5 Minutes with Guy Rickett, Cazar recruitment tech

"GCC employers will have to ramp up the marketing efforts when it comes to attracting high end candidates," chief executive officer of Dubai-based recruitment software firm tells Construction Week

Guy Rickett, CEO, Cazar.
Guy Rickett, CEO, Cazar.

Construction Week talks to Guy Rickett, the chief executive officer of Cazar, a Dubai-based recruitment software company known for the Sniperhire enterprise recruitment platform. 

What is the demand and supply dynamic of skilled workers in the GCC? 

The GCC is home to some of the most ambitious construction projects in the world, and there is most definitely a shortage of skilled workers. Finding and attracting quality candidates who have experience with high end international projects is a major challenge.

How do hiring practices in the GCC stack up against international standards? 

Hiring practices in the GCC have vastly improved in the past few years. More companies in the sector have realised that the candidates they want are online, so they are using job boards, social media networks such as LinkedIn, and some are using these channels to drive candidate traffic to their dedicated careers website.

There is still room for improvement, however. GCC employers need to get a little savvier at managing the candidate’s experience after they’ve seen the job ad.

There is a huge opportunity for companies in the region to beat the competition worldwide by using technology to improve the speed and manner in which their corporate recruitment teams can process applications and engage with top talent.

How is technology shaping the regional hiring sector?

Top construction professionals are busy and in demand, so naturally, they have high expectations from potential future employers. They want to have access to an interactive portal – mobile of course - where they can get relevant information about the employer, the projects, relocation information for their family and so on.

They require transparency, swift communication, smart targeted questions and an overall seamless experience. All these details make them confident they are dealing with an employer of choice.

Once someone is hired, it could take months for paperwork, visas and everything else to get sorted. This “onboarding” period is very sensitive because they might have second thoughts, questions, doubts, etc.

You’d be surprised how many new hires drop out at this point. That is why there is a new trend nowadays whereby employers do their best to keep them engaged in the process by continuously communicating by phone, email and more recently through specific websites dedicated to new employees.

It makes the relationship stronger, reassures the new recruit and keeps them enthusiastic so that they don’t drop out. 

How does Cazar's technology work? 

Cazar helps employers stand out. We create strong brands and compelling online marketing tools to engage and capture the attention of top talent.

Then, of course, our technology streamlines and automates every step of the hiring cycle, ensuring it is quick and effective.

This includes things like managing job adverts, evaluating agencies and other sourcing channels, screening applicants, communicating with them, liaising with hiring managers, right through to onboarding new employees.

In KSA, our platform also manages visas, which is crucial in that market. All of this allows companies to deliver a positive impression to candidates at every touch point.

Do employers in the GCC appreciate hiring technology, or do they prefer to stick with traditional routes? 

A few years ago, companies in the business tended to be very traditional in their approach.

But more recently, we’ve seen a shift in this behaviour because the cost of not having technology is extremely high.

For example, if a project gets delayed because the right employees are not in place, it can get very expensive.

A comprehensive recruitment platform will slash hiring times by 60% on average. In our experience, companies who use technology never go back.

How – based off your data – you expect GCC construction employment to alter in the next five years?

It is very difficult for us to predict the level of construction activity in the GCC over the next 5 years.

However, according to our studies, in the coming year, we expect an increase in recruitment activity of about 5% for the sector, despite the fallen oil prices.

The region remains the most dynamic one worldwide when it comes to the industry.

This is fuelled by business and leisure tourism as well as mega projects including the King Abdullah Financial City in KSA, Al Maktoum International Airport and Expo 2020 in Dubai, the Oman rail plans, Qatar metro network and many more.

However, finding high skilled talent – architects, civil engineers, senior project managers – is going to become an increasingly big challenge.

Many of these professionals are expats who have misconceptions about the region.

As the economies elsewhere in the world recover and big projects roll out, this pool of talent will have an even greater choice of companies to work for.

GCC employers will have to ramp up the marketing efforts when it comes to attracting high end candidates. The positive thing is that some of the most exciting projects in the world are being planned here – so with the right recruitment strategy and tools, they can achieve their recruitment objectives. 

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