64% of MENA Employers Plan to Hire in the Next Three Months

The recent Middle East Job Index survey, compiled by the Middle East's leading job site, Bayt.com, and research and consulting group, YouGov, has revealed that the majority of employers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) intend to hire soon, with 64% of them planning to hire in the next three months. Notable increases in hiring expectancy were witnessed in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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Employment and jobs marketplace in MENA
Employment and jobs marketplace in MENA

Hiring intentions in the next three and 12 months

Hiring intentions in the next three months are the highest in North Africa (69%), followed by the GCC (65%) and Levant (62%). Private sector companies have the highest intention of hiring, with 70% of multinational companies, 69% of large local companies and 63% of small or medium-sized local companies, ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ hiring.

When it comes to hiring by industry over the next three months, organizations in the banking/ finance industry present the highest intention to hire (74%), followed by the hospitality/ recreation/ entertainment (73%) and the telecommunications industry (71%). On the other hand, government/civil service have the lowest intention to hire in the same period (58%).

Looking to the future, seven in 10 working respondents claim that they intend to hire in a year’s time, with hiring intentions remaining consistent in the GCC, Levant and North Africa. Echoing the short term, private sector companies continue to have the highest hiring intentions in the long term with 77% multinational and large local companies respectively, and 74% of small or medium local companies ‘definitely hiring’ or ‘probably hiring’.

Among those who plan to hire in the next three months, 40% indicate that they will be hiring for a maximum five jobs. GCC companies (87%) seem to be hiring for more jobs compared to the Levant (77%) and North Africa (82%). A majority of MENA companies hiring in the next three months are looking to fill junior and mid-level positions.

Qualifications, skills and experience employers are after

Graduate/post graduate degrees in business management (28%), followed by engineering (25%), are the most sought-after academic qualifications in the MENA region. MENA employers are also looking for employees with good communications skills in both English and Arabic (63%). Moreover, 39% of them are looking for candidates with good leadership and teamwork skills.

In terms of experience, four in 10 respondents state that they are looking for candidates with good managerial skills, while about three in 10 are searching for those with sound administrative skills. Meanwhile, a quarter is looking for candidates with sales and marketing skills.

Private sector companies have the highest intention of hiring

Attractiveness of job market and industry

In the MENA region, 39% of respondents believe that their country of residence is more attractive as a job market than any other country in the region, 26%, however, believe the opposite to be true. A much higher proportion of GCC residents (57%) believe that their country of residence is more attractive than other countries. When it comes to the attractiveness of their industry as a potential employer, 44% of MENA respondents believe that theirs is more attractive than other industries in the region.

Advertising/ marketing/ public relations (27%) and banking/ finance (26%) emerge as the industries that attract top talent across the MENA region. Business consultancy/ business management/ management consulting (22%), engineering/ design (20%) and telecommunications (20%), are also popular industries.

“The Middle East’s hiring outlook is looking quite positive, with 64% of employed respondents planning to hire in the next three months; 40% of whom will be hiring for up to five jobs. At Bayt.com, there are currently more than 10,000 jobs posted on the website on any given day, giving job seekers the opportunity to find jobs in their industry, career and country of choice,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions, Bayt.com.

“In parallel, organizations looking to hire can make use of the tremendous amount of recruitment that takes place via the Bayt.com CV Search functionality to meet their pressing hiring needs and fill their job vacancies quickly and efficiently,” he added. “Recruiters and managers who are looking to hire new talents can try the Bayt.com CV Search functionality for free at www.bayt.com/en/search-cv/,” Masri concluded.

Almost six in 10 respondents are employed in the private sector, 20% work for a multinational company, while 13% work for the public or government sector, and 15% are unemployed.

“The increase in the hiring expectancy throughout the MENA region is a positive reflection on the economy as a whole. By gauging the perceptions when it comes to the MENA’s job market, we can deduce that the private sector is expected to offer the most employment options in the next few months and be the driving force of job growth in the region. It is also interesting to note that employers place the greatest emphasis on language skills, particularly English and Arabic.” said Joao Neves, Senior Research Director, YouGov.

Data for the Bayt.com Middle East Job Index survey was collected online between June 15th, 2016 and August 16th, 2016, with a total of 2,001 online interviews conducted with respondents from the following countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Pakistan.

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