When not to hire for a permanent job – Alternative solutions

Are you the CEO or working for a company with trigger happy hiring leading to rising costs and low employee productivity?  Read this article to enable you to get the most from your employee talent. 

Hiring is done when we have an organizations issue that needs a resolution. Before embarking on the traditional hiring model, leaders should ask the following questions:

1. Can this role be fulfilled internally by promotion? Has an opportunity been given internally to apply for the given vacancy? Often highly talented individuals are overlooked and lost to bigger roles outside. Such promotions also support a retention culture since there is visible growth and momentum internally for employees.

2. Role extension – Can the role be added part of someone’s responsibility who can be uplifted in terms of salary by providing additional responsibility. Ambitious employees are always seeking to grow their salaries and this could provide a another alternative in reducing the cost and enabling growth internally. 

3. Project hire – this is typically a limited duration hire (3-12 months) to support new business, temporary spike in demand or to support implementation of new software or systems? The UAE market is dynamic and it has become easier to onboard such talent for limited durations.

4. Consultancy engagement – this is probably the most under-rated and under-utilized effective alternatives to inject expert skills, cross train the existing team or support business or department specific reviews. This also provides an opportunity to bring in a subject matter expert from anywhere in the world and can often plug the gap in terms of lack of specialist skills. This is a highly evolved sector in the West and I applaud the UAE governments recent efforts to enable specialists to work here. 

5. Outsource – this works well in the SME sector and is effective for seasonal work or when the company does not have the resources on onboard directly. The advantage is that employees can be onboarded on an outsource visa without the worry about benefits by simply paying a monthly agreed fee. This is a rising trend in the UAE with multiple service providers who have mushroomed. There are pros and cons that need to be evaluated carefully before embarking on this. 

So next time you think of pressing the button and adding expensive additional headcount, think of the above. Additionally, companies should seek talent with flexible mindsets and the ability to adapt with ease. 


Meiraj Hussain joined Al Masaood as Group Head of HR & Corporate Services joining Al Masaood in 2017, bringing over 20 years of professional experience as HR Leader across multiple industries such as Automotive, FMCG, Manufacturing, IT, Services, Real Estate and Trading. Prior to joining Al Masaood, Meiraj has managed the Human Resources function in both multinational corporations and family-owned businesses across UK, Europe and Middle East. In his current role as Head of Corporate Services, Meiraj is responsible for ensuing corporate support services, including marketing and technology deliver optimized value to revenue generating business units. He is an advocate of building progressive work culture where trust is the backbone of relationships and creating a workplace wherein employee empowerment and engagement plays a crucial role.