New Saudisation regulations will 'fill gap' in hospitality market, says recruitment chief

Gap in the market surrounding quantity of applications, according to CatererGlobal manager Jeremy Vercoe

The decision also made it compulsory to Saudise at least 70% of jobs in the two occupations — sales manager, and events and conferences sales manager
The decision also made it compulsory to Saudise at least 70% of jobs in the two occupations — sales manager, and events and conferences sales manager

New Saudisation regulations surrounding the hospitality industry will help 'fill a gap in the market' according to a leading recruitment company.

Last month the Minister of Labour and Social Development announced a decision to Saudise the management and specialist professions in the tourism sector, sister title Arabian Business reported. It requires 100% Saudisation of roles in reservation, purchases, marketing and front desks, but excludes jobs like bellboy, parking valet, driver and doorman.

The decision applies to all three-star hotels and above, resorts, hotel suites, and villas classified as four-star and above.

Did you like this story?
Click here for more

Jeremy Vercoe, manager, CatererGlobal, told Arabian Business: “In recent years, operators have reported a positive uplift in the proportion of Saudi nationals applying for roles in the hospitality industry. Where this has previously been dominated by expat workers in many parts of the sector, the change marks a significant shift for the industry in the kingdom, which is reflected by the new mandate issued by the Minister of Labor and Social Development, as the nation works toward 100 percent Saudisation in the tourism and hospitality sector.

“Similarly, we’ve also seen an increase in employers seeking Saudi candidates, which has highlighted a slight gap in the market surrounding quantity of applications, despite there already being an increase in Saudi recruits.

“The move toward 100 percent Saudisation in the hospitality and tourism industry reaffirms the vast opportunities available to Saudi nationals within the kingdom, and we expect to witness renewed momentum for candidates to start, continue or evolve a career in what is one of the largest industries in the world.”

Stricter policies
Jobs affected include hotel deputy manager, assistant head of IT administration, director and assistant director of sales administration; sales representative and sales manager, fitness club supervisor, public services supervisor in a hotel, goods receiving clerk, room service orders clerk, restaurant or café waiter, tourism enquiry clerk, executive secretary, general administrative clerk, administrative employee and administrative coordinator.

As per the new regulations, the following occupations should have at least one Saudi employee: food and beverages supervisor, room service supervisor, events section supervisor and laundry supervisor.

The decision also made it compulsory to Saudise at least 70% of jobs in the two occupations — sales manager, and events and conferences sales manager.

Hospitality is the latest sector to face stricter “Saudisation” policies, which call for replacing the foreigners who dominate many parts of the private sector - particularly blue collar and service jobs.

Officials say such policies are necessary to create jobs for Saudis in a country that’s relied heavily on cheaper foreign labour. However, some businesses complain that Saudisation increases the cost of hiring and lowers productivity.

The decision will be enforced from an Islamic calendar date likely to correspond with December 29. Many hotels had already begun hiring Saudis to fill front-desk jobs in recent years, part of a gradual cultural shift as Saudis begin to take up jobs that once would have been considered undesirable.

For all the latest hospitality news from UAE, Gulf countries and around the world, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page.

Most Popular

Newsletter

Reports

Human Capital Report 2017

Human Capital Report 2017

The second annual Hotelier Middle East Human Capital Report is designed to explore the issues, challenges and opportunities facing hospitality professionals responsible for the hotel industry’s most important asset – its people. The report combines the results of Hotelier Middle East's HR Leaders Survey with exclusive interviews with the region's senior human resources directors.

Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016

Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016

The Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016 provides essential business insight into this critical hotel function, revealing a gradual move towards the use of automated management and a commitment to sustainability, concerns over recruitment, retention and staff outsourcing, and the potential to deliver much more, if only the industry's "image problem" can be reversed.

From the edition

From the magazine