More than half of Qatar’s employers are likely to recruit, primarily in the junior cadre, in the next three months, but they were less optimistic next year, according to a survey.
“In Qatar, 23% of the respondents said that their organisations would definitely be hiring in the next three months, and another 32% said they would probably be hiring,” said the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Jobs Index, compiled by Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj.
The Jobs Index (JI), 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 Middle East job market, found that only 11% of Qatari employers holding the view that they would not be hiring in the next quarter.
Around the Gulf, the countries largely differed in terms of their intentions to hire staff with Saudi Arabian companies reporting that 58% of them would definitely or probably hire in the coming three months compared to 53% in Kuwait, 48% in the UAE and 47% in Bahrain.
In terms of the jobs that would be available in the next quarter, 22% of organisations said they would be looking to employ junior executives, followed by 21% who said they would be looking to hire on an executive level. Unsurprisingly, limited C-suite jobs are going to be on offer: 2% said they would be seeking to appoint a new president, 5% said they plan to appoint a CEO, and 6% said they would advertise vacancies for a COO, CFO.
According to the study, organisations around the Middle East favour employing staff that are graduates in the fields of engineering or business management: 21% of organisations agreed that these two were the most important disciplines
The Gulf countries showed a significant preference for graduates in these areas, it said, adding less important qualifications were those relating to law and hospitality, with just 5% and 4% of organisations respectively agreeing that these are important when selecting staff.
“Considering that the Gulf region is growing significantly in terms of its industrial output and in terms of its intellectual capital as a finance and commerce global hub, then the case is very clearly made as to why graduates in these fields are likely to find it easier than others to find employment,” said Lama Ataya, head of marketing at Bayt.com.
Good communication skills in English and Arabic were clearly an advantage among the MENA organisations when selecting a new employee with 60% saying that these skills were most desirable when choosing potential candidates.
In Qatar, 55% of employers stated that English and Arabic language skills were important; while being a co-operative and helpful team player and possessing good leadership skills were all similarly important traits in new recruits.
On the future prospects of labour market in the GCC region, the study found that 43% of Saudi Arabian companies said they will be definitely hiring next year, followed by Bahrain (38%), Kuwait (34%) and the UAE (33%), whereas in Qatar, it was 31% – the lowest figure among all 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 were the most positive about their country with 49% viewing that it was much more attractive than other countries.
Positive feeling about the current country of residence was also felt strongly in Saudi Arabia (44%) and Qatar (38%).
Asked which industries the respondents feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence today, the majority agreed it was either banking and finance (32%) or telecommunications (31%).
“This is most likely as a result of the perception that banking and finance and telecoms positions are the highest paid in the region, and as a direct result, manage to retain their well-paid talent,” said Joanna Longworth, chief marketing officer at YouGov Siraj.
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