(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Employers in the Middle East and North Africa region have revealed that it is a challenge to find experienced candidates with the skill sets that they require especially when it comes to hiring for senior and mid-to-junior-level positions.
When asked about the difficulty of finding specific skills in senior candidates Mena employers said that creative thinking; critical thinking and problem-solving; adaptability/managing multiple priorities; international work experience; and leadership skills were the top skills that candidates lacked. The information comes from Bayt.com's recent "Skills Gap in the Middle East and North Africa" survey which was conducted in conjunction with YouGov. "It is really interesting that the skills gap in the Middle East is not one of technical skills but of soft skills. 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" said Suhail Masri vice-president of employer solutions at Bayt.com. "Often the classic markers of competence such as work history education credentials and the like are not the only pointers to professional leadership. It is well-thought-out intelligent and original content related to areas of interest and expertise that can make people shine." Among employers looking to hire in the Mena the highest demand can be seen for entry-level positions such as junior executives and executives at 52 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. A healthy 10 per cent of employers surveyed are currently searching for director-level candidates. While GCC employers show a greater need for senior executives coordinators and managers the higher demand for entry-level positions was largely consistent across the region. In terms of job roles sales positions are most in demand with 20 per cent of employers saying that they are looking for sales executives; and 16 per cent say they're looking for sales managers. Other in-demand positions are: project managers at 15 per cent; engineers at 14 per cent mechanical and 13 per cent electrical; accountants at 12 per cent; and administrative assistants at 12 per cent. When asked to rate the importance of various skills when looking to hire for senior versus mid-level or junior positions employers across the region have higher expectations of senior hires. Collaboration/teamwork at 88 per cent efficiency at 87 per cent communication skills at 85 per cent overall personality and demeanor at 85 per cent leadership qualities at 84 per cent the ability to work under pressure at 84 per cent and planning/organisational skills at 84 per cent are regarded as the most important attributes in a senior hire. These skills were also among the most valued for mid- to junior-level positions however to a lesser degree: efficiency at 81 per cent communication skills at 80 per cent collaboration/teamwork at 80 per cent and the ability to work under pressure at 79 per cent were also valued. -