Good news for job seekers in the Middle East

Published March 9th, 2016 - 12:41 GMT
All industries have hiring expectancies that are higher in a year’s time. (File photo)
All industries have hiring expectancies that are higher in a year’s time. (File photo)

Growing up, anticipated plans and projects were easily condemned to be a sure failure simply because prospects did not look as bright as people were hoping. This is the current situation with 2016; many people are expecting lackluster career trajectories and a lack of professional growth opportunities. I, however, having learned from a young age that looking at the cup half full and optimism can change not only your outlook at the issues you are faced with but also your reality, believe that 2016 is going to be significantly better than expected in terms of career potential and job possibilities.

Even though the latest Job Index Survey, February 2016 highlights that the Hiring Expectancy Index for the MENA region presents a decline since June 2015; I believe that there are some good indicators we can focus on and that this is as good a time as ever to ensure one has a vibrant, competitive and compelling public profile on a leading career site to be able to opportunistically learn about and explore all relevant career opportunities that come along. Here are a few positive highlights we can look forward to.

1- 6 out of 10 companies in the GCC are planning to hire in the first three months of 2016

If you are looking for jobs in the GCC or North Africa then you are in luck; 61% of the companies in the GCC and 63% in North Africa have hiring intentions in the first 3 months in 2016. More than half the companies (53%) in the Levant area are planning to hire as well, the number is lower than the nearby areas, but is still a number to look forward to.

In a year’s time, things are looking even better; 71% of the companies in North Africa said they will be hiring. Followed by GCC (60%) and Levant (69%).

2- Lots of industries are planning to hire in the next three months

In the coming 3 months, organizations in the hospitality/entertainment industry present the highest hiring intentions with 81% of companies surveyed maintaining they are committed to hiring, followed by the tourism industry at 72% and the education and academia industry at 67%.

In general, all industries have hiring expectancies that are higher in a year’s time: education and academia is the industry with the highest hiring expectancy at 84%, followed by the consumer goods industry (81%).


3- What employers are looking for isn’t “mission impossible”

The survey has shown that 65% of the employers say that the number one skill sought in a candidate is good communication skills in Arabic and English, followed by team-playing (48%) and good leadership (43%). And these skills are not the most difficult skills to develop. You can take several courses on to enhance your soft skills on our Courses section, and test your communication skills by taking a free test.


4- Good news for mid-career job seekers

The survey highlighted that 49% of the companies will be hiring for mid-career positions and 47% will be hiring for team leaders or supervisors in the next 3 months. Also fresh grads looking for employment opportunities in entry-level positions should also look forward to a somewhat fruitful next 3 months as about 30% of the companies surveyed will have entry-level vacancies.


5- Job markets are attractive

When it comes to professional’s opinions about how attractive their countries of residence are in comparison with other MENA countries, GCC  countries fare really well. KSA (45%), Qatar (43%) and UAE (51%) are considered to be the three most attractive job markets in the MENA region.


No matter how uncertain things may seem, always remember to approach matters with a positive “how can I get the best out of this situation?” mindset.  There are reasons to believe that the next few months hold much better career opportunities than many may think, so you better keep your CV sharp and updated.

Good luck!

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By Sara Hammouri

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