Staffordshire University logo
STORE - Staffordshire Online Repository

Recruitment and Selection In Workforce Localization Context: Challenges And Practices, Evidence From The United Arab Emirates

Waxin, Marie-France, Belkhodja, Omar, Bateman, Rob and ZHAO, Fang (2015) Recruitment and Selection In Workforce Localization Context: Challenges And Practices, Evidence From The United Arab Emirates. In: Proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Business and Social Sciences 2015, Sydney. Australian Academy of Business and Social Sciences, pp. 602-609. ISBN 978-0-9925622-1-2

Recruitment and Selection In Workforce Localization Context.pdf - Publisher's typeset copy
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (627kB) | Preview

Abstract or description


Research on WL is at an early stage of evolution. This paper seeks to extend the extant literature using exploratory investigation of the recruitment and selection practices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as exploring effectiveness measures of localization practices in different organizational settings.

Design approach.

We review the literature on HRM recruitment and selection practices that facilitate the implementation of WL programs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and carry out in-depth interviews with HRM or Emiratisation managers from nine organizations. The authors use multiple case studies to support theoretical sampling from firms differing by size, ownership structure, and industry.


The results of this study suggest that recruitment and selection practices do not vary much according to the sector of activity, the ownership structure, and the location of the firm. Banks used a wide variety of the most advanced recruitment and selection practices, measuring the effectiveness of these practices through quantitative and qualitative measures. Companies that made the Emiratisation program part of their talent management program achieved better results than those driven by quotas. Private sector organizations using highly skilled labor achieved the least significant results.


The results of this exploratory study extend our understanding of the challenges associated with localization programs and place the recruitment and selection practices of UAE employers in their particular context. Focusing on the UAE allows us to draw lessons that may be applicable in other rapidly developing regions, many of which are hoping to move indigenous workers into roles occupied by expatriates.

Practical implications.

By helping to remedy the lack of academic literature on HRM practices in emerging markets, and especially on GCC countries, this research informs HRM researchers and practitioners about the patterns prevalent in one of the most rapidly emerging Arab countries, the UAE. Our approach will also help researchers examine the transferability of HR management systems and practices. By highlighting best practices in recruitment and selection, we hope to support GCC-based organizations with the implementation of their WL programs.

Research limitations.

First, this study focuses on only two of the traditional HR functions: recruitment and selection. Second, we use an exploratory, qualitative, interview-based approach. Third, the small sample size is consistent with other studies but remains a constraint. Fourth, we examine practices in a single country, the UAE. Fifth, we targeted only companies that considered Emiratisation to be a strategic HRM initiative. A final limitation is the lack of depth in the literature on HR implications due to the relative novelty of the topic.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Faculty: School of Business, Leadership and Economics > Business, Management and Marketing
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2020 15:16
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:58
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

DisabledGo Staffordshire University is a recognised   Investor in People. Sustain Staffs
Legal | Freedom of Information | Site Map | Job Vacancies
Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE t: +44 (0)1782 294000