Non-oil revenue streams driving growth in 2020 GCC hiring market

Non-oil revenue streams driving growth in 2020 GCC hiring market

Recruitment experts Hays anticipates increased optimism for the GCC hiring market over the next 12 months, as evidenced in the findings from its 2020 GCC Salary & Employment Report.

The report found two thirds of employers expect to hire additional staff in 2020 and a significant 64% of working professionals feel positive about their career prospects for the year ahead.


“Much of this confidence stems from the continued establishment of non-oil revenue streams in the region”, says Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays in the Gulf region.

“While we do not expect job numbers to increase significantly in 2020 compared to 2019, there are certainly some new or more recently observed trends that are driving much of the momentum in the market.”

The report identifies four main areas of busy hiring over the next 12 months:

1. Technology and Digital sectors – with digital transformation a critical factor to business success the world over, organisations of all sizes and across different industries in the region continue to invest heavily in technology in order to catch up with the competition and compete on a global scale. Various events and initiatives in the GCC, such as Expo 2020, Smart Dubai 2021 and Saudi Vision 2030, are continuing to drive focus on technology, to establish the region as one of the future world leaders in technology and innovation.

2. Contracting - the hiring of workers on a temporary basis is becoming more mainstream in the GCC as margin-aware companies try to align headcount with workload. The report found 23% of organisations expect to hire contractors in 2020 and although this number is similar to previous years, it is no longer focussed within just the domain of IT. Demand for contractors is now spreading across other industries including Sales, Finance, General Management, Office Support and HR/Recruitment.

3. Emiratisation and the hiring of UAE Nationals - following implementation of policies set by the Government, there was a slight uplift year-on-year in 2019 in the number of private sector organisations hiring Emiratis in the region and this is set to continue in 2020. Within the non-private sector in Abu Dhabi, the restructuring of government entity reporting lines (split between The Department of Finance and Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company), has also seen an increase in the number of jobs available to UAE Nationals. Many of these roles are in relation to IT and technology owing to the focus on innovation in the region as mentioned above.

4. Saudi Arabia - in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Government’s aim to be a leading nation in all aspects, impetus is growing in the Kingdom and a number of business opportunities are opening up. To date, the busiest areas of hiring have been within government sector entities. Mega projects and initiatives including NEOM, Qiddiya, Amaala and The Red Sea Project have presented a large number of jobs in the Construction and Property sector and these are already having a knock-on effect with job numbers across a range of industries including Entertainments, Hospitality, Education, Medical and IT.

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