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Al Khaleej - 20% growth in recruitment in the IT sector in the UAE in 2016 - Oct 2016

TASC Outsourcing wins Best Supplier Award from Etisalat - Oct 2016

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Featured column, by Abbas Ali - VP sales & account management, on emerging IT technologies and cloud computing - Sep 2016

TASC Outsourcing bullish on aviation jobs - Sep 2016

Talent Asset Software & Consulting Outsourcing (TASC), a Dubai-based contract staffing firm, is optimistic about growth in aviation-related jobs in Dubai.

By 2020, Dubai's aviation-supported jobs will grow to more than 750,000 and the sector will contribute $53.1 billion or 37.5 per cent of Dubai's gross domestic product (GDP), said Abbas Ali, vice-president, TASC Outsourcing. Read More.

http://khaleejtimes.com/business/local/tasc-outsourcing-bullish-on-aviation-jobs

Looking for a job? Turn to Social Media – survey conducted by TASC - Khaleejtimes, Godubai, Jun 2016

Eight out of 10 fresh graduates in the UAE are more likely to use social media for a job search, a new survey conducted by talent management and outsourcing firm, TASC Outsourcing, has found. Read More.

www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/looking-for-a-job-turn-to-social-media-says-tasc
www.godubai.com/citylife/press_release_page.asp?pr=110698

IT sector job market focuses on digitization, security and data centers - Albayan, May 2016

Recent times have seen a surge in digitization within companies and emergence of online businesses, which in turn has led to a strong rise in job opportunities in technical positions across sectors. There is a strong demand for workers on digitization, security and data centre project. Many companies are looking to move an increasing amount of their business to an online model. Businesses are also looking to automate functions and are trying to get more out of their IT investments.

Reasonably, the demand is leading to a large number of fresh graduates, including Emiratis, taking up technical positions. As more companies focus on digitization, hiring in the information technology sector is witnessing a significant uptrend this year. The constantly-evolving IT industry offers candidates with new opportunities to contribute and explore new avenues to find their way into the industry.

A phenomenal technological transformation has taken place across all industries in the UAE’s private and public sectors. Business and people are digitizing their current businesses, creating new paradigm shifts in the way provision of service or solutions takes place.

The year 2015 witnessed a reduction in hiring and recruitment activity due to economical influences, but recent changes to the UAE labour laws, alongside other contributing factors, has helped the job market to remain positive in 2016. The country’s economic interests are diversified which places less dependence on the oil and gas sector. With the government introducing changes to economic policies, the expansion in IT investment and growth offers brighter career prospects in this job market.

While the demand for permanent staff has slowed in the first half of the year and salary increases have been minimal, however, demand for contract staff has remained strong. This is owing to the fact that in uncertain times many companies are choosing to work on a project-based model rather than committing to long-term resources. Business are turning to outsourcing to reduce the reliance on full time staff as a way to manage fixed costs. Many have taken a cautious approach to the first half of the year as they looked for signs of stability in the region. This is certainly an opportunity for cost-cutting for companies as outsourcing offers both reduction in cost and increased overall productivity.

New hires have been delayed in various sectors including financial services, retail, and oil and gas. In some areas businesses have cut back, and made productivity and efficiency gains their main drivers. Hiring focus has shifted from scale to skill with advances in automation has transformed the job market, and more companies embrace technology and digitization in their operations system. Digitization is expected to act as catalyst creating a better employment ecosystem in the country.

Signs of confidence are returning to the banking sector where I anticipate that demand for skilled IT staff will grow at a steady rate. IT, telecom, banking, aviation and consulting are the largest sectors that continue at pace in offering better opportunities for more productive candidates. A shift in business focus from the traditional service provider to solution provider, in addition to the growing entrepreneur activity, would push IT sector to new heights in terms of hiring activities.

