Talk from the Top - Monster's man on getting that top job
It was the eureka moment for Sanjay Modi. Trawling amongst the numerous jobs posted on recruitment portal Monster Gulf, he spied one that instantly stood out.
“Wanted,” he remembers reading. “Chef on cruise liner.
“Must speak Arabic, English and French.
“To serve the UAE Royal Family.”
The managing director of Monster Gulf jobs site says: “That was so exciting. That made me feel so proud. That (the UAE Royal Family) would have that confidence to source from our site.”
One of the main sites for jobseekers flocking to the Middle East, Monster Gulf was formed back in 2006. A quick glance at where it is today makes for impressive reading.
Approximately 2,300 resumes are posted on Monster Gulf every single day - of which 650 to 700 are CVs posted on their Arabic-language site.
Approximately 1,000 UAE-based jobs are available on Monster at any time.
It reached a million jobseekers within six months of its launch - and now has 4.8 million members, something the 43-year-old Indian national, who has been boss at the firm for three years, is moved to describe as “phenomenal.”
The UAE has a reputation as a place where you can prosper. A place where those who want to make their career dreams come true can do so.
A Monster survey revealed earlier this week that there’s now double digit growth in the UAE jobs market - after the economic crisis in 2009 saw once-thriving firms find there was no more room at the inn for new recruits.
However, if the UAE has a reputation for success - it also has one for attracting new, young, inexperienced expats who, we are told, can’t hack it in their own countries and instead flock here in search of a paradise lifestyle on a golden ticket of a bigger salary. Not so, says the Monster jobs supremo - and that’s a reputation the UAE ill deserves.
“One of the unique things here is that there is an experienced workforce,” insists Modi.
“Normally in other parts (of the world) you will see entry-level jobs or junior people form the bulk of the jobs - but here you will find people with as much as 10 or 15 years experience constituting 40 per cent of the workforce.” There are times however - regardless of experience level - when CVs submitted to the site just make Modi sigh and hang his head in disbelief.
“Sometimes people don’t take it seriously,” says Modi.
“Sometimes we see CVs that are incomplete - they’ll leave out their experience or education completely or just put a line saying ‘graduate’ or ‘management graduate’.
“In the achievements column we’ve seen people leave it blank. That does not give a good impression!” the MD adds.
What does though? How do you do it properly to ensure you land the job of your dreams?
“Most employers look for skill, then experience and knowledge of local markets … then education,” he reveals. And finally - does Modi like his job? Or does he fancy browsing Monster to try and find a new one? “Haha, I like my job!” he laughs. “So until the time I’m thrown out I’ll keep it - but if that happens I’ll use Monster to find another job!”
LIVE AND LEARN
Name: Sanjay Modi
Firm: Monster Gulf
Position: Managing Director
Q WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
A My first job was with a company called Ingersoll Rand in India, which is a multinational company in engineering recruitment, construction and mining. It was my first job out of university, I was 21.
Q WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR CAREER?
A My father. At the very beginning of my life he told me one thing - the greatest gift God has given every individual is that you always have the freedom to choose.
Q WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST DAY OF YOUR CAREER?
A The day I got my first job. I thought ‘I’ve got it, I’m employable, someone likes me!’
Q HOW DO YOU RELAX?
A I was an avid sportsman when I was younger, I was an India-ranked table tennis player - I still play a little, but mostly I am an avid reader. Books are my constant companion, I always find time. I read all kinds of books from philosophy to inspiration to management. One of the books that I just finished reading is ‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell, that was really good. Conversations with God by Neale Walsch influenced me greatly. Books are something that are always around me.
Q WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR INDUSTRY TODAY?
A Do what you enjoy doing. If your profession can become your hobby then that’s the best thing. Don’t follow the market - do what excites you, what you are passionate about - and follow your heart.