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17 April 2024

Which ‘soft’ skills are most in-demand for UAE jobs

By Shuchita Kapur

Hiring activity was subdued in the first couple of months in the year, but the job market looks promising in the coming three months, giving much needed hope to candidates in the country, according to a new survey.

The latest Middle East Job Index survey, reveals that six out of every 10 working respondents in the UAE expect their employers to be hiring in the next three months.

Hiring expectations are high in the UAE amongst working respondents, with 39 per cent saying their employers will be ‘definitely hiring’ while 21 per cent say they will be ‘probably hiring’ in the next three months.

The survey, conducted by jobs site Bayt.com and research firm YouGov shows only 7 per cent saying that they will be ‘definitely not hiring’ in the next quarter.

Do you have these in-demand ‘soft’ skills?

Besides technical skills and qualifications, index data shows that the soft skill that is most required by UAE companies is the ability to work well in a team, with almost half of those surveyed (49 per cent) claiming that their company values candidates who are ‘team players’.

Good communication skills in Arabic and English – as well as efficiency, productivity and leadership – are also highly valued skills for 46, 41 and 40 per cent of UAE’s working respondents, respectively.

Good communication skills in English only and the ability to work well under pressure both follow at 39 per cent, the survey adds.

What roles, qualifications are most in-demand

A majority of those who are hopeful that their companies will increase the headcount see maximum hiring for sales managers (23 per cent), receptionists (19 per cent), accountants (16 per cent) and civil engineers (16 per cent).

Among the roles and experience that employers are looking for, UAE companies seem most likely to vie for candidates with managerial experience (39 per cent).

One in three (31 per cent) are seeking candidates with mid-level experience (between 3 and 7 years) while 28 per cent are looking for candidates with experience in sales and marketing, and another 28 per cent are looking to hire candidates with engineering experience.

As for the most sought-after educational qualifications, graduate/post graduate degrees in business management, commerce and engineering emerged as the most desired academic qualifications when looking for candidates in the UAE (all at 27 per cent).

Hiring expectations 2016

Citing expectations on hiring levels during the rest of the year, 73 per cent of respondents say their companies will be hiring in a years’ time, with 34 per cent saying they will be ‘definitely hiring’ and 39 per cent saying they will be ‘probably hiring’.

On the other hand, just 3 per cent are ‘definitely not hiring’, and 16 per cent ‘don’t know/can’t tell’ their intentions of recruitment in the coming year.