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66pc Mena employers plan to hire 'in a year'

Dubai, February 1, 2011

About 66 per cent of organisations in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region likely to recruit in a year’s time, according to a new study by a leading Middle East jobsite.

The Bayt.com Jobs Index study conducted in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj, also showed that about 53 per cent of UAE’s employers plan to recruit over the next few months.

In the UAE, more than a quarter of the respondents - 27 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, only 8 per cent said they would definitely not be hiring in the next quarter.

Across the Mena region, the countries recorded varying propensities to hire as part of the Jobs Index. Respondents in Saudi Arabia had the highest propensity to hire, with 36 per cent saying that their organisations will definitely be recruiting new staff in the coming months while Syria and Oman showed the lowest propensity to hire with just 23 per cent of respondents for both countries saying they will definitely hire in the next three months.

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 five positions: 46 per cent said that less than five jobs will be available, and 23 per cent said that between six and 10 jobs will be available.

“Due to the global recession, regional companies seem to still be maintaining a climate of cost-consciousness and an emphasis on maximising returns on investment specifically in the HR arena. This, however, has been seen to favour online jobsites such as bayt.com where employers are aware that they can find the region’s top talent for key positions in the fastest, easiest, most effective and most cost-efficient manner,” noted Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, Bayt.com.

Of those that are likely to be employed, graduates or postgraduates in business management stand the best chance. According to the study, 25 per cent of organisations around the Middle East favour employing staff that are qualified in this field. Furthermore, graduates or postgraduates in computer sciences and engineering are almost equally sought after by the region’s organisations, with 23 per cent and 22 per cent of respondents citing personnel in these fields as highly desirable.

“The traditional business, computer and engineering fields are still the most demanding internationally and in the Middle East. As such, graduates in these fields are likely to find it easier than others to find employment,” added Sundip Chahal, chief operating officer, YouGov Siraj.

Being able to communicate in both English and Arabic is a desirable trait that employers look for when selecting new staff according to the study – 53 per cent of 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 skill priority among the region’s organisations, with 47 per cent agreeing it is the most desirable trait. Being trustworthy and honest was cited as the most desirable trait by 42 per cent of the survey’s respondents.

“The figures suggest that when recruiting, employers will not necessarily choose the candidate with the most relevant experience for the job, rather it seems companies place a big emphasis on skills such as communication and teamwork, and personality traits such as being honest and trustworthy,” noted Sundip.

In the long term, 66 per cent of the region’s organisations expect to hire, suggesting widespread optimism for the future. Job seekers in Saudi Arabia are likely to be the luckiest at finding work in a year’s time, with 36 per cent of the country respondents stating they will “definitely” be hiring in 12 months’ time. In the UAE, only 10 per cent said they will probably or definitely not be hiring in a year’s time. By contrast, 26 per cent said they would definitely hire in a year.

Respondents in Qatar were also highly confident that their organisations will be hiring in the future: 34 per cent said they will definitely be hiring after a year. This is contrasted with just 23 per cent and 25 per cent of respondents in Tunisia and Morocco – the lowest figure among all of the surveyed countries.

When asked how they rate their current country of residence as a job market compared to those around the rest of the region, respondents in Qatar, followed by the UAE, were the most positive about their country: 47 per cent and 44 per cent respectively said it was much more attractive than other countries. In Jordan, only 12 per cent 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. As in the previous wave, the banking and finance (35 per cent) and telecommunications (35 per cent) sectors took the top spots in terms of those that attract the region’s top employees.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: research | Recruitment | Employment | Mena region | YouGov Siraj | Bayt.com Jobs Index |

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