JEDDAH – Companies in Saudi Arabia were the most optimistic after their counterparts in the UAE, with 40 percent claiming that they will be definitely hiring over the next three months, followed closely by Qatar (37 percent) and Kuwait (35 percent), job portal Bayt.com and YouGov, a research and consulting firm, said in their latest survey.
In the same survey last year, Saudi Arabia was ranked as the country with the highest hiring expectancy over the next three months with 65 percent of the companies confirming new recruitment.
Across the MENA, 62 percent of companies are definitely or probably hiring in the next the months. Private multinationals are most likely to lead hiring in the region, with 41 percent claiming to be definitely hiring in the next three months.
According to the latest Bayt.com Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Job Index Survey, 44 percent of companies in the UAE are definitely hiring in the coming three months, of which 64 percent will be looking to hire up to up to 10 people, mostly for junior executive positions.
These findings show a significant upward trend from the same time last year, when the same survey found that 32 percent of companies in the UAE were definitely hiring over the next three months.
Hiring in the UAE will see a significant uptick over the next three months, especially in the junior executive positions, it said.
The most sought-after qualification among candidates in the UAE is engineering at 31 percent, followed by business management (29 percent), and commerce (21 percent). However, apart from qualifications, UAE employers are also looking for candidates who have good communication skills (60 percent), who are team players (50 percent), have good leadership skills (45 percent), and good negotiation skills (45 percent).
In terms of experience, employers in the UAE prefer candidates who have the ability to manage a team (40 percent), who have worked in sales and marketing (37 percent), or in administration (30 percent), the survey found.
The survey also found that 66 percent of UAE’s companies have hired new employees in the last 6 months, higher than the MENA average of 63 percent.
Seventy one percent of the respondents said the UAE is more attractive as a job market than any other country in the MENA region. UAE respondents also said that that the most attractive industries in the country are construction (39 percent) and banking and finance (39 percent), followed by oil, gas and petrochemicals (35 percent).
Suhail Al-Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com said, that the region’s hiring outlook is looking quite positive for the coming three and 12 months.
“This will particularly be the case for multinationals, which could provide professional residents a foot in the door for some of the world’s largest companies,” he added. “We can also see an increase in plans to hire in the public sector with 37 percent definitely hiring in the next three months, compared to 31 percent in January 2014.”
Masri noted that the uptick in hiring continues from past waves with most employers planning to hire people for junior or middle-level executive positions.
The survey also found that companies in the UAE would primarily seek out sales managers (19 percent), customer service representatives (15 percent), human resources professionals (14 percent), project managers (14 percent), and executive assistants (14 percent) over the next three months.
Countries that were covered in the survey are UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. – SG