Most of the hiring activities are expected in the e-commerce and Internet-related sectors. However, there is also a significant opportunity for employment in the healthcare sector, which is continuing to grow and will remain positive for the job market in the coming years. Also, with major projects and events like the Dubai Parks, Expo 2020 and Dubai South coming up, the travel, aviation and tourism sectors will remain significant drivers of growth for the coming years.

Long term confidence is still short for many companies with many wanting to take a wait and see approach. This will lead to continued growth of temporary assignments. Companies in the UAE were hiring less in recent months partly due to lesser liquidity and falling oil prices. Low prices continue to affect recruitment in the oil and gas and related sectors. However, the UAE’s diversified economy has enabled it to be far more resilient than in previous years.

This year has also seen an increase in team diversity around the management level; recruiting multiple nationalities at different salary levels. Corporations are also investing more resources into their training budgets enabling lower-skilled workers to become more qualified members of their teams. Read More.

www.albayan.ae/economy/local-market/2016-05-24-1.2646010

80% of Emirati graduates still seek gov’t jobs- survey - Arabianbusiness, Apr 2016

Eight out of ten newly graduated UAE nationals still prefer working in the government sector despite efforts to encourage more to secure jobs in the private sector, according to a new survey conducted by TASC. Read more.

www.arabianbusiness.com/80-of-emirati-graduates-still-seek-gov-t-jobs-survey-626653.html#.V2J8zLt97IV

Emirati graduates still prefer government sector jobs - Khaleejtimes, Mar 2016

The survey conducted by TASC Outsourcing presents the current outlook of job trends, preferences and issues of the young Emirati population in the country. Read More.

www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/general/emirati-graduates-still-prefer-government-sector-jobs

Joint efforts needed to counter market unease - Khaleejtimes, Feb 2016

Leading UAE businesses in the real estate, commodities and recruiters have high hopes for the high-level trip of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India beginning today.

Mahesh Shahdadpuri, chief executive of TASC Outsourcing, said India and the UAE are very old trading partners with deep economic and cultural ties

"Hopefully the UAE and India are able to make progress on making investments related to developing India's road, rail infrastructure, industrial corridors, ports and tourism projects. Read More.

www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/uae-india-ties/joint-efforts-needed-to-counter-market-unease

TASC set to make foray in Abu Dhabi’s Oil & Gas Sector - Khaleejtimes, Feb 2016

Talent Asset Software & Consulting, or TASC, dubai-based contract staffing firm in the UAE is all set to make its foray in Abu Dhabi's oil and gas sector, said Mahesh Shahdadpuri, founder and CEO of TASC Outsourcing. Read More.

www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/tasc-set-to-make-foray-in-abu-dhabis-oil-gas-sector

UAE retailers learn to make do with less shop floor staff - Gulf News, Dec 2015

there have been no massive layoffs of shop floor staff in the UAE’s retail sector even as sales volumes took quite a marked dip through the better part of the year. In this regard, the retail industry has been insulated from the kind of job losses that have afflicted other sectors, such as banking, construction, and real estate brokerage services. Read More.

gulfnews.com/business/sectors/retail/uae-retailers-learn-to-make-do-with-less-shop-floor-staff-1.1637024

We are proud to announce that, Our CEO- Mr. Mahesh Shahdadpuri has won the ‘Asian Outsourcing Leadership Award - Jun 2015

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“We are proud to announce that, Our CEO- Mr. Mahesh Shahdadpuri has won the ‘Asian Outsourcing Leadership Award’ held in Dubai on 7th Oct. This award recognized his outstanding efforts, perseverance and growth in this business”

More UAE companies hiring staff on a temporary basis - May 2015

UAE companies seeking to save on the high cost of recruiting international talent are increasingly open to the idea of hiring locally available professionals on a part-time basis.

According to a provider of temporary staff based in Dubai, more and more organisations in the country, especially those in the information technology, telecommunications, retail, oil and gas, financial services and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries, are employing staff on a temporary basis to save time and money.

The demand for temporary manpower is prevalent in multinational companies, local conglomerates and semi-government organisations in the country. Roles related to business process support and banking are the most supportive of flexible staff, especially women. There are also opportunities for temporary staff in sales, business support and IT positions.

