The Recruiter

A year after setting up office in Oman, Richard Weetch of BBT takes stock as he speaks to BusinessToday on what it takes to be a recruitment specialist here

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Few could be as bullish about their business prospects as Richard Weetch, director of Beresford Blake Thomas (BBT) Middle East, at the moment.

The global recruitment company set up its Oman office a year ago, and the first year has been, Weetch says, a roaring success.

He divulges that they have about 59 clients in Oman, with approximately a dozen placements a month. The recession has, in a sense, been kind to BBT.

Companies are being deluged with CVs from all kinds of people at the moment and we are picking up more and more big household name clients who want someone to filter out the rubbish from the good."

BBT, which specialises in recruitment in a number of sectors including white collar professionals for the construction sector, human resources, sales and marketing as well as banking and finance, has been chiefly involved in recruitment for the construction sector.

"Ninety per cent of what we handle in Oman is for the construction sector with both international and Omani consultant companies. Classic clients are projects such as The Wave or Blue City. We also recruit for architects' practices and quantity surveyors."

BBT has found employment for Omanis as well as people from all over the world in the last one year. Apart from Canada, Australia and the UK, India is a very strong source of candidates for Oman. He says South East Asia is also good, with places like Singapore proving very strong. "It is truly global work we are doing." Weetch says BBT had been in the UAE for around eight years when they decided it was time to expand in the region.

Oman was the logical place to go. Setting up was a straightforward process. Over the past year the office has expanded. "From just two of us when we started, there are now seven of us."

One of the major challenges that BBT has faced when dealing with foreign recruits is perception. "Because Dubai has done such a fantastic job at marketing itself, whenever people think of working in the Middle East, they automatically think of Dubai.

Of course Oman is very different. As a consequence we usually end up looking for a different profile of candidate - the family-oriented sort. For that kind of a person, Oman is an easy sell." Weetch does, however, see one potential impediment in attracting families - a lack of enough school seats."

The Recruiter
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