Paolo Soro

Jobs in demand in UAE right now: 20% of companies looking for sales executives

You’ve sent out dozens of application letters, walked into a number of companies to drop your CV and got called into interviews, but until now you haven’t got a single job offer.

What could you have possibly done wrong? Chances are you have actually not given a thought whether or not you’ve got what the employers are looking for. “Most people just mindlessly send applications without thinking they even qualify,” a recruiter said.

A job portal has recently polled more than 5,000 respondents, including employers in the UAE and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), to find out why job seekers are struggling to land a job offer.

More than a third (34 per cent) of those polled between March 3 and March 22, 2016 said the main reason is that candidates “do not know what the employers are looking for”.  In the UAE, more hiring experts (42 per cent) cited the same reason.

Another contributing factor is that schools in the region don’t actually teach students the skills they need to enter the job market, according to 22 per cent of the survey participants.

In order to help candidates successfully navigate the job market, Bayt.com, which conducted the study, asked companies what they really want and what difficulties they’re facing when looking for a new talent.

Based on the employers’ responses, there’s a very high demand for entry-level positions right now, with more than half (52 per cent) looking for qualified candidates to fill junior executives and 30 per cent searching for executives.

About 10 per cent of companies said they are looking for director-level applicants. Within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, organisations “show a greater need” for senior executives, coordinators and managers.

“The higher demand for entry-level positions was largely consistent across the region,” Bayt.com said.

In terms of job roles, the most in demand are sales positions, with 20 per cent of hiring companies saying they’re looking for sales executives and 16 per cent on the lookout for qualified sales managers.

Also in demand are project managers (15 per cent), mechanical engineers (14 per cent), electrical engineers (13 per cent), accountants (12 per cent) and administrative assistants (12 per cent).

But before you start sending out your CV, it may be a good idea to determine if you can offer your potential employer the complete package. According to the study, companies don't just hire someone because they've got the required hard skills - they also look for certain attributes that are critical for the role.

Employers surveyed for the study said that they struggle to locate candidates with the required skill sets, especially when hiring for senior and mid-to-junior roles.

When asked what specific skills many candidates are often lacking, the majority (63 per cent) cited creative thinking and problem solving, while 60 per cent pointed to international work experience and 59 per cent highlighted leadership skills.

“It is really interesting that the skills gap in the Middle East is not one of technical skills, but of soft skills,” said Suhail Masri, vice president of employer solutions, Bayt.com. “To add to the challenge, it’s much easier to assess and qualify a candidate based on his or her technical skills, as opposed to soft skills.”

Source: Gulf News

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