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The fast-paced business landscape brings many HR challenges for companies headquartered in

Germany, Switzerland and Austria.


HR & Salary Report 2015

reveals that

increasing workforce productivity is the biggest challenge

faced by HR departments.

Rising infrastructure projects are creating a ripple effect across multiple

industries as numerous planned projects come into operation.

Advice on effective ways to meet challenges ahead, for example by selecting and hiring qualified

staff, as well as retaining key talent and succession planning, will be provided on the following


HR management challenges

Increasing workforce productivity

Driving culture and behavioral change in the organisation

Succession planning

Retaining key talent

Building leadership capability

Acquiring key talent

Encouraging organisational innovation








HR management challenges

(Multiple answers were permitted)

Unsatisfactory cooperation with headquarters

was cited by 44 per cent of respondents, and this is

directly related to the challenge of driving cultural and behavioural change in the organisation (24

per cent). The specific country conditions where subsidiaries are located, such as the UAE, are often

not taken into account in headquarters’ operations, which leads to

25 per cent of HR

decision-makers requesting more independence

from the head office.

The very fact that

only 20 per cent of the questioned HR decision-makers emphasised the im-

portance of personnel development

in their work underlines its subordinate role in the UAE. It is

therefore no surprise that developing leadership capabilities turned out to be among the biggest

challenges (16 per cent).

Hiring qualified personnel appears to be one of the biggest challenges in the UAE. Even though the

employment market is stable, it is also highly competitive among GSA companies. In addition to

focusing on the organisation‘s core competencies, it is necessary for the management to select and

hire the right workforce in order to respond effectively to current market conditions. The research

indicates that HR managers face considerable challenges in hiring personnel in a diverse market

such as the UAE, where employees‘ qualification levels are not comparable to Germany, Switzerland

or Austria. Employers need to better understand and compare the qualification levels of different

countries and different education and training systems.

Selecting and hiring qualified personnel

Limited availability of qualified staff


Recruiting capacities

Unforeseen economic conditions

Government / Visa regulations






Most challenging factors in hiring personnel

A significantly high number of respondents (47 per cent) say that the

salary budget at their dispo-

sal does not allow them to take appropriate HR decisions

. The situation is complex: experienced

staff members, who have a solid knowledge base in their field as well as a deep understanding of

the local market, demand a higher price on the market. Due to the relatively small number of emplo-

yees in German-language subsidiaries in the UAE, tasks and responsibilities are assigned to a small

number of people. Therefore, companies require employees with an open mindset and “all-round

skills” to manage various tasks and responsibilities at the same time.

As HR departments often remain located in the headquarters, many companies have no capacity

to take on time-consuming HR work. Fifteen per cent of HR decision-makers surveyed indicated


limited recruitment capacities

are one of the most challenging factors when it comes to hiring

staff. For instance, the resources required to conduct the selection and pre-qualification stages for

the often high numbers of candidates, as well as employing supporting measures such as active

sourcing, exceed local capacities.

HR & Salary Report 2015