Companies in Kuwait to hire more new staff: Bayt.com Job Survey
Kuwait: More than half of the region’s employers, 56 percent, plan to recruit over the next few months, according to the new Jobs Index study conducted by the region’s number one job site Bayt.com, in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj. The number of employers planning to recruit has remained consistent since the last wave, when 56 percent also said they planned to hire during the last quarter.
In Kuwait, more than a fifth of the respondents (21 percent) say their organizations will definitely be hiring in the next three months, and 26 percent say they will probably be hiring. By contrast in Kuwait, 18 percent of respondents say their organizations probably or definitely will not be hiring in the next quarter.
Around the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the propensity of organizations to hire varies from country to country. Organizations in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman all have the highest propensity to hire, with 36 percent, 35 percent and 32 percent respectively stating their organizations will definitely be hiring in the coming quarter.
By contrast, at the other end of the spectrum, just 15 percent of respondents in Tunisia and 17 percent in Jordan say they will definitely be hiring in the next three months. Interestingly for the Gulf region, just 19 percent of organizations in Qatar say they will definitely be hiring in the coming quarter-the lowest figure in the Gulf and one of the lowest figures among the surveyed countries. However, as in the previous wave, the figures indicate the Gulf region is still faring best in terms of the ability of organizations to recruit.
The Jobs Index (JI) is conducted to gauge perceptions of job availability and hiring, to identify job trends and to provide an understanding of the key skill sets and qualifications required in the MENA job market. Respondents were asked how many positions their organizations would be aiming to fill in the next three months. Overall, 47 percent of respondents say they will be hiring for up to five jobs in the next three months, another 20 percent say they will be hiring for between six and 10 jobs, and just 9 percent say they will be looking for new staff for between 11 and 20 jobs. Just 2 percent of those surveyed say they will be looking to fill more than a hundred positions in the next quarter.
In line with the previous wave, in the coming quarter, junior executives will be the most sought after talent in the job market: 38 percent of those surveyed say they are looking to recruit staff at a junior executive level, followed by 32 percent who say they will be looking to hire at an executive level. Following the trend set over the past six months, positions in organizations’ C-suites are likely to be limited: just 3 percent of organizations say they will look to recruit a president, only 6 percent say they are looking to recruit a CEO and another 6 percent say they are looking for a CFO/CMO or COO.
The first quarter of 2010 started positively in terms of the propensity to hire among organizations across the Middle East, and this latest study indicates these early positive sentiments will continue into the second quarter," noted Rabea Ataya, Chief Executive Officer Bayt.com. "Time will tell if this momentum will be kept up throughout the rest of year, but it is fair to say the region is witnessing a degree of economic recovery after the prolonged recession.
The study found certain graduate disciplines are favored over others in the workplace. Graduates in business management are the most sought after, with 26 percent of respondents stating a business education is a plus point in a potential candidate. Graduates in commerce are similarly desirable: 24 percent of those surveyed say they place an emphasis on a commerce education when selecting new candidates. Computer science, engineering and administration qualifications are also highly attractive to the region’s employers. At the other end of the spectrum, just 2 percent of the organizations surveyed say they are looking for graduates in aviation/flight training.
Being bilingual is the most desirable trait for organizations looking to recruit new employees: 66 percent of all those surveyed say proficiency in English and Arabic is the skill they look for most in a candidate. Being a cooperative, flexible and helpful team player is also a clear skill priority among the region’s organizations, with 54 percent agreeing it is the most desirable trait. Possessing a good personality and demeanor is cited as the most desirable trait by 48 percent of the survey’s respondents.
Given the cosmopolitan nature of the region, it is unsurprising that employers are so keen on candidates who can communicate in two of the most widely spoken languages in the region. However, a number of employers are citing softer, more subjective skills too. This shows education and experience may help you get the interview, but employers place a big emphasis on how they think you’ll behave if you were to get the job," said Sundip Chahal, Chief Operating Officer, YouGov Siraj.
The JI is in part gauged by asking respondents what their hiring expectancy is in a year’s time; this forms the Hiring Expectancy Index (HEI). In the long term, 70 percent of the region’s organizations say they will definitely or probably hire a year from now, suggesting widespread optimism for the future. Job seekers in Algeria are likely to be the luckiest at finding work in a year’s time, with 38 percent of those surveyed stating their organizations will definitely be hiring in a year. In the Gulf, the prospects in a year are best for job seekers in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman, where 36 percent, 36 percent and 35 percent respectively say they will definitely be hiring in 12 months’ time.
Around the rest of the region, the prospects for job seekers in a year’s time vary from country to country: in Lebanon and Morocco, 33 percent and 32 percent say they will definitely be hiring in a year’s time, while in the Gulf, just 26 percent in Kuwait and 25 percent in Qatar say their organizations will be hiring in the future, with prospects in Tunisia most bleak with just 21 percent of respondents agreeing – the lowest figure among the surveyed countries.
When asked how they rate their current country of residence as a job market compared to those around the rest of the region, respondents in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the most positive about their country: 47 percent, 46 percent and 38 percent respectively say their country of residence is much more attractive than others. Positivity about current country of residence is also felt strongly in Lebanon (33 percent) and Kuwait (22 percent).
As part of the survey, the respondents were also asked to name which industries they feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence: in line with the previous two waves, the telecommunications (39 percent) and banking and finance (38 percent) sectors take top spots in terms of attracting the region’s top employees. Construction, and oil, gas and petrochemicals also feature strongly at 30 percent and 27 percent.
Our quarterly Jobs Index has been designed to provide an overview of how the region’s job market changes from quarter to quarter, so the region’s employers, organizations and other HR industry stakeholders can understand new trends, and use this knowledge to help their work. Alongside our partner YouGov Siraj, this is one of a number of studies we conduct to provide the Middle East with jobs industry statistics and data that is insightful, up-to-date, and relevant to the region," concluded Ataya.