Revealed: UAE job seekers' top priorities

Almost everyone is interested in hearing about new job opportunities, even if they are not actively looking for change

LinkedIn, a professional network, has announced findings from its annual 2016 Mena Talent Trends study and provides insights into job seekers’ top priorities, and how recruiters can effectively engage potential candidates and compete for the best talent.

The findings ultimately reveal that almost everyone is interested in hearing about new job opportunities, even if they are not actively looking for a change.

In the UAE alone, a massive 94 per cent of professionals surveyed said they are interested in learning about new jobs. Moreover, approximately 53 per cent of respondents in the UAE survey said they were “actively searching” for new roles, which is significantly higher than the global average of 36 per cent.

“The region’s job market is evolving as a result of many external socio-economic factors. In this environment, it is essential for companies to assess their recruiting strategy and ensure it is aligned with the priorities of today’s professionals,” says Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

“Investing in channels for the public to research jobs before they apply and empowering employees to contribute towards recruitment needs are particularly advantageous. Getting specific about your company’s culture and values will also meet job seekers’ desire to know more about their long-term prospects before jumping into a role.”

Roadblocks in finding jobs

Given the challenging job market globally, the survey investigates the biggest roadblocks that candidates in the region face from companies when finding jobs. Compared to their global counterparts, professionals across Mena don’t hear back as frequently after applying to a company (32 per cent of respondents in cited this as a challenge), and more find it difficult to negotiate their salary and role with companies compared to the global average (31 per cent of respondents in Mena cited this as a challenge).

One possible reason for this disparity is the transparency of information—or lack thereof—between recruiters and job seekers. The UAE survey found that the number one request from candidates to know about prospective companies is to understand the company’s culture and values (69 per cent cited this as a priority). This was then followed by a greater understanding of perks and benefits, as well as company leadership, employee perspectives, and the company’s mission and vision.

Learning about & landing new roles

In an effort to better connect talent and opportunity, the survey also explores how people learn about new jobs and ultimately land their desired role. Compared to their global peers, professionals across Mena are actually more likely to find out about a new job from a corporate recruiter (13 per cent) or someone in their personal network (25 per cent) rather than reading online articles about the company.

After hearing about these positions, job seekers to not apply right away, with more than half first researching the company in detail and nearly half saying that they update their resume before applying. The use of technology is also instrumental in landing the final job.

The annual report is based on surveys of over 33,000 professionals around the world. The survey includes input from 3,298 LinkedIn members in the region between January and March 2016, of which 35 per cent of these were citizens of Mena countries.

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