Elsbeth Blekkenhorst and Danielle Duttenhofer are the co-founders and directors of the recruitment agency Global Women Qatar. We speak to them about the specific nature of recruitment in Qatar.
Qatar Actu: Who are you and what is your background?
Global Women Qatar: Danielle has a law degree from the University of Amsterdam. She worked for the Ministry of Finance on the island of Aruba where she was involved in the re-drafting of texts on taxation laws. When she returned to the Netherlands, she worked as a taxation lawyer for Price Waterhouse Cooper and Deloitte. Then she set up her own law firm, which she sold when she moved to Qatar in 2010. Throughout her career Danielle has worked for a variety of companies which has given her an in-depth understanding of the market which is an essential ingredient of managing a recruitment agency.
Elsbeth studied at the Amsterdam Business School and the South Bank University in London where she obtained a Masters Degree in International Business and Marketing. She then joined the consulting firm ECA International in London, where she gained a wealth of experience in management of expatriate personnel. To gain a wider vision of human resource management she joined Mercer, an American consulting firm. In 2010, Elsbeth joined PwC in Qatar and was charged with putting in place a personnel mobility policy for the GCC region. Due to the nature of her work she has gained significant experience of professional practices in use in the USA and several other cultures.
We met at an international business fair for the Arab markets in 2011. As both of us had a passion for working with people from different cultural backgrounds and we could see a need to provide a personalized approach to the subject of employment in Qatar, we decided to create Global Women Qatar. We have been operating now for three years and we are rapidly increasing our portfolio of clients and candidates.
Qatar Actu : What is the role of your company?
Global Women Qatar: GWQ was established in January 2012 as Qatar’s first employment agency to focus exclusively on the recruitment of women who already reside in Qatar. We are a very dynamic, rapidly growing employment agency with both Qatari and expatriate women in our database. Our mission is to satisfy both candidates and clients. We offer our candidates the opportunity to continually develop, excel and think out of the box, whilst our clients enjoy the rewards of very motivated and skilled people. We offer a personalised approach to our candidates and clients. The result of our personal approach is that we are able to build long-term partnerships with our candidates and clients and therefore successfully match the right candidate with the right client. Global Women Qatar is successful at delivering female candidates from any kind of educational background with different competencies and skills. Our clients are looking for capable and successful candidates who can immediately make a contribution to their business. The roles we fill for our clients are either permanent or temporary such as annual and maternity leave coverage and project-based roles. We believe an understanding of our candidates’ goals and aspirations is key to our ability to guide and place them successfully. Our experience in working with local and international companies, and with candidates from all over the world with different backgrounds, have given us a good “taste” of the possibilities here in Qatar. The basics of our consultancy are based on quality and speed. We screen our candidates thoroughly before sending their profile to our clients. It is mainly the time advantage that make our clients choose to work with us.
Qatar Actu : Why did you set up a recruitment agency for women only?
Global Women Qatar: We noticed that it is very hard for women to find jobs in Qatar as usually jobs are not advertised and if they are, hundreds of candidates apply. Many women who accompany their partner to Qatar had great careers in the countries where they were before and would like to pursue this when in Doha. We want to make sure they succeed in their career goals.
Qatar Actu : How to find a job in Qatar ?
Global Women Qatar: The first step is to write an excellent resume. Make sure you write a neat CV which is easy to read and captures the recruiter’s or company’s instant attention. Use keywords stating your work experience and also mention any extracurricular activities you have done such as being a member of a student union or charity work. Don’t forget to include a professional picture of yourself.
The second important step is to register your CV on our website – www.globalwomenqatar.com. So we have you in our database and can act quickly when an opportunity arises. We always advise our candidates to keep an eye on our website for the latest vacancies and to immediately contact us when they see a position that they are interested in.
Once you are invited for an interview make sure you are properly prepared such as knowing exactly what the position is about and do research on the company such as their activities. Dress professionally when attending your interview and be aware of some do’s and don’ts such as not criticizing your previous employer.
As many jobs are not advertised, it is, therefore, very important to continuously build on your network in Qatar. Many jobs are heard of through word of mouth. Somebody you meet could help you to introduce you within a company where he or she works. One way to build your network is to attend the many events in Qatar. Each day events are being organised, you just pick and go. An example is Qatar Professional Women Network (QPWN), every last Monday of the month they gather in one of the many hotels or restaurants in Doha. Also, there are many Business Council events which organize network meetings and speaker events. The Dutch, German and Spanish Business Councils are very active in the market.
If jobs are advertised you can usually find these in the Gulf Times and The Peninsula. There are several websites and job portals where you could register your CV such as Monster Gulf.
Qatar Actu : Which sectors are hiring?
Global Women Qatar: Our clients come from a variety of different sectors and they are all hiring. It comes in ebbs and flows. At one time one sector is hiring more than the other or the other way around. It also depends on the time of year. January/February is a recruitment peak for international schools to source for the school year after the summer.
Qatar Actu : Could you give us an example of a woman that got a job thanks to you?
Global Women Qatar: When there is a suitable job opportunity for our candidates we meet with them in person to get a good understanding of their experience and skills but also what drives them in their careers, what makes them tick. As we also keep close to our clients we understand their company culture and what kind of candidates they are looking for. When we meet with our candidates we can properly inform them about the company and see if there is a proper match for both parties. If there is a good match we introduce the candidate to our client. If the client is interested in the candidate’s profile we organize an interview. Both parties are properly briefed and prepared. When the interview has been successful and it is desired, we assist in getting the responsibilities right and we can assist in negotiating on the remuneration package. If needed, we also assist in getting the paperwork required such as police clearance and attesting of educational qualifications. Once the candidate has started her employment our relationship with her doesn’t end there. We keep close to her regarding how she is getting on and if there are any issues, we are there to help. This approach has been proven successful, as 95% of our candidates are still in their positions where we placed them.
Qatar Actu : What are the 3 tips you would give to a candidate?
Global Women Qatar: The 3 tips are as follows :
1° Think out of the box – Qatar gives you the opportunity to totally change your career path. Don’t get stuck in what you have done in the years before but think creatively of what you would like to do next in your career and explore the options.
2° Network – Get to know a lot of people, different people can help you in different ways.
3° Enjoy – Get the most out of your time in Qatar. There are so many opportunities out there!!!
An Interview by Patricia Gendrey
Website : http://www.globalwomenqatar.com/