Top 5 hiring mistakes for 2020 and how to solve them

By Robert Half on 11th March 2020

Finding, hiring, onboarding and training a new employee can be both expensive and time consuming. When demand continues to outstrip supply in the UAE hiring market, it pays to try and get it right first time.   

While a bad hire is more common than you think, their consequences shouldn’t be underestimated. UAE business leaders reported the three main impacts of a bad hire are lost productivity (44%), higher work-loads (39%) and increased stress on teams (36%).  

To avoid disruption to your UAE hiring 2020 plans, here are the top 5 hiring mistakes and how to avoid them.

Top 5 hiring mistakes

Mistake 1: offering a low salary

Hiring in Dubai is highly competitive, and our research shows that many candidates are receiving multiple job offers. With that in mind, it’s important to make your candidate offers as competitive as possible, so you can continue to attract new talent while retaining your top performers.


To get your UAE hiring 2020 off to the strongest start, you can rely on industry reports like the Robert Half Salary Guide to keep you current on remuneration trends and salary benchmarks for each role in each industry.

Mistake 2: not taking cultural fit into consideration

Not considering cultural fit when making a hire was a mistake made by almost two-thirds (63%) of UAE business leaders in 2018  and over half (56%) took more than a month to identify the problem. It’s a hiring mistake which can have a significant impact on team morale, engagement and lost productivity overall.


To make sure you’re hiring people who fit with company culture, it’s important to include it as part of the job description. You should also try to ask a series of hypothetical questions in the interview stage and to observe non-verbal cues, like body language, values, ways of working and temperament.

Mistake 3: neglecting the job description

The quality of your job description will determine the quality of the candidates you receive. Finding qualified candidates for a role is a challenge for 39% of UAE leaders hiring for accounting and finance, and for 33% of CEOs hiring for HR roles.

Failing to take the time to correctly outline the role and its daily responsibilities could lead to your new employees falling short of your expectations or the role falling short of theirs. 


Write a clear and detailed outline of the job at hand, as well as details on the size of the team, training opportunities, and your corporate culture. Being clear about what you’re offering will also help make the CV screening process faster, as you’ll be able to identify and hire a good fit immediately. 

Mistake 4: having a long hiring process

With the UAE hiring market currently so competitive, drawn out hiring processes are one of the bigger mistakes you can make. According to an article by Gulf News, the UAE hiring process can last anything up to 35 days and is one of the longest in the world. When candidates are receiving multiple job offers, it’s easy to see how a lengthy process can cost you the best talent.


Hiring in Dubai needs to get faster if a bad hires are to be avoided. The best way to approach this is to ensure that only key stakeholders are involved with the process and that you have a clear idea of which attributes are ‘must-have’ and which are ‘nice to have’. You can also speed up hiring times by using a competency-based telephone interview.

Mistake 5: going it alone

When you only evaluate a new hire through a single lens, it’s far too easy to make mistakes. You’re limiting your assessment of role requirements and candidate suitability to only one perspective and could easily miss something important.  


Before you take on the UAE hiring market, make time to consult with your team members and colleagues regarding the attributes and soft skills an ideal candidate might have — they may have insights that you haven’t considered.

You may also find it easier to work with a specialist recruitment company. They’ll consult with you on your needs and can provide a shortlist of top candidates, some of whom may not even be on the market yet. Their expert guidance could also significantly lower your chances of making a hiring mistake. 

Recommendations for hiring in 2020

The future of hiring in Dubai continues to look competitive — the economy is expanding rapidly, and for many, there are not enough qualified candidates to fill roles. 

Related: Top 10 in-demand jobs in 2020

The best course of action for UAE hiring in 2020 is to ensure your job listing is well-considered and thorough and that your remuneration package is competitive and unique. When hiring, faster is usually better and, when in doubt, work with a recruitment specialist!

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