As many as 89 per cent of Middle Eastern businesses are planning to increase or maintain headcount this year, a report said, highlighting a strong emphasis on recruitment in sales and marketing departments.
The survey of more than 26,000 businesses across 90 countries by Regus Business Confidence Index explained that this positivity is in spite of a business confidence index score which has fallen in the Middle East  since October last year.
Globally, the index stands at 114 points, up three points, according to our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News, which carried the report.
In the Middle East the index stands at 121 points, down 12 points from six months ago.As many as 54 per cent of Middle Eastern businesses have reported revenues rose and 45 per cent say they increased profits over the past twelve months.Nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of businesses plan to increase headcount by more than 5 per cent.About 70 per cent think firms will hire more sales and marketing employees  and 40 per cent highlight operational staff."The stand-out figures are not just that firms are looking to recruit but that their plan is to invest in sales and marketing, and this shows that companies feel it's the right time to go out there and sell," said Regus country manager for UAE Kory Thompson."These results suggest that sales and marketing professional will be in high demand in the coming months. Businesses need to consider how to recruit and retain the best in the field, ensuring they can remain competitive in their market."All trends indicate that offering flexible working will move from a 'nice to have' perk to a necessary condition of employment , being key to securing and retaining the best employees for any company,” he added."As younger people come into the workforce , they have a very different attitude to work, placing flexibility and quality of life above more traditional considerations."But flexible working also brings additional benefits helping businesses cut fixed office space costs and increase staff productivity," Thompson concluded.