"A lot of companies in Dubai are hiring temporary staff. Taking advantage of a local highly skilled talent pool that would not want to work permanently but are willing to work as flexible staff is a lot cheaper than re-locating talent from abroad," Abbas Ali, vice president of TASC Outsourcing, told Gulf News.

The company, which provides temporary manpower for 50 different job functions in many organisations around the UAE, has surveyed companies to gauge their attitudes towards hiring part-time employees.

Among the 184 employers surveyed, nearly half (45 per cent) feel that hiring temporary staff helps businesses save administrative or manpower costs.

"There are many other benefits for employers to hire flexible staff as well, such as being able to permanently hire after testing the capabilities of the talent. We approximate that a lot of employers would prefer hiring temporary staff based on the nature of their business," said Ali.

“Based on our internal research and the client enquiries we receive, we can say that the majority of multinational companies, local conglomerates and semi-government companies use flexible staffing solutions in some form or the other.”

Ali said expatriates in Dubai with an existing UAE visa can take advantage of the growing demand for part-time employees.

Although foreigners need to have a work permit to stay in Dubai for more than a few months, the country is home to a huge talent pool of qualified expatriates who don’t have permanent work but do have a valid UAE visa. A number of expatriates residing in the UAE, for example, are on a husband’s or father’s visa.

Ali said that there are a lot of women in particular who are looking to re-enter the workforce after a break but do not want to commit to something full time just yet, or would like to try out a few different employers.

When surveyed by TASC, 72 per cent of women in the country said they prefer flexible work to full-time employment as it offered them a "solution"”" to many workplace-related issues such as job dissatisfaction and work-life balance.

"Expatriates can take advantage of flexi staffing if they have an existing visa. The survey highlighted an untapped talent pool – qualified professional women who have an existing UAE visa,"" said Ali.

"Flexible staffing benefits the employers and the employees as it leads to a higher chance of retention. It also saves time for employers to hire flexible staff from within the UAE as opposed to sourcing international talent – who would require visas and additional administrative costs."

Mr. Mahesh Shahdadpuri, CEO has been awarded the Asia and the Pacific Entrepreneurship Award - Apr 2015

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We are proud to announce that our CEO Mr. Mahesh Shahdadpuri has been awarded the Asia and the Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards for his outstanding growth and contribution in the people solutions industry.

63 per cent women in UAE prefer flexible staffing - Arabian business , Mar 2015

Regional leader in talent sourcing and people management solutions, TASC, has published a new survey that shows flexible staffing is essential to strengthen the role of women in the workplace in the UAE.

The survey – “Tapping into the Female Talent Pool in the UAE” - reveals that over 63 per cent of women in the UAE sampled by the research prefer flexible staffing over full time employment. This is one among many insights from the survey conducted in the UAE among both women and employers. It is the first of its kind in the region and sheds light on many employment issues faced by women in the UAE.

Read More...

TASC Outsourcing: One of Dubai’s modern-day success stories - Arabian business, Feb 2015

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Starting out in an industry that he had little in-depth knowledge about, Mahesh Shahdadpuri has managed to turn TASC Outsourcing into a highly successful enterprise in a very short timeframe.

With his initial capital of somewhere in the region of $150,000, Shahdadpuri has built TASC Outsourcing into a company that now has a turnover of close to $100m in just six years.

Read More

Indian Innovator of the year award - Jan 2015

Indian Innovator of the year award

Information Technology Innovation Mr. Mahesh Shahdadpuri, Founder and CEO, TASC Outsourcing and Mrs. Anitha Nandini, Consul– Commerce, Press and Information, Consulate General of India — at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina.

The Middle East CEO of the year 2014 - Jun 2014

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Outsourcing CEO of the Year - Mahesh Shahdadpuri, TASC Outsourcing is presented his award by Karam Awad Managing Director of ITP Executive.

