realistic idea of what is expected of them and their positions. As a result, FedEx has a turnover rate of just one percent.