Al-Falak driving IT recruitment

An anticipated 8,000 new IT jobs are being created in Saudi Arabia’s job market per year according to Madar Research. And the trend is likely to continue if solutions provider Al-Falak has its way as it leads the recruitment drive.

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By  Paul Barthram Published  September 3, 2003

An anticipated 8,000 new IT jobs are being created in Saudi Arabia’s job market per year according to Madar Research. And the trend is likely to continue if solutions provider Al-Falak has its way as the company seeks to empower businesses to source skilled IT professionals.

According to figures recently released from the Dubai-based Madar Research Group, IT professionals in Saudi Arabia currently comprise around 4% of the total workforce (220,000 professionals), surpassing any other job sector in the Kingdom.

Al-Falak the long-established IT and communications solution provider in the region is now hoping to capitalise on the anticipated increase with a specialised recruitment division dedicated to finding skilled individuals to fill the arising jobs.

“Saudi Arabia has laid the infrastructure for a strong IT-based industry and current developments show that the Kingdom is poised for a major leap in the field of IT. These developments combined with a renewed commitment by the authorities to provide greater employment opportunities to citizens are commendable,” said Ahmed Ali Ashadawi, president and CEO of Al-Falak.

“The market demand for IT professionals is exhaustive covering various categories and employers are looking for the right kind of expertise from a professional workforce. It is equally important that this workforce is adequately skilled and competent to handle the challenges within the IT industry,” Ashadawi continued.

The survey went on to reveal that IT professionals in Saudi Arabia make up the second largest IT community in the Arab world after Egypt, with the IT industry alone accounting for around 66% of the market demand for IT professionals in the Kingdom. The hydrocarbon sector and services sector also have an equal share totalling to over 14% of all IT jobs.

With government-supported acceleration of IT penetration in Saudi, other industries and markets sectors are also likely to see an upsurge of demand for skilled IT professionals, but at present the situation for companies in Saudi suggests that despite the demand the country is still not matching the supply, although Ashadawi sees this as an opportunity to be addressed.

“The long-standing and extensive investment policies of the Saudi Government have facilitated the penetration of IT into all sectors of the Saudi economy. The eReadiness of the average Saudi professional is already fairly high. Therefore, the IT sector is ideally suited for training and absorbing [these skilled] unemployed Saudi nationals into the workforce.

“The Human Resource division of Al-Falak plays a critical part in our quest to deliver the highest possible standards of expertise and quality in the services we provide to our clients,” said Ashadawi.

Whereas—in the case of most countries—it may be easier to address the shortage of skilled workers by recruiting from overseas, Ashadawi believed Al-Falak’s strength would lie in building up the local industry from within.

“While we do not hesitate to tap into worldwide markets in our endeavour to source skilled professionals, we are committed to the Saudization drive by sourcing highly talented Saudi professionals and to absorbing them into our workforce. We would like to position Al-Falak as the front-runner in the drive to reduce the gap between the large numbers of qualified job seekers and the comparatively smaller numbers of new job openings every year,” he added.

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