Middle East workforce: a review

65% of companies in the Middle East are looking to hire this year
Middle East workforce: a review
An overview of professional recruitment in the Middle East

The Robert Walters Group 2023 Mid-Year Review Middle East is out, and the statistics tell a story of burgeoning markets in the Middle East, along with leading specialist insight in professional recruitment.

The full report looks at several industries, including Accounting & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Human Resources, Legal, Marketing, E-commerce & Sales, Supply Chain & Procurement, and Technology. Let’s take a look at the key takeaways. 

The workforce in numbers

  • The United Arab Emirates is the fastest growing economy in the Gulf, witnessing growth of 4.2 percent. It is worth noting that 88.5 percent of the workforce in the UAE consists of expats, and is generally male-dominated. 
  • In terms of the hiring pool, 56 percent of the UAE’s workforce are actively searching for new job opportunities. 
  • The strength of the UAE’s current talent pool lies in Technology, Data Science, and Security Engineering. 
  • Following the UAE, Oman is the second fastest growing economy in the Middle East, witnessing a growth of 4.1 percent. Saudi Arabia is a close third with a growth of 3.7 percent. Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar are close behind.  
  • 65% of companies in the Middle East are looking to hire this year, with most of the demand pertaining to candidates that have either managerial or sales and marketing experience. Business Management, Engineering, and Commerce are also highly sought after qualifications and skills. 

Industry insights 

In the Banking and Finance sector, the trend has turned towards effective employee retention as many corporations look to fill senior positions with juniors that are looking for training and growth opportunities. Furthermore, the skillset most sought after is strong communication skills. So, where is the challenge? Slow hiring processes make it hard for corporations to secure top talent in a timely manner. RW believes that once the hiring process is sped up, companies can benefit from the influx of specialist talent. 

The Technological industry is rapidly advancing with the adoption of artificial intelligence. Corporations are choosing new hires based on AI requirements which include having proficiency in cloud computing, and software development. 

Read more: Fintech industry in MENA triples to $1.68 bln in H1

Key takeaways 

The future of recruitment looks bright. RW recommends that corporations look towards embracing sustainability and AI. Specifically pertaining to the Legal sector, but encompassing general hiring trends, RW reports, “It is essential for organizations to stay abreast of market developments, adapt their recruitment strategies, and invest in attracting top legal talent to thrive in this dynamic landscape.” As for the Tech industry, software engineers, data scientists, cybersecurity specialists, AI experts, and cloud architects are in high demand. 

Professionals seeking new and more challenging opportunities must position themselves as industry experts and essential assets for organizations within the Middle East.

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