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Sun 8 Nov 2009 11:18 AM

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52% of MENA firms eye staff hiring - survey

Fewer companies in the UAE are upbeat on new staff compared to region's average.

More than half of the employers in the MENA region are planning to recruit over the next few months, as the region picks up following the global economic downturn, a new survey published on Sunday showed.

Twenty-six percent said they were "definitely hiring" and another 26 percent said they would "probably be hiring", according to the new Jobs Index study conducted by job site Bayt.com, in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj.

In the UAE, a quarter of the respondents said that their organisations would definitely be hiring in the next three months, and another 23 percent said they would probably be hiring.

This figure rises to a total of 63 percent when asked about job hiring over the next year, the survey revealed.

Just under a fifth, 19 percent, said they probably or definitely would not be hiring in the next quarter.

Around the Middle East and North Africa region, countries reported varying propensity to hire as part of the Jobs Index.

More than a third of respondents in Oman (34 percent) said they would definitely be hiring in the next three months, followed by Saudi Arabia (31 percent) and Lebanon (30 percent).

Around the Gulf, the countries largely varied in terms of their intentions to hire more staff.

In Qatar, 55 percent said they would definitely or probably hire in the coming three months, compared to 53 percent in Kuwait and just 47 percent in Bahrain.

The figures, said Bayt.com, suggested that companies in Saudi Arabia were currently faring the best during this current economic cycle.

When asked how many jobs would be available in the next three months, 42 percent of respondents said that there would be less than five jobs on offer for job seekers in their organisations.

Another 24 percent said that their organisations would be offering around six to 10 jobs, while at the other end of the spectrum, just 3 percent said that more than 100 jobs would be available.

Junior members of staff are the most likely to be employed over the next quarter, the survey said, followed by executive level.

Limited C-suite jobs are going to be on offer with just two percent of companies saying they would be seeking to appoint a new president, 5 percent said they plan to appoint a CEO, and 6 percent said they would advertise vacancies for a COO, CFO or CMO.

Good communication skills in English and Arabic were clearly advantageous among the region’s organisations when selecting a new employee with 60 percent saying that these skills were most desirable when choosing potential candidates.

“As many regional companies struggled to stop spiraling costs during the recession, many people caught in the cross-fire lost their jobs. It follows now, as business picks up, that companies find themselves short-staffed and in need to recruit. This is another indication that the economic situation is improving,” said Joanna Longworth, chief marketing officer, YouGov Siraj.

In the long term, the Jobs Index suggested that 66 percent of the region’s organisations expected to hire in the next year.

Oman, Algeria and Saudi Arabia were found to be good potential countries for job seekers, with 57, 45 and 43 percent respectively saying that they will definitely hire.

In the UAE, 33 percent of companies said that they will definitely be hiring in a year’s time, while another 30 percent said they will probably hire in a year.

All of the Gulf countries, with the exception of Qatar, came across as optimistic for the future in terms of projected capacity to hire.

Following Saudi Arabia’s positive lead, 38 percent in Bahrain and 34 percent in Kuwait said they will definitely be hiring next year, compared to Qatar’s total of 31 percent – the lowest figure among all the surveyed countries.

Data for the October 2009 Jobs Index was collected online between October 1-24 with 5,084 executive managers/HR managers/senior officials across the region.

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Philbert Suresh, Academic Proeessional 10 years ago

An economic prescription without diagnosis is dangerous. But Dubai always bends the tradtional rules of econoy and is set to buckle the trends in GCC. It is the hallmark of a good leadership that I admire. Indeed the GREEN shoots are effective indicator of the economy with the return of consumer confidence. i-FUN ( Intelligent Friends in the University Network) TLC Project Office

tony 10 years ago

Except Saudi Arabia, all other MENA region is still affected, this is just a hype to a virtual market of UAE.

John Doe 10 years ago

I don't see the critical information about how many people these '52% of MENA firms' will be hiring? One each? What percentage of the total workforce in these companies will be hired? Who will be hired; tea boys or cleaners? I will be hiring a new gardener to come 10 minutes every day, does that also count? Nice initiative Bayt.com, but I think YouGov Siraj could have done a much better job.