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MENA – Strong brands and supporting environments attract top talent

24 February 2014

A recent survey conducted by online recruitment technology provider Beyt.com, revealed that companies should market themselves to jobseekers as great places to work in order to attract top talent. Nearly all (90%) respondents stated that they are attracted to companies that offer supportive work environment, while seven out of 10 advised that they would only work for a company of which they could be proud.

Three quarters of respondents (76.4%) will always use the internet to research a company when considering a job opportunity. This emphasises that an online presence is essential for employers, and they should tailor their online marketing position towards jobseekers as great places to work in order to attract the best talent.

When looking up a company on the internet, jobseekers would most like to see a description of all job vacancies within the company. This is followed by a description of all company activities, culture video, company testimonials from clients and employees, and company awards. Four out of 10 respondents (42.5%) would like to see all of these, equally.

A company’s brand is important to 61.3% of respondents, who state that working for a great brand looks good on their CV. The majority (60.1%) feel that the most harmful thing a company can do for its brand is to not follow up or communicate after a job application, though errors on a job posting is also a big turn-off. Negative word-of-mouth from existing employees is also considered to be bad for a brand.

Suhail Al-Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com, commented: “The results of our latest poll show that it’s more important than ever for a company to maintain a strong online presence with an appealing brand ethos.”

The ideal company that respondents would like to work for has a supportive and great work environment, according to 36.4% of polled professionals. Companies that have a good reputation or that are big with global operations are also favourable, with 28% and 20.1%, respectively. Companies that are viewed as innovative are also popular with 12.9% of respondents.

For seven out of 10 respondents (70%), working for a company they’re not proud of is out of the question. A fifth (19.3%) don’t consider pride in their company to be as important as other things, and for 10.7%, it’s not important at all. Nine out of 10 (92.8%) professionals in the region prefer to refer to their organisation as ‘we’ when talking about it; and a further 65.8% of respondents take it as a personal compliment when someone praises their company. Almost three quarters (71.6%) would recommend the company they currently work for to friends and family looking for employment.

Half of the poll’s respondents would rather work at a company where they feel the work they do is part of a greater purpose, with 22.6% wanting to believe in the company’s mission, vision and/or values. For a smaller group of 20.1%, being paid a high salary is the biggest draw.

When it comes to company management, it’s most important to 60.1% of respondents that they know what is expected of them at work. Getting recognition and praise for good work is most important to 23.6%, while frequent discussions about performance are most valued by 16.3%.

A company that provides opportunities for professionals to do their best while leading them on a successful career path is most appealing to 19.7% of polled professionals; companies that provide training and development opportunities, and also companies that encourage new ideas and innovations appeal most to one out of 10 respondents, respectively. For seven out of 10 respondents (65.6%), all of the aforementioned criteria are equally important.

“It is critical to note that while salaries are important for attracting and retaining top talent, many other criteria also come into play and employer branding plays a key role in communicating the unique dimensions of a company as a great place to work,” Mr Al-Masri concluded.

Data for the Bayt.com ‘What Makes a Company an Attractive Place to Work?’ poll was collected online from 20 December 2013 – 30 January 2014, with 8,853 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

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