Business management ‘top job skill favored by Saudi recruiters’



RIYADH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Monday 18 February 2013

Last update 18 February 2013 5:02 am

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Employers in the Kingdom consider an educational background in business management to be most important for new recruits, followed by commerce and engineering, according to a new survey.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Job Index survey was conducted by Bayt.com, claimed to be the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organization.
Employers also consider an educational background in business management to be most important for new hires, followed by commerce and engineering.
They also consider good communication skills to be most important when seeking a new employee, followed by the ability to be a cooperative, helpful and flexible team player and good leadership skills.
Companies will look to hire candidates who have experience in team management, sales and marketing, and computers. 
Respondents believe that the industries that attract and retain the top talent in Saudi Arabia are construction, telecommunications, and banking and finance. 
The survey shows 30 percent of MENA employers are ‘definitely hiring,’ in the next 3 months. An additional 27 percent said they are ‘probably hiring’ — an increase of 2 percent in both instances in comparison to results gathered in Q3 2012. 
In Saudi Arabia, the poll says 38 percent of the companies are ‘definitely hiring’ in the next three months (compared to 35 percent in Q3 of 2012), with 30 percent stating that they are ‘probably’ hiring.
In a year’s time, 74 percent of companies are expecting to hire new employees. 
Data for the Bayt.com Job Index January 2013 survey was collected online from Dec. 21, 2012 to Jan. 31, 2013.
Results are reported on a base of 4,349 respondents, according to a statement.
Countries that participated are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan.
“The clear improvement in the number of jobs to be available in the coming three and 12 months is a positive sign for the Kingdom’s economy,” said Suhail Masri, VP of sales, Bayt.com.
"We have seen a regional increase in terms of the numbers of employment opportunities, and this is a good indicator of the region’s growth and development," he said.
“At Bayt.com, we specialize in gathering the information that matters most to employers and employees across the region as we aim to empower jobseekers and employers alike by giving them the tools to find their dream job and top talent respectively.” 
The majority of companies in Saudi Arabia (68 percent) are expecting to hire up to 10 employees in the coming three months — 1 percent lower than the regional prospects of 69 percent.
Across the MENA, multinational private sector companies will be hiring the highest number of new employees in the next three months, and will continue to be the biggest source of employment in a year’s time.
Within the next three months, they are looking to hire predominantly at junior executive level, followed by executives and coordinators.
Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov, commented: "A high number of lower-tier jobs is good news for new graduates. This provides a more open field at entry-level, which will give first-time jobseekers more opportunities to find employment in the industries that they wish."
Regionally, the most desirable qualifications for candidates are in business management, commerce, engineering, and computer science. Good communication skills in English and Arabic are most desirable by employers, though being a cooperative, helpful and flexible team player is also considered highly. In terms of experience, most highly regarded is the ability to manage a team, followed by computer skills, and sales and marketing. 
Four out of 10 respondents (38 percent) state that their current country of residence is more attractive than others in the Middle East, with the UAE topping the list of the most attractive countries in the region, followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 
Similarly, 43 percent believe that the industry they are currently working in is more attractive as a potential employer, in comparison to others. Banking and finance, and telecommunications (33 percent each) are considered to be the industries that are attracting and retaining the top talent in the respondents’ countries, followed by construction (32 percent) and oil, gas and petrochemicals (27 percent).  

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