9 in 10 Companies in the Middle East Will Be Hiring in the Next 12 Months, According to a Bayt.com and YouGov Survey

Suhail Masri

Bayt.com Job Index reveals that the top roles employers are looking for in 2018 are in accounting, sales, and marketing

Middle East, 23 February 2018: The Bayt.com Middle East Job Index Survey has revealed a positive outlook for the job market in the region, with the great majority (86%) of companies saying they will be hiring in the next year, and nearly three quarters (73%) saying they will be hiring in the next three months. Furthermore, more than four in five working respondents (81%) claim that their company has ‘hired new employees in the last 12 months’.

The Bayt.com Job Index, released bi-annually and conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s #1 job site, and global online market research company, YouGov, is an in-depth study that tracks job availability and hiring trends in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market and provides an understanding of the required skills and qualifications.

Jobs in the Next Three Months

For companies looking to hire in the next three months, more than three in four (77%) say they will be hiring for ‘up to 20 jobs’, 13% will be hiring for ‘up to 100 jobs’, while the remainder 10% are not sure how many vacancies they will have in the short term.

In the next three months, ‘small/ medium local companies’ in the private sector took the leading spot in terms of hiring potential, where 76% of them said they will be hiring. Meanwhile, industries that are most likely to hire are: ‘Consumer Goods/ FMCG’ (81% are planning to hire), ‘Real Estate/ Construction/ Property Development’ (80%), and ‘Hospitality/ Recreation/ Entertainment’ (78%).


Across the region, the greatest demand in the coming three months will be for ‘junior executives’ (44%), followed by ‘executives’ (28%), ‘coordinators’ (27%), ‘managers’ (23), and ‘senior executives’ (22%). In regards to the specific roles companies are looking to hire in the next three months, the most commonly demanded are ‘accountants’ (23%), ‘sales managers’ (17%), ‘sales executives’ (17%), and ‘marketing managers’ (14%).


Jobs in the Next 12 Months


‘Small/ medium local companies’ as well as ‘multinational companies’ seem to have the highest hiring potential in the long term, where 89% of them said they will be hiring in the next year. In regards to specific industries that have the strongest hiring plans for the next 12 months, ‘Business Consultancy/ Business Management’ (97% are planning to hire), ‘Consumer Goods/ FMCG’ (95% are planning to hire), ‘Hospitality/ Recreation/ Entertainment’ (94% are planning to hire), ‘Banking/ Finance’ (93% are planning to hire), and ‘Commerce/ Retail/ Trade’ (92% are planning to hire) were the top five.


What’s in Demand: Skills, Job Roles, and Academic Qualifications


When it came to candidates’ skills that are in demand this year, communication was key for most companies. According to the survey, good ‘communication skills in Arabic and English’ emerged as the top skill that employers look for in a candidate, according to 68% of employers. This was followed by ‘being a team player’ (52%), being able to ‘work under pressure’ (46%), a ‘positive overall personality and demeanor’ (45%), and a ‘desire to make a difference’ (43%).


Regarding educational and academic qualifications in demand, ‘business management’ (30%) and ‘commerce’ (26%) emerged as the most sought-after qualifications amongst employers in the region, followed by ‘engineering’ (22%), ‘computer science’ (18%), and information technology’ (18%).

Among employers looking to hire, nearly four in 10 (38%) state that they are looking for candidates with ‘managerial skills’, while more than a third (36%) are looking for skills in ‘sales and marketing’. Further, three in 10 (30%) employers are looking for candidates with ‘mid-level experience between three and seven years’, while one-quarter (26%) are looking for candidates with ‘junior level experience of less than three years’.


“Perceptions of the job market in the Middle East and North Africa are more positive for 2018, with employers predicting improvements in hiring potential in the immediate future,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions, Bayt.com. “At Bayt.com, we are really excited to work with tens of thousands of employers to help them recruit their top talent of choice. We are constantly improving our recruitment tools and getting feedback from clients to make it easier than ever before to hire for the skills they need. In fact, we just launched the Bayt.com Small Business Plan, which provides our recruitment suite to employers with budget constraints. Now, and as we look at the survey findings, we are delighted to see these hiring trends moving in an upward direction and we are looking forward to work with even more companies, organizations, and governments to facilitate hiring activities in the short as well as the long term.”


Across the region, respondents believe the industries attracting and retaining top talent are ‘Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations’ (34%), followed by ‘Banking and Finance’ (33%), ‘Business Consultancy and Business Management’ (25%), ‘Real Estate, Construction, and Property Development’ (25%), and ‘IT and E-Commerce’ (24%).


In terms of job seeker demographics, ‘Banking and Finance’ is believed to be the main industry attracting ‘national talent’ (33%) and ‘fresh graduate talent’ (33%), while ‘Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations’ is the main industry attracting ‘female talent’ (40%).


“The Middle East Job Index is a very critical indicator that shows the region’s hiring activities. With an upward trend this year, the number of job openings in the MENA region is forecasted to grow. It is also worth noting that with so many local SME’s planning to hire this year, growth of this vital sector seems to be a priority in 2018,” said Nehal Jibouri, Head of Custom Research, YouGov.

Data for the February 2018 Middle East Job Index Survey was collected online from 5th December 2017 to 28th January 2018. Results are based on a sample of 1,883 respondents, 1,641 of whom were of working status, from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan.