48 pct of Egypt employers to hire next quarter, finds survey

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CAIRO: More than half of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) employers plan to hire over the next three months, according to a regional survey.

In Egypt, 27 percent said they would probably be recruiting while 21 percent definitely will in the next few months. Only 5 percent of respondents said they were not going to hire this coming quarter.

The quarterly Jobs Index survey conducted by regional job site Bayt.com, in conjunction with research specialists YouGov, “gauges 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 region job market.”

According to the survey, employers in Egypt said commerce graduates or postgraduates will be the top recruits, with 29 percent of organizations in Egypt favoring those qualified in this field.

Engineering and computer science graduates or post-graduates are equally sought after, with 23 percent and 22 percent, respectively, of respondents citing that recruits in these fields are greatly required.

Organizations are looking to fill lower executive positions like ‘junior executive’ (37 percent) and ‘executive’ (29 percent), the survey found.

Being able to communicate in both English and Arabic is preferable, with a majority 71 percent of Egypt’s respondents saying this is what they look for most in potential employees.

Being a “cooperative, flexible, and helpful team player” is also high on the list of Egypt’s employers, with 52 percent saying these qualities are necessary. Meanwhile “overall personality and demeanor” are key for 48 percent of respondents, and the “ability to work under pressure” (47 percent) is also essential.

Employers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar are slightly more likely to hire, with 33 percent and 31 percent respectively saying their organizations will definitely recruit new staff in the next quarter.

“The level of regional hiring activity remains relatively encouraging given the regional economic backdrop however it is clear that in some parts of the region companies seem to be favoring a climate of cautious cost-consciousness specifically in terms of HR growth,” said Amer Zureikat, VP of sales at Bayt.com.

Respondents’ recruitment plans for the next year develops the Hiring Expectancy Index (HEI), in which 67 percent of MENA organizations expect to hire in the long term.

While 62 percent in Egypt expect to hire in a year, 69 percent in Qatar and 65 percent in the UAE said they would recruit in a year’s time. Job seekers in Saudi Arabia are luckier, with 71 percent of respondents expecting to hire in 12 months’ time.

In Algeria, 33 percent said they would certainly recruit in a year’s time. One of the lowest figures was in Morocco, with 22 percent, and Bahrain at 19 percent.

Asked to rate their current country of residence as an attractive job market compared to those across the rest of the region, respondents in the UAE, followed by Qatar were the most optimistic, 44 percent and 43 percent respectively. In Saudi Arabia, 42 percent said their country was much more attractive, and 20 percent from Egypt claimed the same.

Industries attracting or retaining top talent include telecommunications (35 percent), banking and finance (34 percent) and construction (32 percent).

“The Bayt.com Jobs Index has been designed to demonstrate how the region’s job market changes every quarter. It allows the region’s employers and other industry stakeholders to benefit from current job market figures, which can be used for driving positive organizational change,” Zureikat said.

Data for the July 2011 Jobs Index was collected online between the July 11 and August 9, with 4,560 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

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