Most private sector organisations still lack a comprehensive Qatarisation strategy, finds survey

Author: PM editorial | Date: 16 Nov 2016

Focusing on meaningful employment and developing national talent rather than filling quotas will reap long-term rewards

More than two-thirds of private sector organisations in Qatar are in need of a Qatarisation strategy, according to a report by Oxford Strategic Consulting (OSC).
The report, Strategic Qatarisation: Focusing on Meaningful Employment, makes the point that developing national talent and offering meaningful work – rather than quota-filling – can help the government achieve the higher Qatarisation rates it desires, while also reducing pressure on private sector employers.
Qatar’s government has pledged to provide 50 per cent of Qataris with meaningful permanent employment as part of its National Vision 2030, while also aiming to fill nine out of 10 public sector roles with a Qatari national.
“As a small state and economic powerhouse, Qatar is uniquely positioned to help determine the professional trajectories of its citizens,” said the OSC report.
Based on the findings of its report, the OSC recommended three steps to maximise the effectiveness of Qatarisation:
  1. Focus Qatarisation efforts on providing meaningful employment opportunities for Qataris rather than meeting quotas. Only a third of surveyed organisations said they always maximise development and involvement of national talent.
  2. Encourage organisations to proactively search for Qataris and develop talent pipelines early in all sectors and industries. The least-used Qatarisation strategies by surveyed organisations included: links with universities and colleges; activities to identify potential talent early; and careers advice to nationals at schools and colleges. 
  3. Ensure all Qataris aiming for public sector roles receive world-class training and fully accredited professional qualifications. Given the government’s pledge to fill nine out of 10 public sector roles by 2026, it is critical to ensure that all Qataris entering public sector roles receive proper training and investment.
“Qatar’s national demographics may increase competition for talent, but it also makes training and developing the small national workforce more achievable,” said an OSC statement. “Organisations should be encouraged to put more effort in to creating rewarding and meaningful professional opportunities for national employees and to start this process early on in their careers.
“The focus on talent should not only focus on those at the top level but also on younger generations who can be trained to become leaders of the future. The most practically minded employers will build strong talent pipelines by reaching out to nationals often and early.”
Many private-sector organisations, including Siemens and Maersk Oil, are well under way with successful efforts to actively encourage Qatarisation by offering training schemes and internships to nationals.