Avoiding the pitfalls of talent sourcing

Saudi cultural attaché verifies over 20,000 certificates in India annually


Saudi Gazette

THE Kingdom is keen on hiring qualified and skilled manpower from abroad. From sourcing and screening to interviewing and hiring, various steps are followed to avoid any possible blunders in the recruitment of professionals.

India is one of the major sources of manpower not just for the Saudi private sector but also for the Kingdom’s institutions of higher learning.

The office of the cultural attaché in New Delhi supports the selection of genuine candidates who are adequately qualified and skilled to fill the positions they are recruited for by scrutinizing their academic backgrounds. Since 2014 when high-security digital verification of certificates first began, the Saudi cultural mission has been playing this crucial role.

Educational certificates issued by Indian institutions have to be authenticated by the cultural attaché in order to be valid in Saudi Arabia.

Besides attesting academic documents, the cultural mission also scrutinizes the candidates who can be recruited as faculty members in Saudi universities.

“There are 41 fields of specialization in the Kingdom in which Indians have proved their excellence,” said Dr. Abdullah S. Al Shetwe, the Saudi cultural attaché in New Delhi.

Speaking with Saudi Gazette over the phone, the academic turned diplomat said Indian professionals in medicine, engineering and IT are attracted in large numbers not only by Saudi universities but also by the private sector.

The recruitment of Indian professors and lecturers by Saudi universities has increased in recent times, he said.

Al-Shetwe said several leading Saudi university delegations visited India and the latest of such visits was from the University of Jazan.

The cultural office receives more than 20,000 certificates annually for verification. Medical and health-relevant professional degrees constitute a major share (43 percent) of these certificates, followed by engineering degrees at 32 percent. The number of degrees in the information technology field is lowest at just 3 percent.

The long delay in verifying certificates or mark lists issued by universities and other institutions was a thing of the past as a fully automated system with the state-of-art technology is handling the verification process at the cultural mission.

Al-Shetwe said the cultural mission receives certificates and documents for verification digitally around the clock and the verification process is completed with a five-layer security system to ensure their authenticity. After verification, a document is authenticated by the cultural mission with a security sticker and digital markings.

He said the mission verifies an average of 100 certificates a day and all verified certificates are digitally stored for any future reference.

Al-Shetwe explained that cultural mission attests only documents of applicants who are recommended by Saudi employers. The cultural attaché is verifying certificates for more than 100 authorized recruitment agencies in India.

In addition to this, the cultural attaché oversees academic affairs of more than 100 Saudi students in various Indian universities.

In a country with more about 30 major languages and hundreds of dialects spoken, the Saudi cultural attaché has been striving hard to promote the Arabic language to enhance cultural relations among the people of both countries. It coordinates with various Indian universities for this purpose.

Al-Shetwe said the mission does this through King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Arabic Language Service in South Asian Countries. The center also holds short-term courses of four to five weeks.