The Top Five Qualities UAE employers want in job-seekers

Inter-cultural skills are the top quality UAE employers want in job-seekers, according to a joint survey by psos Public Affairs, Booz Allen Hamilton and the British Council of HR strategists at 367 large employers across nine countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, South Africa, the UAE, the UK, and the US.

The researchers have concluded that as a result of globalization, significant shifts in employers expectation are emerging which are changing the way that employers are looking at job candidates, in Dubai, the UAE and across the world.

Of course, technical skills and expectations remain crucial, but employers are increasingly looking for candidates who can understand people from different cultural backgrounds and who can develop trust and show respect for other cultures and speak other languages

As you can see in the survey below, Cultural Skills are considered extremely important by nearly 60% of employers in the UAE.

So, what do these inter-cultural skills look like?

So, what are the components of inter-cultural adaptability? What skills will Dubai professionals need to exhibit to be seen as possessing  inter-cultural adaptability?

These are the top five indicators of inter-cultural skills:

  1. Strong communication throughout the interview and selection process
  2. The ability to speak foreign languages
  3. Demonstration of cultural sensitivity in the interview
  4. Experience studying overseas
  5. Experience working overseas

If you want to be considered a top candidate you need to begin to be able to exhibit all these qualities at interview.

The image below details the most common descriptors of inter-cultural skills 

The term most used by employers to define intercultural skills appears in the largest box and the term least used in the smallest box.

You can read the full ‘Culture at Work’ report, conducted in partnership with consulting and research firms Booz Allen Hamilton and Ipsos Public Affairs.

About the author

Kazim Ladimeji is the Director of—a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers. It includes a blog with career and small business advice articles. Kazim is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practising HR professional for 14 years.

You can be published on this website as well. Click here to submit your article.

Join us. Boost your Dubai career!