Most Sought-After Required Skills and Jobs by MENA Employers for 2021
Posted on 2021 Feb,15

Sales Executive (18%), Accountant (16%), and Sales Manager (14%) emerged as the top roles that MENA employers are hiring for in the coming quarter, revealed a survey conducted recently by, the Middle East’s renowned job site, and YouGov, a global online market research company.

Furthermore, most MENA employers are demanding good communication in English and Arabic (60%) as well as being a team player (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. It also identifies trends in the MENA job market and provides an understanding of required skill sets and qualifications in the region.

Hiring Trends in the MENA

The outlook looks promising for job seekers across the MENA region, as intention to hire in a year’s time is positive in GCC (68%) and North Africa (60%).

Oil/ Gas/ Petrochemicals (76%), Advertising/ Marketing/ Public Relations (73%) and Engineering/ Design (72%) demonstrated the highest intention of hiring in the next one year across the MENA region.

Job seekers will be pleased to know that hiring intention across many sectors is positive in the short term as well, with top industries looking to hire new employees in the next three months are Advertising/ Marketing/ Public relations (70%), Manufacturing (64%) and Healthcare/ Medical Services (57%).

Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at said: “The MENA region continues to evolve as the pandemic brings tremendous changes – affecting job opportunities for various industries and career levels. The Job Index gives us the opportunity to track, follow and communicate hiring trends and required skill sets, twice a year, so that job seekers can plan and develop their skills accordingly and companies are able to attract top talent.”

Demand: Skills, Job Roles, and Academic Qualifications

The majority of MENA companies will be hiring entry level staff especially Junior Executives (45%). Meanwhile, Sales Executive (18%), Accountant (16%), and Sales Manager (14%) are the top roles employers in the MENA region are looking for.

Furthermore, more than one-third (37%) of survey respondents state that they are looking for candidates with managerial experience, while 30% want candidates with sales and marketing experience and 29% are searching for those with mid-level experience.

When it comes to skill sets, good communication skills in Arabic and English (60%) are highly sought after, followed by being a team player (42%), good leadership skills (39%), ability to work under pressure (35%) and good negotiation skills (34%).

In addition, Business Management (23%), Engineering (21%) and Commerce (18%) are the most sought-after academic qualifications amongst employers in the MENA region.

Most Attractive Industries

Banking/ Finance (28%) and Advertising/ Marketing/ Public Relations (28%) are seen as the industries that attract or retain top talent across the MENA region, followed by IT/ Internet/ E-commerce (27%).

Overall, Banking/Finance emerges as the main industry attracting national talent (30%) and fresh graduate talent (31%), while Advertising/ Marketing/ Public Relations (38%) emerges as the industry that attracts female talent.

“The Middle East Job Index survey provides an overview of current market trends across the MENA region. For job seekers, this survey is a useful guide outlining the general perspectives and sentiments regarding matters like job availability and skills required. For employers and managers, the survey depicts many findings and predictions regarding the regional business and job market,” said Zafer Shah, Research Director at YouGov.

Data for the Middle East Job Index Survey was collected online from 10 December 2020 and 10 January 2021. Results are based on a sample of 920 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.