Most employers 'plan new hiring'
Dubai, February 14, 2010
More than half of the region’s employers (56 per cent), plan to start recruiting staff in the next few months, according to a new study.
The solid number of employers planning to recruit shows an improvement on the last wave, when 52 per cent said they planned to hire during the quarter, said the study conducted by job site Bayt.com, in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj.
In the UAE, just under a quarter of the respondents (24 per cent) said that their organisations would definitely be hiring in the next three months, and another 26 per cent said they would probably be hiring.
By contrast, a quarter said they probably or definitely would not be hiring in the next quarter, the study added.
Across the Mena region, the countries recorded varying propensity to hire as part of the Jobs Index, which is conducted to gauge perceptions of job availability and hiring, to identify job trends and provide an understanding of the key skill sets and qualifications required in the Middle East job market.
The respondents in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman had the highest propensity to hire, with 33 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 29 per cent each in Kuwait and Oman saying that their organisations will definitely be recruiting new staff in the coming months.
In Qatar, 26 per cent of respondents said they will definitely hire in the next three months.
At the other end of the spectrum, just 19 per cent of respondents in Jordan said they will definitely be hiring in the next three months, while 22 per cent in Egypt believe that their organisations will definitely be looking for new staff in the next quarter.
Overall, the figures indicate that the Gulf region is faring the best during the current economic cycle.
The survey asked the respondents how many positions their organisations would be aiming to fill in the next three months. For the most part, organisations are looking to recruit staff for less than ten positions: 44 per cent said that less than five jobs will be available, and 22 per cent said that between six and 10 jobs will be available.
Interestingly, only three per cent of respondents said that they will be looking to fill more than one hundred vacancies in the coming quarter.
“During the recession, a number of the region’s professionals lost their jobs as organisations cut their human resources budgets in a bid to save money and ride out the recession,” noted Rabea Ataya, chief executive officer, Bayt.com.
“Now, as the region recovers from the recession, one of the first things that companies look at sourcing is the right talent to fit their new business needs,” he added.
Asked at what level they are looking to recruit in the coming three months, the survey found that junior executives are the most likely to find themselves with a job offer.
About 30 per cent of organisations said that they would be looking to employ junior executives, followed by 26 per cent who said they would be looking to hire on an executive level.
As in the previous wave, and unsurprisingly given the level of experience and knowledge required, limited C-suite jobs are going to be on offer, the survey pointed out.
About 4 per cent of the respondents said they would be seeking to appoint a new president, six per cent said they plan to appoint a CEO, and another 6 per cent said they would advertise vacancies for a COO, CFO or CMO.
Of those that are likely to be employed, graduates or postgraduates in business management stand the best chance, the survey added.
'About 24 per cent favour employing staff that are qualified in this field. Furthermore, graduates or postgraduates in commerce, engineering and administration are equally sought after by the region’s organisations, with 22 per cent of respondents citing personnel in these fields as highly desirable.'
'Less attractive to organisations in the region were those with qualifications in interior or fashion design, and in flight training: just three and two per cent of organisations, respectively, agreed that these are important qualifications that new staff should possess.'
“Clearly, the Middle East, and more specifically the Gulf, is growing as a global finance and commerce hub, and as such, graduates in these fields are likely to find it easier than others to get jobs,” said Joanna Longworth, chief marketing officer, YouGov Siraj.
“The figures also indicate what types of industries dominate in this region, and it is clearly those concerned with business and trade.”
Another interesting factor that came to the fore in the survey was demand for bilinguals. 'Being able to communicate in both English and Arabic is a desirable trait that employers look for when selecting new staff. About 64 per cent of respondents agreed this is what they look for most in a potential new employee,' Longworth said.
'Being a co-operative, flexible, and helpful team player is also a clear skill priority among the region’s organisations, with 48 per cent agreeing it is the most desirable trait. Having an overall good personality and demeanour was cited as the most desirable trait by 44 per cent of the survey’s respondents,' noted Longworth.
“The figures suggest that when recruiting, employers will not immediately choose the most qualified candidate, rather, the region’s organisations place much more emphasis on key skills such as communication and teamwork, and personality traits such as having a pleasant demeanour,” he added.
The survey found that in the long term, 69 per cent of the region’s organisations expect to hire, suggesting widespread optimism for the future. 'Job seekers in Saudi, followed by Oman, are likely to be the luckiest at finding work in a year’s time, with 40 and 35 per cent of the countries’ respondents, respectively, stating they will definitely be hiring in 12 months’ time.'
'In the UAE, 17 per cent said they will probably or definitely not be hiring in a year’s time. By contrast, a quarter of those surveyed in the UAE said they would definitely hire in a year.
When asked how they rate their current country of residence as a job market, respondents in the UAE, joined with Saudi Arabia, were the most positive about their country: About 46 per cent each said it was much more attractive than other countries.
Positivity about current country of residence was also felt in Qatar (38 per cent) and Kuwait (30 per cent).
The respondents were also asked to name which industries they feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence today. As in the previous wave, the banking and finance (37 per cent) and telecommunications (37 per cent) sectors took the top spots in terms of those that attract the region’s top employees.
The data for the jobs index was collected online between January 4 to 30 with 3,942 respondents from the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan taking part.-TradeArabia News Service