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UAE – Q3 recruitment outlook positive

20 August 2013

In the next three months, 69% of those intending to recruit additional staff in the UAE plan to hire up to 10 employees, according to the latest Job Index survey carried out by Bayt.com, an online recruitment technology provider in the Middle East and North Africa, and YouGov a research and consulting organisation. The survey indicates that more than half of the companies in the Middle East and North Africa are considering hiring in the next three months. In the UAE, 32% claim to be ‘definitely hiring’ within this timeframe, with 69% of companies expecting to fill up to 10 positions.

Of the respondents in the UAE; 57% state that their company will be ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ recruiting in the next 3 months, with 67% claiming the same in a year’s time from now. These responses match exactly those given during the first quarter of 2013 for the same survey. The majority of respondents (69%) indicate they intend to recruit for up to 10 positions. Of these, 25% claim they will look to fill between 6-10 positions.

The more desirable qualifications for job candidates in the UAE to hold are those in engineering (27%), business management (24%) and commerce (23%), while employers prefer candidates with good communication skills in both English and Arabic (51%), who have good leadership skills (49%) and who are team players (45%). In terms of experience, candidates who have the ability to manage a team (37%) are desirable, as are those who have experience in sales and marketing (32%) and computer skills (30%).

More than half of UAE respondents (54%) believe that the country is much more attractive as a job market than other Middle East countries. The most attractive industries in the UAE are perceived to be banking and finance (34%), construction (33%) and oil, gas and petrochemicals (33%).

Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 30% of companies claim to be definitely hiring, with an additional 25% ‘probably hiring’ in the coming three months. The country with the highest hiring expectancy in the next three months is Saudi Arabia, with 65% of companies ‘definitely’ (41%) or ‘probably’ (24%) hiring. The country with the lowest hiring expectancy is Morocco, with only 17% of companies ‘definitely’ hiring, and 21% ‘probably’ hiring.

In the next 12 months, 31% of the region’s companies expect to be ‘definitely hiring’, and 37% will be ‘probably hiring’. Algeria has the highest expectations for future hiring, with 75% of its companies claiming they will ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ take on new employees in the next year. Bahrain is at the other end of the scale, with just 48% of its companies anticipating new hires within the same period.

The majority of jobs across the region are expected to come from the private sector in the next three months, led by large local companies (34% ‘definitely’ and 29% ‘probably’ hiring), multi-nationals (35% ‘definitely’ and 24% ‘probably’ hiring), and small-medium local companies (27% ‘definitely’ and 30% ‘probably’ hiring); these three sectors also dominate hiring expectancies in the next 12 months.

Suhail Masri, vice president of sales at Bayt.com, commented: “The fact that are many jobs coming from small-to-medium sized local companies is a good sign of booming local economies in the Middle East, as this signals that smaller entrepreneurial ventures are more comfortable hiring than they were in the beginning of the year. At Bayt.com, we specialise in gathering the most relevant information that will help job seekers and employers alike to make informed decisions based on the regional employment market.”

Regionally in the next three months, the majority of companies (45%) are looking to hire less than five jobs, with 24% looking to fill between 6-10 new positions. The majority of jobs will be for junior executives (33%), executives (28%), and managers (27%). Employees with qualifications in business management (28%), engineering (25%), and commerce (21%) are most in demand, while the most desirable skills for regional job seekers are the ability to communicate well in both English and Arabic (50%), the ability to be a team player (48%), and good leadership skills (47%). Candidates with experience in managing a team (42%), computer skills (31%), and sales and marketing (27%) are also sought after.

Sundip Chahal, CEO of YouGov, added: “The trend continues that more companies are looking to hire junior executives and executives, which is good news for graduates and first-time employees. That there are a number of upcoming jobs in the private sector should contribute to resolving regional unemployment issues by providing new graduates with career opportunities.”

MENA’s most attractive industries are perceived to be banking and finance (35% - up from 33% in the first half of 2013), construction (32% - equal to the first half of 2013), telecommunications (31% - down -2% from the first half of 2013). According to respondents, the MENA’s most attractive countries to live and work in are the UAE (54% of UAE residents say their country is most attractive), followed by Qatar (46%) and Saudi Arabia (44%).

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