• The Impact Talks

Giving it Back | TRAC Executive Search

As an executive search and selection firm, TRAC Executive Search and Selection has always been aiming to have a positive impact on the society by building teams of empathetic, qualified and dedicated professionals who will add considerable value to organizations and the communities they service. When the pandemic has started to impact businesses, people’s careers and lives, TRAC launched an initiative to give back to the community and volunteer time by offering free CV reviews and phone consultations to candidates who lost their jobs.

Dhabia Al Bayaty, the Managing Director of TRAC, shared with us more about this initiative as well as her perceptions about the impact of the pandemic on the job market.

Q: As a means to support the individuals who unfortunately were impacted by the pandemic and were made redundant, you have launched an initiative offering complimentary CV reviews and consultations. Can you tell us more about it?

A: At TRAC, our core values are to work with purpose and make meaningful placements which add value to our candidates, clients and the community. When the pandemic hit, we were impacted by the drastic changes to our professional and personal lives, similar to other individuals and businesses. Most organizations have frozen hiring, and some have been forced to make some of their staff redundant. We are confident that businesses will begin hiring again, until then and in line with our values, we decided that our best contribution at this time would be to offer consultation services for those who have lost their jobs or who were looking for employment.

In early April, we launched our CV Review initiative specifically for candidates who have been made redundant. We offer any one or a combination of the following:

  • Reviewing CVs or LinkedIn profiles and sharing detailed feedback and improvements

  • Discussing a candidate’s career path and objectives

  • Information about market conditions and expectations

  • Information about industries that have been disrupted, potentials paths that would lead to professional development and upskilling

TRAC is offering this service to candidates at no charge, and we have extended the offering to our clients who are trying to assist some of their alumni.

Q: What was the response of the community so far, how many individuals have you managed to support? Has the initiative resulted in any confirmed or potential job placements?

A: We have received a heartwarming and positive response from the professional community at large. Whether they needed the service or not, many professionals provided encouraging feedback and appreciation for our gesture. We even noticed some of our colleagues in the market following suit and similar services to their followers. We launched this initiative on April 7, since then we have had over 65 professionals seeking assistance and support. Our team has been working out of home and our business has also been affected by the crisis; some of our consultants have accommodated changes for our company to stay as lean as possible. Nevertheless, these consultants have proactively volunteered their personal time to be able to assist other professionals.

The objective of this initiative is not to secure immediate placement for candidates in this difficult market, but rather to help candidates prepare for future hiring by using this time to be productive and plan strategically. Our coaching also assists candidates in better understanding the market and navigating the job search process. Lastly, our sessions and attention to candidates who are facing the stress of unemployment and job hunting provide much needed mental and emotional support. With a platform for conversations and review, the instantaneous positive shift in their mindset and outlook was evident. The positive impact of this on their mental and emotional wellbeing is huge.

Q: For those that are currently facing similar challenges and have been let go by their organizations, how can they get in touch with you?

A: They can email us at Due to the high volume of requests and limited hours and manpower, we have shared that we will be responding on a first come first serve basis. We are working down the list of all candidates who contact us and we ensure that everyone is responded to.

Q: The pandemic has affected individuals and organizations all over the world, and with economies being brought at a standstill, this triggered job cuts as well as freezing recruitment. What are some of your insights for Middle East and Africa, which industries are still looking for talent?

A: At TRAC we specialize in placing professionals in Renewables & Environment, Management Consulting, Construction and Legal. Our clients have cited major changes, slowdown and freezing of recruitment. We have however had an increased demand on placements for temp roles and Subject Matter Experts who work on project basis. Our clients in Renewables & Sustainability have cited major and continued plans for growth. However, we have yet to see substantial implementation of policy in the region. Our legal clients have reduced working hours, some are still hiring and have asked us to build talent pipelines for upcoming roles they expect to fill soon.

Contrary to expectations, the healthcare sector in the region has also been hit as a large number of regular, allied, mental, dental, primary, emergency care and surgery (mainly clinics and hospitals) have been receiving over 50% less patients since the pandemic began.

