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68pc of Mena firms ‘plan hiring over 1 year’

Dubai, May 4, 2011

Sixty-eight per cent of organisations in the Mena region expect to recruit over the next 12 months, while 28 per cent of the respondents said they would hire within the next three months in a new survey.

In the UAE, 32 per cent, an increase of 5 per cent from the last wave, said their organisations would “definitely” be hiring, and another 24 per cent said they would “probably” be hiring, according to the new Middle East Job Index Survey, conducted by Bayt.com, the leading job site in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj.

Only 5 per cent said they would definitely not be hiring in the next quarter.

The survey showed that the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are regarded as the most attractive job markets in the Mena region. Qatar has the highest propensity to hire with 41 per cent saying that their organisations will definitely be recruiting new staff in the coming months.

The biggest shift in the recruitment market is in Oman, the survey said. In January's Middle East Job Index Survey, the country was rated as one of the lowest in job propensity but now rated second as 37 per cent of respondents claimed to be hiring in the next quarter.

Saudi Arabia follows with 35 per cent saying that their organisations will definitely be recruiting new staff within the next three months. Just 23 per cent of employers in Egypt expect to recruit in the next quarter however the study indicates next year could hold greater promise, while Morocco showed the lowest propensity with just 20 per cent of respondents saying they will definitely hire in the next three months.

The Job Index (JI) 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 Middle East job market.

“The Job Index survey presents job seekers and recruiters with in-depth, industry specific data on a quarterly basis,” said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, Bayt.com.

“As we have recorded from January 2011 to April 2011 there have been several note worthy changes, Oman’s jump from one of the lowest in providing job opportunities last quarter to a healthy 37 per cent expectancy over the next few months is one of them,” he added.

The survey asked the respondents how many positions their organisations will be aiming to fill in the next three months. For the most part, organisations are looking to recruit staff for less than five positions according to 44 per cent and a further 24 per cent indicated between 6 to 10 jobs.

Compared to small or public organisations, the private sector comprised of large local businesses is more likely to hire as 34 per cent said they will in the next few months.

Furthermore, the trend continues from the past wave as 25 per cent of employers in the Middle East favor graduates and postgraduates in business management to fill positions such as junior executives (35 per cent) and executives (28 per cent).

Graduates or postgraduates with commerce and administration qualifications are equally sought after by the region’s organisations, with 24 per cent and 23 per cent of respondents citing personnel in these fields as highly desirable.

“We’ve found that the demand for junior level candidates from the business and finance sector is the highest in Middle East job market,” said Sundip Chahal, chief operating officer, YouGov Siraj.

“However this quarter, we also recorded some momentum in the senior-level recruitment that could signify job availability in the senior positions. This is definitely a figure we will be looking out for in the next quarter study.”

According to the study, good communication skills in Arabic and English is favoured by employers - 64 per cent indicated as the most desirable trait in candidates. Fifty-one per cent of region’s organisations agree that being cooperative, helpful, flexible and performing as a team player are key skills.

Overall personality is also an important trait according to 46 per cent. In terms of experience, 39 per cent of employers expect candidates to have excellent managerial skills and the ability to manage a team. In addition, 33 per cent cited computer skills as important.

“Although recruiters rated good managerial and computer skills, as well as marketing and sales experience as some of the prerequisites for ideal candidates, only 23 per cent of organisations are looking for mid level experience. The findings demonstrate that the prospects for first entry job seekers are reassuringly bright,” said Zureikat.

Saudi Arabia showed the highest propensity to hire over the next 12 months as per 40 per cent of votes. The survey suggested positive news for job seekers in Qatar as the country’s organisations indicated a greater likelihood of hiring in the next year (37 per cent).

Measured as one of the most attractive job markets in the region, 27 per cent of the surveyed UAE employers said they would “definitely” hire in the next 12 months, while another 40 per cent said that they would “probably” be hiring.

The study has found several optimistic numbers from the hiring expectancy index (HEI), in comparison to last quarter; Oman for example with 46 per cent looking to hire within the next 12 months – an indication of the growth within the entire region.

Respondents were also asked which industries they feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence - banking and finance sector leads with 39 per cent.

Other top 3 sectors that are likely to attract or retain the top talent include telecommunications (37 per cent), construction (31 per cent) and tourism (27 per cent).

When asked to rate their current country of residence as a job market compared to other Middle East countries, residents of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were the most positive – 47 per cent in each of the three countries agreed that their country was much more attractive.  Only 12 per cent in Jordan said their country was much more attractive. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Jobs | Mena | Dubai | Bayt.com | Survey | hiring | Employers |

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