Job sites like are among the most common tools for recruiting managerial and non-managerial positions across the GCC
Source: MSL Group for , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 3:04 pm

UAE. The ‘Middle East and North Africa Hiring Practices’ survey, conducted amongst recruiters and employed professionals in the MENA, revealed a variety of insights about the evolving hiring landscape and how recruitment practices have changed in the digital era.

According to the survey, online job sites emerged as one of the most common resources used for recruiting candidates for both managerial and non-managerial positions in organizations across the GCC. In fact, more than four in five GCC recruiters agree that online recruitment has facilitated the hiring process at their companies.

The survey, administered by, the Middle East’s #1 job site, and YouGov, a global pioneer in online market research, aims to gather opinions on the hiring trends and practices in the MENA region to help employers and jobseekers better understand today’s hiring mechanisms and strategies, measure preferences, and identify trends in hiring and job hunting.

Recruitment in the Internet Era

Survey results indicated growing trends in online resource usage for recruiters across the GCC. According to the survey, respondents in the GCC consider online job sites (25%) to be the most effective source of recruitment for managerial roles, followed by recruitment agencies (22%) and their own company websites (15%).

For non-managerial roles, online job sites (22%) remain the most popular, with recruitment agencies (18%) and employee referrals (17%) emerging as the next most effective sources of recruitment. In addition to that, applicant tracking systems are used by around a quarter of GCC employers for managerial (25%) and 22% of recruioters for non-managerial positions. 

More than four in five (83%) respondents in the GCC agree that online recruitment has facilitated the hiring process for managerial employees, including nearly half (44%) who believe it has ‘greatly’ facilitated the hiring process. The same can be said for non-managerial employees (85%), with two in five (39%) respondents claiming it has ‘greatly’ facilitated the hiring process.

“With over 10,000 jobs available on on any given day, it comes as no surprise that the top method for recruiting candidates in the MENA is job sites,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President Employer Solutions, “At, we have been working with organizations in the MENA large and small for almost 20 years, helping them recruit top talent. We have been listening to client feedback and improving our offering to improve recruitment efficiency. For example, many employers complement their CV Search tool with employment tests that verify the candidates’ skills. Likewise, online job sites have evidently helped prepare jobseekers to better execute the job hunt. In line with this, we at work with over 32,000,000 job seekers and 40,000 companies using advanced hiring technology to make the process smoother, less time consuming, and much more rewarding.”

The Job Interview

For managerial and non-managerial candidates in the GCC, interviews (70% and 77% respectively) are considered to be the most popular method in the hiring process, followed by academic certificates (49% and 48%), second interviews (50% and 42%), and pre-employment tests (42% and 45%).

For three quarters of GCC companies, a typical job interview for both managerial candidates (75%) and non-managerial candidates (71%) lasts up to 30 minutes; and at a large majority of GCC organizations, potential candidates for both managerial roles (77%) and non-managerial roles (72%) will be interviewed by two or three different people throughout the hiring process.

The survey found that first impressions make a sizable difference in a job interview across the region. In the GCC, more than half of respondents believe that first impressions matter ‘greatly’ in a job interview for both managerial (58%) and non-managerial (55%) candidates, one third (33% and 34%) said it matters ‘moderately’, while around one in 10 (9% and 11%) think that first impressions don’t matter.

The Hiring Decision

After interviews have been conducted, a large majority of GCC companies need less than four weeks to make the hiring decision for both managerial (84%) and non-managerial (89%) roles – and more than half (52% and 58% respectively) need less than two weeks.

Additionally, three quarters of GCC respondents claim that the hiring process for both managerial employees (75%) and non-managerial employees (78%) can last up to two months at their company, while around one third (34% and 35%) claim that it typically lasts less than one month.

According to the survey, the most popular ways to inform a candidate that they have been selected for either a managerial position or a non-managerial position in the GCC are via phone call (63% and 69%) or email (69% and 63% respectively), while email (70% and 67%) is overwhelmingly the most common way to inform a candidate if they have not been selected for the job.

In terms of improving the recruitment process, respondents looking for both managerial and non-managerial candidates in the GCC most commonly believe they would need added help from specialists for sourcing top talent CVs/profiles (37% and 38%), screening and filtering CVs/profiles (35% and 38%), and interviewing talent face-to-face (34% and 41%).

The Jobseeker Perspective

The survey also gauged insights on the hiring process from the jobseeker perspective. It found that currently employed professionals in the GCC were keen on using digital tools to find employment, as nearly two thirds (64%) of respondents created online CVs/public profiles on top job sites during their most recent job hunt, two in five (40%) used a cover letter and one quarter (26%) used a professional CV writing service.

As for the journey from recruitment to hiring, three in five (60%) GCC respondents had up to three different interviews before finding their current job and 29% had four or more interviews.

More than half (58%) of GCC respondents found their current job within three months, including one in five (18%) who found their job in less than one month. Two in five (41%) found their current job after more than three months of searching.

“The hiring practices survey is an important depiction of the region’s current techniques and tools that are used to facilitate hiring,” said, Nehal Jibouri, Head of Custom Research MENA, YouGov. “With a comprehensive overview of the hiring process, companies can better understand what works and how the process can be improved. Likewise job seekers can gain a comprehension of what their job hunt journey could look like and what tools are available for them.”
Data for the 2018 Middle East and North Africa Hiring Practices survey was collected online from 14 March 2018 to 26 April 2018. Results are based on a sample of 2,491 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan.

About is the leading job site in the Gulf and Middle East, connecting job seekers with employers looking to hire. Every day, thousands of new job vacancies are listed on the award-winning platform from the region's top employers. The portal is used by over 40,000 global employers and has a database of over 31,000,000 professionals.

Photo Captions:
1. (above)    Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solution,
2. (inset)      For illustrative purposes only (File image)



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