Q&A: Shishir Kumar Jha: “Sourcing permanent staff isn’t always financially viable”

Author: Criselda Diala-McBride | Date: 24 Feb 2016

Jumbo Force’s business head says contract staffing is gaining ground in the UAE

Shishir Kumar JhaMore and more organisations in the UAE are starting to rely on contract staffing as a cost-effective solution to supplementing their regular workforce, especially during work-cycle peaks, as well as giving them access to employees with specialised skill-sets that are ideal for short-term projects, says Shishir Kumar Jha, business head of Jumbo Force, the talent management division of Dubai-based IT distributor and retailer Jumbo Group. He talks to People Management about the viability of temporary hiring as a solution to the country’s manpower shortage.

Why is contract staffing becoming a popular solution for UAE organisations seeking to satisfy immediate manpower needs?
Demand for qualified IT specialists has been high, as companies become increasingly dependent on technology to spur business growth. In general, key industries such as healthcare, hospitality, IT services and education have to continuously assess their human capital requirements so they don’t miss out on business opportunities. On the other hand, they are also actively seeking ways to optimise their people costs, while staying competitive.
Sourcing permanent staff, especially in a region [like the GCC] where the expatriate population represents majority of the workforce, is not always a financially viable proposition for many organisations. As a result, contract staffing provides a cost effective, scalable, customisable and pay-as-you-go solution to meet their business requirements.
What’s changing in recruitment for 2016?
We are witnessing changing workplace dynamics and client requirements that impact workforce planning. Project-based assignments are on the rise, and the need for temporary staffing is increasing – even in professional and highly skilled categories. There is also a growing concern over the ever-increasing cost of hiring. Contract staffing allows organisations to focus on their core business, increase or decrease staff based on cyclic or project-based requirements, follow a cost effective pay-as-you-go model, and help their HR department focus on adding value rather than battling administrative challenges.
How can staffing agencies make sure candidates are suitably matched to vacancies?
It is very important for companies to use reputable contract staffing agencies, as all employees have to be protected and treated ethically. Organisations must also adhere to the UAE labour law. And staffing agencies must address issues related to cost and efficiency, which are the main reasons why organisations opt for outsourcing in the first place.