The most frequently asked question by our clients is whether there are still jobs available in Oman. This reason for people’s interest in finding out the answer to this question is the economic situation. Oman, as well as the rest of the GCC, has gone through a major decline in most economic indicators since oil prices took a dip in 2015. We at www.jobibex.com have always been bullish about Oman’s job market. Our view remained constant since 2015. Furthermore, we are even more excited about employment market in Oman as we approach the 2nd quarter of 2018. In plain words, there will be enough jobs for everyone in Oman for years to come.
Regulatory Changes in Expat Work Permit in Oman
Last January, Ministry of Manpower imposed a six-month ban on hiring expat workers in 87 job roles. You can find out the details of this decision here. The decision is very rational given the availability of Omanis who are qualified for these roles. The hardest part remains convincing nationals to consider these opportunities. Employers confirm that they are ready to employ Omanis to fill vacancies in the stated list. However, the salary structure for most of those 87 professions is below what Omani jobseekers anticipate. Traditionally, they compare salaries and job offers with salaries in the government. Omani jobseekers have to realize the scarcity of government jobs and capitalize on this opportunity to explore new fields.
More Jobs to Come
Initial economic indicators suggest that Oman is well on its way for an economic recovery. GDP is projected to register a healthy growth in 2018. Measures taken by the government to contain budget deficit have greatly improved the situation. As a matter of facts, several sectors are booming. Employers have outlined their HR requirements in anticipation of the imminent growth. One has to be careful though as this growth might not be universal. Sectoral analysis is beyond the scope of this article. We would produce another comprehensive study highlighting the hot, neutral and slow sectors in April.
Extreme Times Dictate Extreme Measures
The good news is that even the least performing sectors will produce a handful of job opportunities. Typical requirements for the affected sectors are within accounts and marketing. Logically, during slow times you need to shape up your accounts and acquire new customers. In addition, some of our clients have expressed their intention to upgrade their workforce to coup with the current situation. In other words, alteration of workforce is likely to become a trend in Oman.
The recent slowdown has certainly taught businesses in Oman many lessons. The most valuable lesson learnt is that the government cannot continue to be your only customer. Companies have learnt that it is time to go out there and compete like any other healthy establishment around the globe. This might not be attainable by the current cadre. Our clients bluntly state this condition when considering recruitment of executives and first line managers. It is evident that some managers have not only failed to withstand tough economic conditions but they also failed to implement the nation-wide mission of empowering and qualifying Omanis.
What Employers Look for in 2018 and Beyond
Omani companies are concerned about two thing; world-class expats and ambitious Omanis. We have come across several cases of expats with NOC being rejected by employers. The rationale is simple; if they are good enough their current employers would not let go of them. Our clients have made it very clear that they would only consider those with success story. Current circumstances have forced employers to want to associate with winners only.
As for Omanization, we can confidently say that Omani employers are very serious about having more Omanis on board. It is not only derived by regulatory requirements but also by the success of Omanization initiatives within major sectors. Employers in Oman are receptive to hiring Omanis more than ever before. As stated earlier, the challenge remains in Omani jobseekers realizing this opportunity.
Diversity is the Keyword
Employment market in Oman has been dominated by expats from specific regions. However, there is a breakthrough in terms of sources of labors. This is in line with the common objective of enhancing corporate competitiveness. Omani companies are no longer interested in those who will stay the longest but in those who can deliver the highest results. They look for calibers who can bring new ideas and are not reluctant to share knowledge and pass it to the nationals.
We expect to see new nationalities competing for jobs in Oman. Arabs and Middle Eastern, Africans, and East Europeans are among the target hires. Expats from these regions are anticipated to fit several sectors especially service sector. Other sectors such as education, health and technology will also demand a large portion of calibers from the mentioned regions.
In summary, Oman’s economy is to generate more and more jobs in the next decade. However, the market has raised the bar. The prerequisites for getting a job in Oman have expanded. Employers realize that in order to remain competitive with less dependence on the government they have to choose their staff carefully. Omani companies are only after the top guns. They are also willing to invest in promising Omani potentials. The market is very much open to new nationalities and people from regions that were not popular in the job market.