Qatar’s job market appears to be gaining strength, with more than 40 percent of employers recently surveyed saying they definitely planned to hire more staff in the coming three months.
According to the latest edition of the Middle East and North Africa Job Index Survey, conducted by recruitment agency Bayt.com and polling agency YouGov, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of firms in Qatar said they would be taking on new employees, with 44 percent “definitely” hiring and 18 percent probably hiring.
The responses were more favorable now than than in August, when some 37 percent of firms said they would definitely be taking on new staff in the final quarter of 2014.
While Qatar’s showing is strong, Oman is leading the pack in the GCC, with 46 percent of firms there saying they were definitely hiring in the coming months. A further 23 percent said they were “probably” recruiting, with a total of 69 percent of companies planning to recruit during this quarter.
Across the GCC, just over a third (37 percent) of firms said they would take on new staff in the next few months.
When it comes to recruiting for the rest of the year, some 67 percent of Qatar firms said they would hire – of those, 37 percent said “definitely” and a further 30 percent said “probably.”
Again, Oman firms voiced greater commitment to new hires with a total of 74 percent saying they would recruit (43 percent “definitely,” 31 percent “probably”), while Saudi Arabia was just behind with 38 percent of firms definitely hiring and 33 percent probably hiring.
The index is undertaken twice a year by Bayt and YouGov, charting the trends of hiring across the region and examining the skills and qualifications sought after by employers.
In line with Qatar’s massive ongoing construction boom, civil engineers (19 percent) are the profession most desired by companies currently planning to hire, while executive assistants are sought after by 17 percent of firms.
This follows the trend previously identified by QNB in a report published in September last year, when it predicted that more white-collar workers would be brought on board as part of a recruitment drive.
Among the key skills demanded by Qatar’s employers are good communication in Arabic and English (58 percent) and being a team player (51 percent). Nearly half of bosses (49 percent) want new staff who have the ability to manage teams.
Despite Qatar companies’ cited intentions to hire new staff, employees don’t appear to perceive the nation as having a stronger job market than elsewhere in the region.
One third of survey respondents in Qatar said they felt the country had a “much more” attractive job market than other MENA countries.
In comparison, more than half (54 percent) of those working in the UAE, and 43 percent of Saudi employees, thought their country had a more attractive job market.
The survey took the views of a total of 2,694 respondents between Dec. 11, 2014 and Jan. 20 this year.
How do you feel about Qatar’s job market? Thoughts?