Majority of Mena employees plan to change jobs in 2022

More than eight in 10 workers prefer companies that allow them to work remotely, survey finds

Fifty-six per cent of Mena professionals say they are very familiar with video interviews, according to a Bayt.com survey. Getty
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About 91 per cent of professionals in the Mena region are considering changing jobs in 2022 as the hiring market returns to pre-coronavirus levels amid a broader economic recovery, a survey by jobs portal Bayt.com has found.

While 86 per cent of those surveyed expect remote hiring to increase in the next few years, 83 per cent of workers prefer companies that allow them to work remotely all or some of the time, according to the survey, which took place from June 1 to July 3 and polled 3,067 respondents in countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan.

“Flexibility is no longer viewed as an extra benefit,” said Ola Haddad, director of human resources at Bayt.com.

“In fact, flexibility is now a minimum requirement as jobseekers look for their next career opportunity.”

The employment market in the UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has made a strong recovery from the coronavirus-induced slowdown on the back of the government’s fiscal and monetary measures.

Seventy per cent of professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have considered leaving or have left their jobs because of a lack of flexibility amid a widening disconnect between employers and employees about returning to the office after the Covid-19 pandemic, a LinkedIn survey in May found.

While about 74 per cent of professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia believe the pandemic has exposed why employers need to change their approach to flexible working, 55 per cent of workers said their company had not introduced flexible working policies, LinkedIn said.

Meanwhile, 33 per cent of those surveyed by Bayt.com said that flexibility and the ability to adjust to change are the most important skills employers look for in prospective employees.

However, 26 per cent cited the ability to work without supervision and 18 per cent said self-motivation and discipline are skills that need to be highlighted on their resumes and job applications, the survey found.

Eighteen per cent of respondents said familiarity with virtual work tools is the most sought-after skill by employers while 6 per cent believe written and verbal communication are important, the Bayt.com findings revealed.

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“The research also highlights the importance of adapting to the changing work environment as the key to make yourself the right candidate for the job,” Ms Haddad said.

Forty-two per cent of those surveyed said creating a strong online curriculum vitae and cover letter are the most important aspects of their job search journey, while 34 per cent said searching for jobs online is key and 17 per cent showed a preference for learning new skills through online courses.

Only 5 per cent of Mena professionals said freelancing, remote and part-time jobs are important elements to consider during their job search, while 3 per cent said attending virtual job fairs is key to their success, according to Bayt.com.

About 46 per cent of jobseekers in the Mena region said email is their main method of communicating with potential employers, followed by online job sites (38 per cent), social media (9 per cent), virtual job fairs (3 per cent) and instant messaging (3 per cent), the survey said.

A majority of respondents reported an increase in virtual job search activity, with 70 per cent saying online job sites are the most common tool used to look for employment opportunities while 12 per cent chose company websites, 8 per cent opted for social media and 2 per cent chose virtual job fairs, Bayt.com said.

About 31 per cent of respondents have attended an online job fair while 60 per cent said they plan to attend one, the survey found.

Fifty-six per cent of Mena professionals said they are very familiar with video interviews, while 33 per cent said they are slightly familiar and 11 per cent said they are not familiar with this concept, the poll revealed.

Meanwhile, 34 per cent of those interviewed said they prefer face-to-face interviews, 28 per cent said they like video interviews and 25 per cent picked phone interviews as their preferred format, Bayt.com said.

“Candidates who do not use video chat and meeting tools often should get familiar with them so they are comfortable and natural if they need to be ready for a video interview,” the survey said.

Updated: July 25, 2022, 9:33 AM
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