Mahesh Shahdadpuri’s interview on Dubai One by Ramia Farrage - Jun 2014

Managing lifecycle of an employee - Mahesh Shahdadpuri (Opinion), Jun 2014

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that global employee turnover would increase to 161.7 million in 2014. This was attributed to the growth of employment opportunities and the rise of an aspirational workforce.

An employee lifecycle is an HR (human resource) model that essentially charts out the tenure of an employee in a company — from hiring to the termination of the employment contract. It helps human resource managers ensure that the employee is following a healthy growth path within the organisation. It additionally determines whether the employees are happy and motivated at their job and if the company stands the risk of losing talent.

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that global employee turnover would increase to 161.7 million in 2014. This was attributed to the growth of employment opportunities and the rise of an aspirational workforce.

Analysts attribute the high employee turnover rates in the UAE this year to salary growth and better performance across core sectors in 2014. The run up to Expo 2020 is also likely to trigger attrition in the coming years as skilled workers seek to capitalise on new opportunities. Bearing this in mind, in a transient employee market like the Middle East, it is more important than ever before for organisations to understand and better manage the various stages of the employee life cycle.

What are the stages?

The employee lifecycle includes several stages. Stage one is onboarding and involves the creation of the employee’s identity in the organisation. In the UAE, this stage includes everything from issuance of employment visas to labour cards, assistance with opening salary accounts and settling in, especially for employees hired from abroad, and other support that will help them establish their position as an integral part of the organisation.

Stage two is orientation which tends to go hand-in-hand or follows onboarding. The objective is to bring the employee up to speed on the company’s core values, culture, hierarchy and other specific points that will help the new recruit settle well into the job and environment. Employees may sometimes receive separate orientation on HR processes, IT (information technology) functions and finance processes.

Stage three is a crucial stage as it involves review and career planning. At the end of six months or a year, the hiring manager and human resources department evaluates the competence of the new employee. This stage is not limited to a single review but is an ongoing interaction that sets the employee’s responsibilities and goals. This helps steer both employee and employer expectations from each other and sets the standards for mutually beneficial collaboration.

The fourth stage is career development. The daily routine of an employee is not likely to alter drastically in an 18-month period at a job. However, over time the person may find work too monotonous and unstimulating, prompting them to consider alternatives. This could lead to waning performance, and then termination or resignation. These eventualities make it essential to regularly update the career development trajectory of every employee, starting as early as a year from the date of joining.

The final stage is termination or transition which involves the employee leaving the organisation through resignation, retirement or involuntary termination. Companies set up exit interviews at this stage to gather feedback on the employee’s experience at the workplace.

The employee lifecycle can be affected by a number of internal and external factors. In most cases where companies face high attrition, employees are dissatisfied with management support and lack of mentorship.

It is recommended that employers pay attention to the lifecycle of contract employees. It is essential that the company motivates and ensures staff productivity, whether temporary or permanent. In instances where one team comprises temporary and permanent staff, it is critical that both types of employees are given the same opportunities based on merit. This ensures fairness.

In some instances, it has been observed that contract employees tend to work harder if they see that the best ones among them may be made permanent. Good organisations have detailed initiation and induction programs to set the correct conduct and tone and this helps set expectations right from the beginning.

It is important for companies to prepare senior management to manage the difficult process of termination without tarnishing the organisation’s reputation. It also helps to provide constructive feedback on the employee’s performance in the company.

Throughout the employee lifecycle, companies should follow a strict process of documentation, ensuring all related interactions and stages are maintained in the company records.

The writer is the executive director at TASC Outsourcing, a talent management specialist that offers contract staff to several high profile companies in the UAE. Views expressed by him are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy.

Top 10 most influential brands in U.A.E by linkedin (the national) - May 2014

Airlines, tourism operators, telecoms operators and real estate players have come up trumps in a survey of the UAE’s most-influential brands conducted by the social network site LinkedIn.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways took top spot in the survey, which measures engagement among LinkedIn’s 313 million professionals, followed by Emirates Airline in second place.

