53% UAE employers plan to hire next quarter

Firms look to fill low executive positions; residents see UAE most attractive job market in the region

More than half of employers in the UAE and overall Middle East intend to hire more staff in the next quarter, according to a survey released on Monday.

Conducted by Bayt.com Job Index and YouGovSiraj, the survey results showed that 53 per cent of employers in the UAE Middle East region plan to hire in the next three months.

Of these, a little over a quarter of the respondents (26 per cent) said they would “probably” be recruiting, while 28 per cent said that their organisations would “definitely” be recruiting in the next few months. However, only 5 per cent of the respondents said they would definitely not be hiring in the next quarter. In the UAE, 53 per cent of respondents expect to recruit in the next quarter while only 6 per cent said they would definitely not be hiring.

Overall, employers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar seemed slightly more likely to hire than others, with 33 per cent and 31 per cent respectively saying that their organisations will “definitely” be recruiting new staff in   the next quarter. When respondents were asked how many job positions their organisations would fill in the next three months, 45 per cent said that less than five jobs would be available, while 23 per cent said that between six and ten jobs would be available in the coming quarter.

“The level of regional hiring activity remains relatively encouraging given the regional economic backdrop however it is clear that in some parts of the region companies seem to be favouring a climate of cautious cost-consciousness specifically in terms of HR growth. This continues to favour hiring activity on Bayt.com as evidenced by our latest job counts as employers across the Middle East are aware that they can use our jobsite’s industry leading tools to gauge the latest market salary levels and find the region’s top talent for key positions in the fastest, easiest and most cost-efficient manner,” said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, Bayt.com.

Employers stated that “engineering” graduates or postgraduates stand the best chance from those that are likely to be hired. According to the study, 25 per cent of organisations around the Mena favour employing staff that are qualified in this field. Furthermore, graduates or postgraduates in “business management” and “commerce” are equally sought after by the region’s organisations, with 23 per cent and 22 per cent of respondents citing that recruits in these fields are greatly required. The trend continues as organisations claim to be more on the lookout for people to fill in lower executive positions like “junior executive” (37 per cent) and “executive” (29 per cent).

“Being able to communicate in both English and Arabic” is considered a desirable trait that employers look for when selecting new staff according to the study. Over half (59 per cent) of the 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 priority for the region’s organisations; as 48 per cent stated it being as a necessary characteristic. ‘Overall personality and demeanour’ was also cited an appreciated attribute by 44 per cent of the survey’s respondents, and 41 per  cent claimed that being “trustworthy and honest” are extremely essential qualities as well.

Furthermore, the Job Index is gauged by asking the respondents what their hiring expectancy is in a year’s time, which develops the Hiring Expectancy Index (HEI). Suggesting widespread optimism for the future, 67 per cent of the Mena region’s organisations expect to hire in the long term. Job seekers in KSA 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 3 per cent said they will not be employing in a year’s time, while 28 per cent said they would absolutely hire in a year. Additionally, respondents in Algeria were also highly confident that their organisations will be hiring in the future – 33 per cent said they would certainly recruit in a year’s time. However, the lowest figures among all of the surveyed countries in terms of propensity to recruit in a year’s time were shown in Morocco at 22 per cent and in Bahrain at 19 per cent.

Moreover, when asked how to rate their current country of residence as an attractive job market compared to those across the region, respondents in the UAE, followed by Qatar were the most optimistic about their country – 44 per cent and 43 per cent respectively said their country of residence was the most attractive job market in the region. In KSA, 42 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. Telecommunications (35 per cent) took the lead followed by banking and finance (34 per cent) and construction (32 per cent).

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