Interim talent is a cost effective way to build skills around the world


Dubai is a part of the world that’s known for luxury. But having gone through its initial boom, and arguably its bust, in the last 10 years it has been laying the groundwork for a sustainable future. The message, is that it has the gravitas and the security to make for long term investments. Investments that compete with other world leading cities. And it needs the skills to match.

That drive is creating a demand for new skills demands. Meanwhile, many agencies in Dubai are finding that currently not all the skills they need within the marketing suite are available locally or to the right standard.

In a report by the British Council UAE last year, it said: “As the UAE economy grows, more jobs will be opening up across these six sectors. Highly skilled workers will be increasingly in demand. Especially those with STEM skills and training. A McKinsey report estimated that, globally, individuals with skills in engineering, research and development, product design and marketing will be the most in-demand in industry sectors like manufacturing, energy, and TMC. More importantly, these core technical skills are exportable and can lead to positive knowledge transfer between them.”

Skills for the future…

For Dubai, who trades in luxury, this need for high level skills in areas like marketing may be more important than ever. After all, if you want to compete with luxury global brands, you need to communicate in a way that’s as good or better than them. Where the ‘buy it cheap and sell it to the highest bidder’ mode of working might work in some areas, marketing isn’t really one of them.

However, many businesses in the region are finding that those skills have not reached maturity in the local market yet. So there’s a need to outsource to other countries. The question is, how can you bring those skills into Dubai?

…and how to find them

As we know, Dubai has a strong expat community and for many the salaries and sunshine have great appeal. However, it can be an expensive exercise to bring people into the country from overseas, support the cost of their move and compensate them appropriately in order to live in this expensive city. After all, even the largest of companies have budgets to consider.

You could invest in individual members of staff and their further education and training. It’s definitely worthwhile. However, it takes time and it leaves you vulnerable to one or two people who may choose to leave your company. That puts you back to square one.

Alternatively, you could embrace the international gig community with a pipeline of interim talent.  The gig style of working can make a huge difference when it comes to meeting skills shortages. It can provide services on a contract or ongoing interim basis. Interim talent can be used to supply skills on demand. Those skills may also have a cultural understanding of audiences and international communities that you may wish to target. Gig talent can also be used to help transfer skills to those in the local community without having to wait or leaving you vulnerable should someone leave or become ill. Such is the benefit of our increasingly connected global business community.