By Aaron Portero, Managing Director of Connect Group, United Arab Emirates
It’s well known that the UAE is a great country to set up a business. With no restrictions on profit transfer and a stable currency pegged to the US dollar, it’s one of the most attractive locations worldwide for business owners. As a result, the country is flush with talent coming from around the world, ready to roll up their sleeves and work.
But many local business owners will tell you it’s not always smooth sailing, especially in the realm of HR. Navigating staff outsourcing and everything that comes with it like visa quotas, payroll compliance and employer branding can leave business owners scratching their heads, wasting valuable time on working this out. For smaller businesses who may not have a fully-fledged HR department – or even one HR representative – staff outsourcing can be a boon.
Staff outsourcing is where a company works with a third-party service to assist with their HR needs. The team from the third-party company is not treated as part of the company’s headcount – I’ll get back to why this is important in a moment. There are also many benefits to outsourcing such as.
Keeping costs down
Outsourcing staff keeps your company costs down. Instead of hiring an HR or Payroll manager, a third-party business can handle these services at a fraction of the cost. It allows the internal team to focus on other, more important tasks instead of worrying about onboarding new hires, handling work permits and visas, managing employment contracts, as well as an eventual termination of employment. Companies like Connect also allow firms to pay for employee visas monthly, spreading the cost of the initial investment over time rather than paying upfront.
Building your employer brand
Working on your employer brand often falls by the wayside. The lack of an employer brand usually becomes an issue when you have a few positions to fill which aren’t attracting the right talent. It’s one of those things that companies looking to grow should have ticking along in the background – it’s just as important as regularly keeping your books balanced and security software updated.
A strong employer brand starts with a great company culture. From there, a business can start sharing and promoting its culture externally, catching the eye for future talent as a desirable place to work. Recruitment and HR services can evaluate the perception of your brand and set wheels in motion to improve your company’s reputation in market. When it comes time to hire, your brand will stand out and attract the best talent.
Efficiently managing your visa quota
The visa quota is an issue for companies wanting to hire employees. Every company in the UAE has a visa quota – a rule enforcing how many foreign workers a company is allowed for every square meter of office space. When a business reaches its visa quota limit, it’s not allowed to hire more employees unless it has a larger office.
Some businesses may not be ready for a new office, but still need extra resources to support or grow their operations. Using staff outsourcing services can act as a stop gap. A third-party company can sponsor employees through an agency, allowing businesses to hire staff members that won’t be counted towards their quota.
Having professionals handle compliance and legalities
Regulations in the UAE can change quite often and it’s a big task to stay on top of them. Failing to meet payroll regulations can potentially expose businesses to compliance risks and even fines. Companies that attempt to do payroll themselves aren’t always across all regulations in the UAE and may miss some key information to enable a smooth payroll process. Just as you wouldn’t fix your car’s engine by yourself, it’s best to leave tasks that require legal knowledge and compliance to the professionals.
Expanding your company to the UAE
With the Arab world being the second-largest economy, most businesses opt to set up a branch or an independent company in the United Arab Emirates to expand their business. While there are numerous incentives with doing so, it is not as easy as it sounds.
A common issue one faces with setting up a company in the UAE, whilst having a branch in another country, is opening a bank account, and having the company fully operational. Depending on the set-up, the process could take up to a year or more.
To ensure that company’s do not spend time and effort in dealing with the procedure, the best option would be to handover the process to an outsourcing company like Connect Resources, where they will invoice your company for the expenses of the employees including visa’s, salaries, payroll, insurance, etc. while your company can start operating within a matter of weeks.