According to the latest quarterly Bayt.com Jobs Index survey conducted by the Middle East’s number one job site Bayt.com, in conjunction with research specialists YouGovSiraj, over half of the employers in the Middle East and North Africa(MENA) region plan to hire new employees over the next three months. Of these, a little over a quarter of the respondents(26%) said they would ‘probably’ be recruiting, while 28% said that their organisations would ‘definitely’ be recruiting in the next few months. However, only 5% of the respondents said they would definitely not be hiring in the next quarter. In the UAE, 53% of respondents expect to recruit in the next quarter while only 6% said they would definitely not be hiring.
The Jobs Index survey is conducted to gauge perceptions of job availability and hiring, to identify job trends and to provide an understanding of the key skill sets and qualifications required in the MENA region job market. Countries within this region noted various preferences as reasons for hiring during the Jobs Index survey. Overall, employers in Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar seemed slightly more likely to hire than others, with 33% and 31% respectively saying that their organisations will “definitely” be recruiting new staff in the next quarter. When respondents were asked how many job positions their organisations would fill in the next three months, 45% said that less than five jobs would be available, while 23% said that between six and ten jobs would be available in the coming quarter.
“The level of regional hiring activity remains relatively encouraging given the regional economic backdrop however it is clear that in some parts of the region companies seem to be favouring a climate of cautious cost-consciousness specifically in terms of HR growth. This continues to favour hiring activity on Bayt.com as evidenced by our latest job counts as employers across the Middle East are aware that they can use our jobsite’s industry leading tools to gauge the latest market salary levels and find the region’s top talent for key positions in the fastest, easiest and most cost-efficient manner,” said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, Bayt.com.
Employers stated that ‘engineering’ graduates or postgraduates stand the best chance from those that are likely to be hired. According to the study, 25% of organisations around the MENA favour employing staff that are qualified in this field. Furthermore, graduates or postgraduates in ‘business management’ and ‘commerce’ are equally sought after by the region’s organisations, with 23% and 22% of respondents citing that recruits in these fields are greatly required. The trend continues as organisations claim to be more on the lookout for people to fill in lower executive positions like ‘junior executive’ (37%) and ‘executive’ (29%).
‘Being able to communicate in both English and Arabic’ is considered a desirable trait that employers look for when selecting new staff according to the study. Over half (59%) of the respondents agreed this is what they look for most in a potential new employee. Being a ‘cooperative, flexible, and helpful team player’ is also a clear priority for the region’s organisations; as 48% stated it being as a necessary characteristic. ‘Overall personality and demeanour’ was also cited an appreciated attribute by 44% of the survey’s respondents, and 41% claimed that being ‘trustworthy and honest’ are extremely essential qualities as well.
Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov, commented, “When recruiting, the region’s organisations place much more emphasis on key skills such as fluency in the first language of the region, in addition to teamwork, personality, loyalty and honesty. By looking at the figures, it’s evident that employers will not instantly choose a candidate just based on qualifications alone.”
Furthermore, the Job Index is gauged by asking the respondents what their hiring expectancy is in a year’s time, which develops the Hiring Expectancy Index (HEI). Suggesting widespread optimism for the future, 67% of the MENA region’s organisations expect to hire in the long term. Job seekers in KSA are likely to be the luckiest at finding work in a year’s time, with 36% of the country respondents stating they will ‘definitely’ be hiring in 12 months’ time. In the UAE, only 3% said they will not be employing in a year’s time, while 28% said they would absolutely hire in a year. Additionally, respondents in Algeria were also highly confident that their organisations will be hiring in the future – 33% said they would certainly recruit in a year’s time. However, the lowest figures among all of the surveyed countries in terms of propensity to recruit in a year’s time were shown in Morocco at 22% and in Bahrain at 19%.
Moreover, when asked how to rate their current country of residence as an attractive job market compared to those across the region, respondents in the UAE, followed by Qatar were the most optimistic about their country – 44% and 43% respectively said their country of residence was the most attractive job market in the region. In KSA, 42% said their country was much more attractive. The respondents were also asked to name which industries they feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence today. Telecommunications (35%) took the lead followed by banking and finance (34%) and construction (32%).
Zureikat concluded, “The Bayt.com Jobs Index has been designed to demonstrate how the region’s job market changes every quarter. It allows the region’s employers and other industry stakeholders to benefit from current job market figures, which can be used for driving positive organisational change. The surveys and studies conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj are geared towards providing the region’s organisations and HR professionals, with regularly updated research that sheds light on numerous fundamentals of the region’s job market.”
Data for the July 2011 Jobs Index was collected online between the 11th of July and the 9th of August 2011, with 4,560 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Males and females aged over 18 years old, of all nationalities, were included in the survey.