New Survey Reveals Most Sought-After Skills and Jobs by MENA Employers in the Next 3 Months
Posted on 2020 Sep,15

The latest Job Index Survey from, the renowned Middle East’s job site, and YouGov, global online market research company, has revealed that Sales Manager (20%), Accountant (19%), and Marketing Manager (16%) are the top roles that MENA employers are hiring for over the next three months. Interestingly, most employers across the region demand good communication in English and Arabic (64%) as well as being a team player (44%) as top skills for their hires.

The 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 intentions in MENA

The top industries looking to hire the highest number of candidates in the next three months are Business Consultancy/Business Management/Management Consulting (58%), Healthcare/Medical Services and Oil/Gas/Petrochemicals (both at 55%).

MENA companies will be mainly hiring entry level staff especially Junior Executives (41%), followed by Executives (24%) and Coordinators (23%). Furthermore, Sales Managers (20%), Accountants (19%), and Marketing Managers (16%) are the top roles MENA employers are looking for. The GCC is looking to hire Accountants (19%), Sales Managers (17%) and Marketing Managers (15%), while Levant is looking to hire Sales Managers, Accountants and Receptionists (all at 23%), whereas North Africa is looking to hire Sales Managers (22%), Accountants (19%) and Marketing Executives (18%).

Echoing the short term, Business Consultancy/Business Management/Management Consulting industry (81%) continue to have the highest hiring intentions in the next one year, followed by IT/Internet/E-commerce (68%) and Consumer Goods/FMCG (66%).

Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at said: “The Job Index Survey gives us the opportunity to measure the job availability and hiring trends, twice a year. Faced with an unprecedented global crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, our region continues to evolve and transform affecting the most in-demand jobs and skills, as well as the factors which are crucial in attracting and retaining top talent."

Skills and qualifications

When it comes to skill sets in the MENA, good communication skills in both English and Arabic languages are highly sought after (64%), followed by being a team player (44%), overall personality and demeanor (41%) and being trustworthy/honest (40%).

More than one-third of MENA employers surveyed (35%) state that they are looking for candidates with managerial experience (ability to manage a team), while 34% want candidates with sales and marketing experience and 27% are searching for those with mid-level experience (3 to 7 years).

In terms of academic qualifications, Business Management (26%), Commerce (22%) and Engineering (21%) are the most sought-after amongst employers in the MENA region.

Industries attracting top talent

Overall, Banking/Finance (29%) is seen as the industry that attracts or retains top talent, followed by Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations (28%) and Healthcare/Medical Services (26%).

Banking/Finance emerges as the main industry attracting national talent (33%) and fresh graduates (29%). This is followed by Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations (25% for both national talent and fresh graduates).

When it comes to female talent, Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations (37%) is considered the most attractive, followed by Banking/Finance (32%) and Healthcare/Medical Services (32%).

“The Job Index Survey is a key indicator of the MENA region’s hiring activities. 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 Zafar Shah, Research Director, Data Services at YouGov.

Data for the Middle East Job Index Survey 2020 was collected online from June 23, 2020 to August 6, 2020. Results are based on a sample of 1,055 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and others.