Qatar’s job market appears set for more growth, with nearly two-thirds of employers recently surveyed saying they plan to recruit staff over the next three months.
According to the Middle East Job Index Survey, which was conducted by recruitment agency bayt.com and polling group YouGov, 37 percent of Qatar’s employers said they would be “definitely hiring” within the coming quarter, while a further 24 percent were “probably hiring.”
The optimistic figures are in line with Qatar’s hiring statistics for past surveys, which are conducted every six months, but suggest that Qatar is behind some of its Gulf counterparts when it comes to staff recruiting.
For example, some 71 percent of survey respondents in Saudi Arabia said they were definitely/probably hiring in the next three months, while the figure for UAE was 67 percent. Jordan also came in ahead of Qatar, at 66 percent.
The survey of 2,279 respondents from the MENA region took place between June 10 and July 31.
Across the GCC, the findings showed that multi-national, private companies are most likely to take on new staff in the coming three months.
However, Qatar’s public sector is also growing, as 37 percent of those respondents said they were definitely hiring in the upcoming quarter (compared to the figure of 31 percent of respondents who answered affirmatively in January 2014).
Junior executive jobs
The most common positions that are expected to be filled in the coming months are junior executive roles, usually taken up by recent graduates. Some 45 percent of companies said they would be looking to bring in more recruits at this level, compared to 42 percent in March.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Qatar’s ongoing construction and infrastructure boom, civil engineers are in high demand (with 18 percent of respondents seeking to fill these positions).
Other job titles expected to be advertised in the next quarter are:
- Secretaries (16 percent);
- Receptionists (15 percent);
- Foremen (15 percent); and
- Mechanical engineers (also 15 percent).
Qatar also seems to be losing some ground to its Gulf neighbors when it comes to hiring for top management positions.
Only 2 percent of survey respondents in Qatar said they were looking to bring a new CEO on board. Some 7 percent in KSA were planning to do so, 3 percent in the UAE and 5 percent in Kuwait.
Skills and qualifications
Among the most desired qualifications in Qatar are engineering credentials (34 percent), followed by business management (23 percent) and commerce (20 percent).
Good communication skills in English and Arabic are sought after by just over half of all Qatar employers (56 percent). However, this is a requirement for some 79 percent of Saudi employers and 71 percent of Kuwaiti companies looking to hire staff.
Other key attributes Qatar employers are looking for in prospective staff include being a team player and having good leadership skills (48 percent for each).
Interestingly, many employers in Qatar appear to be looking to trim recruitment costs and reduce bureaucracy where they can, with nearly one third (31 percent) surveyed admitting they would prefer a candidate who already lives in the country.
Qatar’s hiring challenges
Construction firms have previously expressed their difficulties in attracting key professionals to Qatar, as many feel that Qatar is more expensive and offers less entertainment options that other states in the Gulf.
Added to that, Qatar faces a rising cost of living.
Consumer Price Index figures for July 2014 showed a 7.6 percent increase in rent, fuel and energy on the previous July – with the majority of the increase attributed by the Ministry of Development Planning & Statistics to ongoing hikes in residential rents.
Qatar’s population growth has also continued to put pressure on crucial services such as schools, healthcare and infrastructure.