“LinkedIn provides us with a unique platform to engage business travellers and relevant decision-makers,” said Elizabeth Selby, Etihad’s head of social media. “This ranking follows a number of very successful campaigns we’ve run on the platform, taking our number of followers above 120,000.”

The Dubai-based hospitality giant Jumeirah Group, the company behind hotels such as the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, came third on the list, followed by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in fourth place.

The real estate giants Emaar and Damac were ranked fifth and ninth respectively, while the local telecoms operators Etisalat and du came in at number six and number eight.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi was the only bank to make the top 10 in the rankings, coming in seventh place, with the list rounded off by the talent management firm TASC Outsourcing in 10th position.

“While LinkedIn offers brands unmatched opportunities to reach out and engage with their target audiences, any marketing effort needs constant and consistent measurement to ensure success,” said Jacob Thomas, the head of LinkedIn marketing solutions in the Mena region.

“The brands we have identified in the UAE are leading among their peers in using LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions most effectively, and the make-up of the rankings shows that social media is a significant focus for brands in the UAE.”

LinkedIn has more than 10 million members in the Middle East, with more than 1 million members each in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Al Bayan-TASC coverage - Apr 2014

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Taking on contract staff for your SME - Ameinfo, Apr 2014

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Over the next few years, SMEs in the UAE will be requiring a lot of payroll and accounting skills with respect to their contract staff members, according to Mahesh Shahdadpuri, executive director of Dubai-based talent and people management solutions company, TASC Labour Services.

“If an SME that is starting up needs some call centre support, then it would require those skills [in contract staff as well, while medium-sized firms] would require IT skills,” he says.

“Contract staffing for SMEs is very useful, because when you are starting out, you need different types of skills, which, at times, you don’t have the full funds to bring on board on a full-time basis,” so it allows you to employ different skills for a short period of time, he explains. “That is the maximum use of your resources and money, which is extremely critical for an SME in its initial stages as it grows into a larger business.”

SMEs can often choose to hire contract staff directly or employ the resources of outsourcing and contract staffing firms that can connect them with potential freelancers or part-time workers. “SMEs don’t have easy methods to do payroll, talent acquisition or assessment, so [using contract staffing firms often] takes away all of that head ache,” says Shahdadpuri, adding that, aside from payroll and talent acquisition, firms, such as TASC, can also assist in HR management and visas, among other things.

However, there can be disadvantages of using the services of outsourcing firms. “Maybe contract staffing is a little expensive for [SMEs], because if they recruit somebody on their payrolls, they don’t pay the markup that we would charge,” he says. “The other disadvantage is that, if they get stuck with the wrong vendor, it can cut off a lot of their resources, which is then a problem for an SME that doesn’t have a lot of resources.”

Hence, he encourages SMEs to conduct proper due diligence before they opt for contract staffing and choose a service provider. “You are dealing with people and not a product. So, if you are going to give part of the management of these people to an outside vendor, make sure that [it] is a good-quality provider,” he says.

When asked what the due diligence process should include and what qualities an SME should look for in a vendor, he says it must be a responsible and financially stable company that is capable of addressing the issues of outsourced employees. “This is because, [for instance], if salaries or certificates do not come on time, or if [there is no] employee care, then the employee is distracted and demotivated at work. So, it will effect the productivity and results of SMEs, if they don’t get the right contract staffing provider.”

Another way of judging a vendor is by assessing the quality of its clients, he says, adding that SMEs should also find out what sort of process the company has and how it serves its clients.

TASC Labour Services was number 84 in the 2013 Dubai SME 100 ranking – a listing of 100 best performing SMEs in the country, prepared by a sub-division of the Department of Economic Development.

