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Half of the UAE’s employers are planning to recruit in 2010’s last quarter

 More than half of the region’s employers, 54%, plan to recruit in the last quarter of this year, according to the new Bayt.com Jobs Index study conducted by the region’s number one job site Bayt.com, in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj. In the UAE, a quarter of the respondents – 25%- said that their organisations would “definitely” be hiring in the next three months, and another 25% said they would “probably” be hiring. By contrast, 11% said they would definitely not be hiring in the next quarter.
Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the countries recorded varying propensities to hire as part of the Jobs Index. Respondents in Oman had the highest propensity to hire, with 35% saying that their organisations will definitely be recruiting new staff in the coming months while Jordan and Egypt showed the lowest propensity to hire with just 22% of respondents for both countries saying they will definitely hire in the next three months.
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 Middle East job market.
The survey asked the respondents how many positions their organisations would be aiming to fill in the next three months. For the most part, organisations are looking to recruit staff for less than five positions: 47% said that less than five jobs will be available, and 22% said that between six and 10 jobs will be available.  Interestingly, 3% of respondents said that they will be looking to fill more than one hundred vacancies in the coming quarter.
“The global recession still seems to be affecting parts of the region. Regional companies seem to be maintaining a climate of cost-consciousness and an emphasis on maximizing returns on investment specifically in the HR arena. This, however, has been seen to favor online jobsites such as bayt.com where employers are aware that they can find the region’s top talent for key positions in the fastest, easiest, most effective and most cost-efficient manner”, noted  Amer Zureikat, Vice President Sales Bayt.com.
Of those that are likely to be employed, graduates or postgraduates in business management stand the best chance. According to the study, 26% of organisations around the Middle East favour employing staff that are qualified in this field. Furthermore, graduates or postgraduates in commerce and administration are equally sought after by the region’s organisations, with 24% and 23% of respondents citing personnel in these fields as highly desirable.
“The Middle East, and more specifically the Gulf, is growing as a global finance and commerce hub, and as such, graduates in these fields are likely to find it easier than others to find employment,” said Sundip Chahal, Chief Operating Officer, YouGov Siraj.
Being able to communicate in both English and Arabic is a desirable trait that employers look for when selecting new staff according to the study – 61% of respondents agreed this is what they look for most in a potential new employee. Being a cooperative, flexible, and helpful team player is also a clear skill priority among the region’s organisations, with 52% stating it is the most desirable trait. Having an agreeable overall personality and demeanour was cited as the most desirable trait by 46% of the survey’s respondents.
“The figures suggest that when recruiting, employers will not immediately choose the most qualified candidate, rather, the region’s organisations place much more emphasis on key skills such as communication and teamwork, and personality traits such as being a good leader,” noted Sundip.
The JI is in part gauged by asking the respondents what their hiring expectancy is in a year’s time; this forms the Hiring Expectancy Index (HEI).  In the long term, 69% of the region’s organisations expect to hire, suggesting widespread optimism for the future. Job seekers in KSA are likely to be the luckiest at finding work in a year’s time, with 39% of  the country’s respondents stating they will “definitely” be hiring in 12 months’ time.  In the UAE, only 6% said they will probably or definitely not be hiring in a year’s time.  By contrast, 27% said they would definitely hire in a year.
Respondents in Algeria were also highly confident that their organisations will be hiring in the future: 36% said they will definitely be hiring after a year. This is contrasted with just 24% of respondents in Morocco and Egypt and 20% in Tunisia – the lowest figure among all of 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 KSA, followed by Qatar, were the most positive about their country: 44% and 43% respectively said it was much more attractive than other countries. In the UAE, 41% said their country was much more attractive.
The respondents were also asked to name which industries they feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence today. As in the previous wave, the banking and finance (39%) and telecommunications (39%) sectors took the top spots in terms of those that attract the region’s top employees.
“The studies that Bayt.com conducts alongside YouGov Siraj aim to provide the region’s organisations and HR professionals with regularly updated research that sheds light on various elements of the region’s job market. The Bayt.com Jobs Index has been designed to chart how the region’s job market changes from quarter to quarter, which will allow the region’s employers and other industry stakeholders to benefit from up to date job market information, which can be used for affecting positive organisational change,” concluded Zureikat.
Data for the October 2010 Jobs Index was collected online between 15 September and 13 October 2010, with 4,765 executive managers/HR managers/senior officials from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan.

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