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5-year itch for majority of Mena employees

Majority of employees stay no longer than five years in a job before moving on, while more than half claim they would like to leave their jobs immediately, according to a recent poll conducted by Bayt.com, the region’s number one job site.

‘Employee Retention in the Mena Workplace’ has revealed that a whopping 75.9 per cent of the poll’s respondents believe the turnover rate in their companies is ‘very high’ or ‘moderately high’, and 60.2 per cent state that retention today is lower than in previous generations.

Most respondents claim that the average amount of time they have spent in a job is no more than five years – 27.7 per cent have stayed between two to five years, 20.5 per cent have stayed for no more than two years, while 22.2 per cent have stayed for an average of less than one year in a given job.

When asked, 54.7 per cent state that they want to leave their job immediately, with only 16.4 per cent intending to stay in their current job until retirement – though 36.8 per cent of respondents have high hopes for career longevity and say that they never want to retire.

Sales and marketing is considered to be the department with the highest turnover by 43.9 per cent of poll respondents, while 43.5 per cent believe that fresh graduates and entry level professionals are considered to be the easiest to retain. Meanwhile, 32.5 per cent of polled professionals indicate they found their last job online.

In terms of the driving forces behind changing jobs, fear of being fired is one of the biggest issues, according to 44.7 per cent of respondents. Not being paid enough is also a main motivator for resigning, with 45.2 per cent of respondents indicating this insecurity is their primary reason for changing jobs. Only 5.7 per cent stated that they left their last job due to being made redundant or being fired.

“With the results of our poll showing that retention levels are now lower than before, companies looking to hold onto their employees should consider introducing more creative and sophisticated compensation and benefits structures to encourage them to stay,” said Suhail Masri, vice president of sales, Bayt.com.

“Simply providing regular positive reinforcement and recognition for a job well done would also seem to be a key motivator as would clear and transparent career progression guidelines and regular career development counseling and coaching conversations.”

“Professionals today are able to tap into thousands of jobs instantaneously through leading dedicated regional jobsites such as Bayt.com and can apply to any and all jobs they are qualified for and interested in quickly, easily and at no cost,” Masri said.

“Moreover, through dedicated professionals social platforms such as Bayt.com’s public profiles platform, professionals are on the radar screen of top employers around the clock and in real-time and can be approached directly by employers with both advertised and unadvertised jobs seeking to fill key and senior positions.”

“Companies are very cognizant that with leading jobsites such as Bayt.com shattering many of the main traditional barriers to career mobility and recruitment for professionals and employers respectively, the pressure is on them to provide a work environment and compensation and benefits apparatus that encourages maximum job satisfaction and healthy employee retention.”

Providing a more competitive salary is considered the most important factor in employee retention by 26.6 per cent of respondents, followed by performance recognition (17.7 per cent) and good manager-employee relationships (17.6 per cent). Nine out of 10 (86.1 per cent) also state that having higher levels of job security will improve retention rates.

Countries in the GCC are considered to have higher retention levels than the rest of the region (78.8 per cent as compared to 3.6 per cent for the Levant and 7.3 per cent for North African countries; 10.3 per cent believe retention is higher in ‘other’ regions).

Half of the respondents (49.4 per cent) say that multinationals have the best employee retention levels followed by government entities (37.4 per cent), large local companies (9.5 per cent) and small local companies (3.7 per cent).

“At Bayt.com, we endeavor to provide jobseekers and employers with up-to-the-minute information on the Mena region’s job scene, so that they can make informed decisions regarding their career or potential hires,” said Masri.

Data for poll was collected online from January 15 to February 14, 2013, with 11,120 respondents from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.


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