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Tapping into the Hidden Job Market

Author: Aisha Sarwari AVP | Abacus Learning Services, AbacusConsulting

There is what you call the hidden job market out there: A job market that does not show up that frequently on job boards, in newspapers advertisements or job fairs, because these target the traditional professions such as engineers and MBAs. There is a reason this job market is hidden, it is because it is often were the most well guarded and highest paying positions are. They are jobs that people talk about during polo matches, cigar breaks and flying first class. But this does not mean that these jobs are completely inaccessible.

Oracle is the new buzz word like IT was when it came around in the last two decades. This decade belongs to those who have mastered the functionality of using ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). As corporations and conglomerates grow, so does their need to hire, train and retain resources that understand the Information Systems that structure the functionality of their company – in areas of Finance, Supply Chain, Customer Relationship Management, Human Resource Management and Databases.

In Pakistan, unlike India which trains 70,000 annually on Oracle, the industry is nascent, but early adopters of this training will be rewarded. If the newspapers alone are anything to go by, in the just last few months there have been over 30 Oracle jobs advertized in the leading English Daily classifieds, the job boards show an equal number as well. Remember that this probably reflects only 20% of the actual demand.

Why? Because firstly, there are 1,100 companies in Pakistan that have deployed Oracle in the sectors of Telecom, Banking, Textiles and Manufacturing etc, and secondly, Pakistan is not the only place where the jobs are. Out of the 66,000 jobs available for Oracle professionals globally, almost a third of them are in the US and UK, followed by the Middle East. Pakistani professionals have a particular edge in the Middle East markets whose backbone is on Pakistani human capital.

Getting certified in Oracle in any of the specializations, although is a maximum of 18 days, is a game-changer for the candidate. It is like dealing in a globally accepted currency. An Oracle certification, provided it is with a credible Oracle Partner, opens doors for Recruitment Managers and Specialized Headhunters from Dubai to Chicago. The moment you get certified, your salary prospect immediately jumps at least by 4 times in the Middle East and at least 8 times in the US and Europe market.

Out of all the probable places to get your certification from, Pakistan is the most cost effective destination, where training fee is thrice as less as it is in the Middle East and 4 times as less as the US. In only Rs. 16,380 per day a student can complete the training and sign up for certifications exams.

Among the Oracle Certification paths, Siebel or Customer Relationship Management and Financials is seemingly the most popular in Pakistan and abroad. Although, there is a demand for Siebel, there remains a dearth in the market for qualified professionals. The demand mainly comes from the Telecom and Banking sector.

Only training in the Oracle Approved Education Center is acceptable to proceed with certification, therefore it is as important to choose where you get your training from as what you get your training in. AbacusConsulting, a Management Consulting firm in business for 22 years, has partnered with Oracle and just launched an Oracle Training arm for corporates and professionals seeking to enter the Oracle job market locally and internationally. This firm, nominated as Pakistan’s top 25 businesses in 2011, specializes in not just providing Oracle standard training labs and trainers but also invests in matchmaking between its graduating batches and ideal jobs.

A service-oriented approach to the job market helps in tapping into the hidden job market that needs a strong network of linkages between the academia, industry and Oracle – Abacus Learning Services has all three. It is negotiating a permanent with all leading educational institutions in Pakistan, strengthening and differentiating the 200,000 or so graduates that flood the job market annually – and giving them the jobs they deserve.