The main sector that we see movement in is Digital and Tech, however even these industries have not been spared by the effects of the health and economic crisis. We expect many industries to be severely disrupted including Healthcare, Education and Retail. We also expect to see a surge in the digital and tech industry as startups cater to the new demand.

Q: Being unemployed triggers also health issues, resulting from high levels of stress and anxiety. What would your advice be to those that have lost their jobs?

A: Collectively our team speaks to tens of job seekers on a weekly basis, and we are fully aware of the emotional and psychological impact of a job search on people. Speaking with so many people who need employment is one of the most difficult aspects of our work, and the main reason we have launched this initiative.

We explain to jobseekers that a job search can be demotivating and lonely and can have a serious impact on their well-being. This awareness helps candidates normalize, manage expectations and helps them engage in activities that may make the search less daunting.

There are a number of things a jobseeker can do to ease the stress of the job search process including and not limited to:

  1. Job search is work: When a candidate considers and labels job search as work, they tend to be more structured, organized and strategic in their approach.

  2. Schedule time for work, rest or breaks, and weekends to help you stay alert and productive

  3. Plan ahead, set achievable tasks and goals, and maintain a tracker of your efforts and the people you have reached out to.

  4. Remember that finding the right role is not and should not be an immediate result, rather a process that takes its time and culminates in the desired outcome.

  5. Awareness of Reality & Management of Expectations: Candidates often start a job search without a review of their previous experience or future ambitions and apply to roles that they think are a match to. In many cases the requirements of the role or organization do not match the candidate’s profile, resulting in no response or a rejection from recruitment agencies and employers. We therefore suggest that a candidate take a minimum of one week to fully review their background, CV, experience, skills and future aspirations, and conduct an exploratory exercise to list all the above, assess possibilities and their aspirations, and decide what they require to achieve them.

  6. Network and Research: Networking, researching and speaking with people in the field helps gain a deeper understanding of the market, current requirements and possibilities. These activities help a candidate more effectively assess any gaps in their profile, and how to fill these to work towards achieving their goals.

  7. Take time out: If you have recently lost your job or have been on a job search for some time, give yourself a minimum of 2-3 days off. This break may help you reset your mind and start over with a fresh perspective and new ideas.

  8. Self-Care: Unemployment can stir up strong emotions, affecting your life and the life of your loved ones. We are firm believers in holistic approaches to serving peoples journeys and needs. We put strong and serious emphasis on a candidate’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. We strongly advise candidates to engage in exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits, speaking to loved ones and/or specialists about their feelings during this period, and most importantly understanding that where you are today is not permanent.

RAC is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm. We aim to have a positive impact on society by building teams of empathetic, qualified and dedicated professionals who will add considerable value to organizations and the communities they service. Our Initiative & Why | We believe in living with intention, working with purpose and giving back to our community. Therefore when the pandemic impacted businesses, people’s careers and lives, we launched our initiative and volunteered our time. Our Consultants have been offering free CV reviews and phone consultations to candidates who lost their jobs / were made redundant. We have also offered our clients the same service at no extra charge, to guide employees on their next career move. The initiative resulted in a high volume of responses, and our consultants were busy with calls throughout; candidates benefited greatly from our suggestions, advice and information as well the boost to their morale. We recognize the serious damaging impact that unemployment, anxiety and endless unanswered applications can have on a person’s self-esteem and wellbeing. We offered candidates a platform to communicate, and assisted them with information on possibilities, upskilling and self-improvement, CV reviews, market situation, and a process. We do not merely edit CVs on paper; we listen to candidates’ stories, identify their potential, and give them strength and direction. The instantaneous positive change in their attitudes and outlook is evident. As the industry works to recover from COVID and become stronger, we will continue to play our part by offering candidates and clients honest, informed guidance on their careers.

Provision: United for Impact is not a fundraising campaign and neither of its affiliates or organizations leading the project have any financial benefits.

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