& YouGov Survey Reveals Most Sought-After Skills and Jobs by MENA Employers this Quarter
Posted on 2021 Sep,30

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The latest Job Index Survey from, the Middle East’s renowned job site, and global online market research company, YouGov, indicates that two-thirds (66%) of MENA employers are planning to hire new employees within a year. Interestingly, most MENA employers demand good communication in English and Arabic (60%), being a team player (49%), ability to work under pressure (42%) and good leadership skills (42%) as top skills for their hires.

Released bi-annually, the Job Index survey is an in-depth study that aims to measure the job availability and hiring trends. The study also identifies trends in the Middle East and North Africa job market and provides an understanding of required skill sets and qualifications in the region.

Job roles and requirements

Accountant (20%), Sales Manager (17%) and Marketing Manager (16%) emerged as the top roles MENA employers are looking for in the next three months. In terms of academic qualifications, Business Management (26%), Commerce (23%) and Engineering (21%) are the most sought-after academic qualifications amongst employers in the region.

Moreover, 40% of respondents state that they are looking for candidates with managerial experience, while 30% want candidates with mid-level experience and 28% are searching for those with sales and marketing experience.

When it comes to skill sets, good communication skills in both the English and Arabic languages are highly sought after (60%), followed by being a team player (49%), having the ability to work under pressure (42%), and having good leadership skills (42%).

“The MENA region offers a host of job opportunities for various industries and career levels. The Job Index survey helps us track, follow and communicate hiring trends and required skillsets, twice a year, so that job seekers can plan and develop their skills accordingly,” said Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at “The MENA region continues to evolve and transform affecting the volume and quality of employment opportunities, as well as the factors that are crucial in attracting and retaining top talent."

Hiring trends

Job seekers in the MENA region will be pleased to know that hiring intention across many sectors is positive in the short term, with top industries looking to hire new employees in the next three months are Healthcare/ Medical Services (66%), Human Resources (65%) and Consumer Goods/ FMCG (64%).

In addition, 42% of the companies that plan to hire in the next three months will be hiring for a maximum of five jobs, while 26% of the companies will be hiring for about six to 10 jobs.

The outlook looks positive for job seekers in the near future as well. Healthcare/ Medical Services (88%) emerges as the top industry looking to hire in the next one year. This is followed by Commerce/ Trade/ Retail (83%) and Human Resources (74%).

Industries attracting top talent

Advertising/ Marketing/ Public Relations (30%), Banking/ Finance (30%), and IT/ Internet/ e-Commerce (29%) emerge as the industries that attract or retain top talent.

Overall, Banking/Finance emerges as the main industry attracting national talent and fresh graduate talent, while Advertising/ Marketing/ Public Relations emerges as the industry that attracts female talent.

“The Middle East Job Index Survey illustrates the job market from employers’ perspectives, helping candidates gain an understanding of the current state of the employment sphere in the region. This helps them determine their position in the current job market and also reflects the sentiment and outlook of businesses operating in the region’s key industries,” said Zafar Shah, Research Director at YouGov.

Data for the Middle East Job Index Survey was collected online from 4 July to 24 August 2021. Results are based on a sample of 1,027 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Sudan among others.