Bias based on nationality is a problem in the GCC workplace, according to Bayt.com, the leading online recruitment company in the Middle East.
More than half of respondents to a recent Bayt.com poll claimed their nationality was an obstacle to getting hired, and 40 per cent of people in a separate Bayt poll said nationality played a ‘blatant’ role in the advancement of employees in the region.
Both surveys - attracting hundreds of respondents, mostly based in the UAE and the Gulf - were conducted online at the Bayt.com site in June.
A third poll, also in June, which attracted 208 online hits, suggests that salary levels in the region are also heavily influenced by a person’s country of origin. Nearly half of respondents to the survey said that nationality dictates salary ‘to a large extent’.
Mona Ataya, Vice President of Marketing at Bayt.com, said: “This worrying snapshot shows that many professionals in the region believe that their companies recruit staff, and groom them, according to nationality. But these are informal surveys, not an academic study.”
Ataya said: “If employers continue to hire staff in this fashion, it could ultimately harm productivity and employee morale, and create a negative impression of the region. With the right education the situation can be corrected. In fact, both employers and employees can learn from different cultures.”
Bayt’s Mona Ataya added: “Companies should retain their employees based on their ability to excel at their roles. These findings are a great eye-opener. We hope that HR managers will pay closer attention to their existing recruitment guidelines and work to create a more diverse workplace.”
Founded in 2000, Dubai-based Bayt.com has offices in 10 cities - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Doha, Manama, Kuwait City, Amman, and Islamabad.