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03 March 2024

Your experience doesn’t matter to Gulf employers

By Shuchita Kapur

A recent poll finds that career track record is the least important factor for employers in the Middle East when making a hiring decision.

A majority of employers (67.2 per cent) polled by job site Bayt.com admitted that they would consider hiring a candidate who has relevant skills but no direct experience in the company’s field.

Additionally, a huge majority of employers (74.6 per cent) admitted that they have no qualms in hiring a subordinate who is more skilled, capable, and qualified than themselves.

According to the Bayt.com poll, 28.8 per cent of employers in the Middle East look for ‘hunger, drive and ambition’ as the most important factors when recruiting. Salary considerations come in second (22.7 per cent).

Results of the poll reveal that salary considerations come in second (22.7 per cent).

The employers surveyed say that the majority of jobseekers are letting themselves down by presenting unpolished resumes and not doing research prior to job interviews.

The results of the survey demonstrate that spelling and grammar does count, as 21.3 per cent of employer respondents claim that poor language on a CV is the biggest mistake that jobseekers can make. The second biggest mistake, according to 19.7 per cent employers, is submitting a CV that is not customised for the role. Clear exaggerations (16.4 per cent) and poor format (14.8 per cent) also figure highly on the list, along with lack of focus and key omissions.

When it comes to interviews, 20 per cent of employers consider poor preparation to be the biggest turn-off in potential employees; 17.5 per cent feel that dishonesty is the worst trait an interviewee can have, followed by the candidate arriving late or asking inappropriate questions/making inappropriate comments, with 13.8 per cent of employers citing each as the biggest turn-off.

Insufficient enthusiasm for the role and poor interpersonal skills come joint fourth on the list of biggest turn-offs(12.5 per cent),followed by inappropriate attire (7.5 per cent) and being overly aggressive(2.5 per cent).

“The results of our survey suggest that candidates will be more successful if they take the time to carefully review their resumes before submitting them to any potential employer. It is also worthwhile taking the time to research a company and the position applied for before an interview, as being fully prepared is clearly a key requirement across the region,” said AmerZureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.com.

Most prospective employees are likely to be interviewed by one or two people (27.3 and 28.8 per cent, respectively), though it is not uncommon for them to meet with more existing employees in their potential new company; 22.7 per cent of respondents say that their interviewees will meet three people, while 18.2 per cent claim that candidates will be interviewed by more than four. However, no matter how many people the candidate meets, the vast majority of employers (70 per cent) say that post-interview follow-ups are essential.

Almost 61 per cent of employers consider the hiring practices in their company to be sophisticated, with 58.1 per cent claiming that their organisation provides training on interview skills for those involved in the hiring process. 

Data for the Bayt.com Hiring Practices in the MENA Employer Poll was collected online between August 9 and December 22, 2011, with 637respondents covering more than 12 countries in the MENA region.