MENA Employers predict big hires in the next three months

69 percent of those who claim they will hire in the UAE are looking to take on up to 10 employees

The latest Job Index survey, conducted by, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, has shown that more than half of the companies in the Middle East and North Africa are considering hiring in the next 3 months. In the UAE, 32 percent claim to be ‘definitely hiring’ within this timeframe, with 69 percent of companies expecting to fill up to 10 positions.

Six out of 10 respondents in the UAE (57 percent) state that their company will be ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ hiring in the next 3 months (also at 57 percent in Q1), with 67 percent claiming the same in a year’s time from now  (also at 67 percent in Q1). The majority respondents (69 percent) indicate they aim to fill up to 10 positions. Of these, 25 percent 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 percent), business management (24 percent) and commerce (23 percent), while employers prefer candidates with good communication skills in both English and Arabic (51 percent), who have good leadership skills (49 percent) and who are team players (45 percent). In terms of experience, candidates who have the ability to manage a team (37 percent) are desirable, as are those who have experience in sales and marketing (32 percent) and computer skills (30 percent).

More than half of UAE respondents (54 percent) 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 percent), construction (33 percent) and oil, gas and petrochemicals (33 percent).

Across MENA
Across the region, 30 percent of companies claim to be definitely hiring, with an additional 25 percent ‘probably hiring’ in the coming 3 months. The country with the highest hiring expectancy in the next 3 months is Saudi Arabia, with a collective 65 percent of companies ‘definitely’ (41 percent) or ‘probably’ (24 percent) hiring. The country with the lowest hiring expectancy is Morocco, with only 17 percent of companies ‘definitely’ hiring, and 21 percent ‘probably’ hiring.

In the next 12 months, 31 percent of the region’s companies expect to be ‘definitely hiring’, and 37 percent will be ‘probably hiring’. Algeria has the highest expectations for future hiring, with 75 percent 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 percent of its companies anticipating new hires within the same period.

The majority of jobs across the region will come from the private sector in the next 3 months, led by large local companies (34 percent ‘definitely’ and 29 percent ‘probably’ hiring), multi-nationals (35 percent ‘definitely’ and 24 percent ‘probably’ hiring), and small-medium local companies (27 percent ‘definitely’ and 30 percent ‘probably’ hiring); these three sectors dominate hiring expectancies in the next 12 months, too.

“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,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, “At, 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 3 months, the majority of companies (45 percent) are looking to hire less than five jobs, with 24 percent looking to fill between 6-10 new positions. The majority of jobs will be for junior executives (33 percent), executives (28 percent), and managers (27 percent).  Employees with qualifications in business management (28 percent), engineering (25 percent), and commerce (21 percent) 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 percent), the ability to be a team player (48 percent), and good leadership skills (47 percent). Candidates with experience in managing a team (42 percent), computer skills (31 percent), and sales and marketing (27 percent) are also sought after.

“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,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.

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

Data for the Job Index August 2013 survey was collected online from June 12-July 25 2013. Results are reported on a base of 3,430 respondents. Countries that participated are UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan.


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