Contract staffing firm sees growth as idea gets a boost - Gulf News, Apr 2014

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Proceed with Caution when switching careers - Gulf News, Mar 2014

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UAE companies increasingly rely on contract staffing to meet business growth challenges - Ameinfo, Mar 2014

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TASC, a regional leader in talent and people management solutions, reveals that it has witnessed year-on-year increase in contract staffing in the UAE by about 15% to 20%. With greater pressure to improve organisational efficiency and optimise HR investments, along with more awareness of the benefits of alternative staffing solutions, organisations in the UAE are increasingly turning to outsourcing or contract staffing to meet business objectives while maintaining performance and output.

The government sector, telecom and IT, large retail companies, and the oil and gas sector have been first movers and are amongst the most proactive to embrace this trend. The highest demand for contract staff is for IT personnel, call centre employees, retail promoters including short-term promoters during events or peak seasons, office admin staff, and experienced oil and gas project managers. The verticals that are still lagging behind but could benefit from flexible staffing, according to TASC, include engineering, trading companies, and the SME sector.

Mahesh Shahdadpuri, CEO and Managing Director, TASC, commented on the main hurdles that have prevented some of the slow adopters from taking advantage of increased staffing options in the market: “In some instances, there is a lack of awareness of the benefits, along with a misconception that it is illegal to hire external staff that are not on their visas. There are businesses that genuinely need this but they are not necessarily clear about the regulatory framework. In addition, some of the traditional outsource staffing companies simply provide visas – as opposed to what we provide, which is a full service talent solution that encompasses recruitment, visa, assessment, training, certifications, security clearances, day-to-day HR management, attendance, payroll and other managed services.”

Today TASC has over 3,000 employees, outsourced to over 150 clients in the region, including some of the biggest international brands such as LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, and other clients that include one of the largest global FMCG brands, one of the largest local banks, prominent regional airlines, telecom companies, large local businesses, and government agencies.

Benefits of outsourcing

“Talent is the lifeblood of any organization,” emphasised Shahdadpuri. “Outsourcing staffing requirements allows HR departments to focus more on transformational activities, rather than transactional ones . For instance, our large call centre clients have reported a significant improvement in their customer satisfaction scores by up to 35%, as we took away the headache of recruiting at a short notice, managing staff training, attrition, day-to-day HR management, and transactional queries,” added Shahdadpuri.

“IT companies and departments are on tight timelines and often need hard-to-find skills fast. The right outsourcing partner will have the systems and processes in place to source such skills from around the world, ensuring that projects start on time and are delivered to stringent quality standards,” he further added.

Some large retail clients rely on TASC to deploy sales staff and manage their day to day transactional activity related to attendance, payroll, sales, MIS monitoring, and more. Clients have reported an almost 20% increase in sales, as they are now better able to focus on strategic competitive challenges rather than HR ones.

Other benefits of contract staffing or outsourcing employees include a reduced total cost of ownership, quicker time to hire and deploy, and improved productivity through efficient division of work between permanent and contract employees. Organisations also have the opportunity to “try before they buy”, as they can hire for a contracted period before converting to permanent employee status. They have resource flexibility and can change team structures depending on project needs, without jeopardising the company’s reputation, as they are not seen as a “hire and fire” employer. Temporary staff can also be utilized to cover long vacation periods and maternity leave, thus furthering the organisation’s reputation as an employer that supports work-life balance, thereby attracting the best talent in the market.

To maximise the benefits of contract staffing, Shahdadpuri recommended certain industry best practices that are the norm at TASC: “It is important to treat outsourced staff fairly and with the same respect and appreciation due to permanent staff. Outsourcing firms need to be audited to ensure they are paying their people on time and treating them well. Maintain an optimal balance of fulltime and outsourced employees. Invest in the induction and training of your contracted staff. Outsource it if you can’t do it in-house. This is just as important as ensuring the skills development of permanent employees, as it directly affects your company’s performance. And, finally, be a responsible employer and provide your contracted and permanent staff good medical cover and benefits.”

For more information please contact:
Ketaki Banga
BPG Cohn & Wolfe
Tel: +97142953456 Ext. 310
Harriet Goodman
BPG Cohn & Wolfe
Tel: +97142953456 Ext. 313