More than half of the companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are considering hiring in the next 3 months, the latest Bayt.com Job Index survey, conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organization, revealed.In Saudi Arabia, 41 percent claim to be “definitely hiring ” within this timeframe, with 70 percent of companies expecting to fill up to 10 positions. Six out of 10 respondents in Saudi Arabia (65 percent) said their company will be ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ hiring in the next 3 months (compared to 68 percent in Q1), with 74 percent claiming the same in a year’s time from now (also at 74 percent in Q1). Seven out of 10 respondents (70 percent) indicate they aim to fill up to 10 positions. Of these, 27 percent claim they will look to fill between 6-10 positions. The more desirable qualifications for job candidates in the Kingdom to hold are those in business management (34 percent), engineering (30 percent), and administration (27 percent), while employers prefer candidates who have good communication skills in both English and Arabic (74 percent), who are team players (50 percent), and who have good leadership skills (49 percent). In terms of experience, candidates who have the ability to manage a team (46 percent), and computer skills (32 percent) are desirable, as are those who have sales and marketing experience (31 percent). Four out of 10 respondents (44 percent) believe that the country is much more attractive as a job market than other Middle East countries. The most attractive industries in the Kingdom are perceived to be construction (42 percent), telecommunications (33 percent), and banking and finance (32 percent).Across the region, 30 percent of companies claim to be definitely hiring, with an additional 25 percent ‘probably hiring’ in the coming 3 months. The country with the highest hiring expectancy in the next 3 months is Saudi Arabia, with a collective 65 percent of companies ‘definitely’ (41 percent) or ‘probably’ (24 percent) hiring. The country with the lowest hiring expectancy is Morocco, with only 17 percent of companies ‘definitely’ hiring, and 21 percent ‘probably’ hiring. In the next 12 months, 31 percent of the region’s companies expect to be ‘definitely hiring’, and 37 percent will be ‘probably hiring’. Algeria has the highest expectations for future hiring, with 75 percent of its companies claiming they will ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ take on new employees in the next year. Bahrain is at the other end of the scale, with just 48 percent of its companies anticipating new hires within the same period. The majority of jobs across the region will come from the private sector in the next 3 months, led by large local companies (34 percent ‘definitely’ and 29 percent ‘probably’ hiring), multi-nationals (35 percent ‘definitely’ and 24 percent ‘probably’ hiring), and small-medium local companies (27 percent ‘definitely’ and 30 percent ‘probably’ hiring); these three sectors dominate hiring expectancies in the next 12 months, too. “The fact that are many jobs coming from small-to-medium sized local companies is a good sign of booming local economies in the Middle East, as this signals that smaller entrepreneurial ventures are more comfortable hiring than they were in the beginning of the year,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “At Bayt.com, we specialise in gathering the most relevant information that will help job seekers and employers alike to make informed decisions based on the regional employment market.” Regionally in the next 3 months, the majority of companies (45 percent) are looking to hire less than five jobs, with 24 percent looking to fill between 6-10 new positions. The majority of jobs will be for junior executives (33 percent), executives (28 percent), and managers (27 percent). Employees with qualifications in business management (28 percent), engineering (25 percent), and commerce (21 percent) are most in demand, while the most desirable skills for regional job seekers are the ability to communicate well in both English and Arabic (50 percent), the ability to be a team player (48 percent), and good leadership skills (47 percent). Candidates with experience in managing a team (42 percent), computer skills (31 percent), and sales and marketing (27 percent) are also sought after. “The trend continues that more companies are looking to hire junior executives and executives, which is good news for graduates and first-time employees. That there are a number of upcoming jobs in the private sector should contribute to resolving regional unemployment issues by providing new graduates with career opportunities,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.The MENA’s most attractive industries are perceived to be banking and finance (35 percent - up from 33 percent in the first half of 2013), construction (32 percent - equal to the first half of 2013), telecommunications (31 percent - down 2 percent from the first half of 2013). According to respondents, the MENA’s most attractive countries to live and work in are the UAE (54 percent of UAE residents say their country is most attractive), followed by Qatar (46 percent) and Saudi Arabia (44 percent).