Experts call for top positions in private sector firms to be filled with nationals
Human resource experts have asked the Ministry of Labor to implement a recently issued regulation which stipulates that establishments with over 50 employees should nationalize a minimum of six percent of their leadership posts.
Chairman of the Human Resource Committee in Jeddah’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Samir Hussein stressed the importance of implementing the ministry’s decision to increase Saudization. This step, he noted, is extremely important amongst individuals with higher degrees, who have obtained scholarship programs or established defined rates in leadership and administrative levels.
Leadership jobs are characterized by their need to mobilize expertise, and there is a need to invest in Saudi leadership after nationalization. The ministry will launch shortly a mechanism to calculate a reward for establishments that nationalize jobs with salaries over SR8,000 to help increase quality nationalization. Some establishments might resort to employing Saudi cadre in low level jobs to be able to employ foreign employees in leadership positions for lower salaries, contrary to Saudis who demand high salaries for leadership programs.
Dr. Khalid Meimani, member of the Human Resource Committee at Jeddah’s chamber, said nationalyzing leadership jobs requires training the staff, with some establishments giving incentives to foreign leadership employees to train Saudi cadre. According to Meimani, the ministry needs to take the necessary precautions to oblige all organizations and establishments to train Saudi staff for leadership and quality posts. He pointed out that the majority of companies have started to nationalize leadership jobs, even reaching 50 percent of the total staff, according to the establishment’s size and type of business.
Professor of international business and marketing at King Abdulaziz University Dr. Habiballah Turkistani, said nationalyzing leadership jobs plays a crucial role for the country’s development, so there is a strong need to launch specialized programs to strengthen relations between the employee and the working environment. Economist Salem Baajaja adds that leadership jobs in the private sector have particular skill sets and need qualified and trained cadre. “We notice that the majority of Saudi establishments prefer not to nationalize leadership positions because the Saudi employees don’t have sufficient experience. This makes it difficult to nationalize these jobs, which means the only solution is to train Saudis to reach leadership programs,” he said.