Deloitte Jordan says companies must learn to navigate a new world of work.
By Jane Hosking
Earlier this year Deloitte published its Human Capital Trends 2015 report, which examines how workforces around the world are evolving. Karim Nabulsi, Deloitte Jordan’s office managing partner, believes companies need to adapt to new workplace realities in order to survive and thrive.
What is the most notable trend that Deloitte has observed in the workforce in the last 10 years, both globally and in Jordan?
Nowadays human capital is different from 10 years ago and it’s constantly evolving. Generation Y is completely different from the previous generation. There has been a shift in their mindset and their needs are different than people of 10 or 20 years ago. They don’t just want to work hard in their career. They want more of a work-life balance and they want an experience. So nowadays companies need to think differently about how to attract talent, how to retain talent, and how to empower employees.
What are the biggest challenges facing Jordan in the workforce at the moment?
I think the first challenge for Jordan is the immense number of people graduating on a yearly basis and the very high unemployment rate. It is at almost 13 percent and for the younger generation the rate is much higher. There’s also a gap in expectations between the employer and the skills being produced. Then you have brain drain, where skilled people who you want in the market are leaving the country either for higher education or better career opportunities. So companies need to tap into that talent pool and use creative tools to attract these people.
What specific actions can companies in the region take to attract and retain talent?
I think that a real opportunity exists for companies to take the reigns by creating the conditions and commitment needed to attract talent and encourage innovation in the work environment. First of all, they need to have a great environment to work in. They also need to establish an atmosphere where employees are respected, given flexible time, and provided with work-life balance. A firm also needs to be a place where employees’ opinions count and where they believe that their work has a meaningful purpose. Among many other actions needed, uppermost in my viewpoint is to take a corporate responsibility approach with schools and universities to lessen the skills gap and build learning environments to create leaders.
Jordan has for years exported talent to the Gulf, but do you think that nowadays Jordanians are becoming less competitive in the job market there?
I think the Gulf always looks to the Levant for talent. Now, however, there are many foreign people coming to work in the Gulf due to the economy in Europe and the United States. As a result, more people are seeing the Gulf as an attractive place to work and hence the competition is becoming very high and that’s why it’s becoming harder for Jordanians to migrate there.