Seven Recruitment Trends In the Middle East

Posted on 17 January 2022

​According to the latest HSBC Navigator report, three out of four companies in the UAE rank finding the right talent for their organization as crucial to their growth plans.

Therefore, understanding what is coming and how to react to it has now become one of the vital skills for businesses. Identifying new trends and the existing ones that are getting stronger makes it easier to evolve and become even more efficient despite the global setup. 

Here are seven ongoing and emerging trends in the Middle that should have a big impact on your recruiting strategy in 2022. 


The Mercer Report says that employers in the Middle East are set to go on a hiring spree in 2022 and raise salaries by an average 4% as demand for jobs picks up amid the post-coronavirus economic recovery. This is just one of the trends revealed in the report. 

The report highlights the increased competition that resulted from a shortage of employees with certain skills. Therefore, employers need to readdress their compensation and benefit strategies in order to attract and retain employees with in-demand skills. 

Flexible working

Attracting and retaining employees will also require an increased focus on flexible working policies such as hybrid or remote working. A survey by LinkedIn found that remote job postings have more than doubled in the UAE as companies adapt to changing preferences in the workforce caused by the pandemic.

As reported by HSBC, 97% of surveyed business leaders in the Middle East agree that optimal work arrangements in the future will include some form of remote working. This also seems to be aligned with the global trends with 95% of executives envisioning a hybrid working model in their workplace strategies.

Competitive markets in the Middle East call for organizations to keep their employees happy by providing flexible working models and in order to maintain a strong proposition as an employer, they must continue to “go the extra mile.”


Today, professionals looking to build solid career trajectories and advance their professional development are finding that lack of opportunities in rapidly expanding economies like the Middle East region end up negatively impacting employee loyalty and retention.

However, some organisations are failing to equip employees with the training opportunities needed for their growth, which has led many employees feeling stifled by their jobs. For example, only 50% of UAE companies are supporting employees with digital skills training, and 44% of executives are providing work-life balance programs to prepare them for the future of hybrid working.

Additionally, the biggest concern for business leaders is that employees working from home may feel it is harder to climb the career ladder, the LinkedIn survey found.

Time-to fill

Job vacancies in the demands of a volatile economy can take a lot of time. According to the ‘Skills and Hiring Trends in the MENA’. of the MENA companies surveyed, 48% take one to three months to fill a vacancy.

Technology has definitely democratized the labour market. It has emerged not only as a faster, easier, and more effective way to source top talent, but it has also proved to be an efficient tool to manage the entire recruitment process in start-ups. With the technologies made available today, companies can now search through millions of CVs and narrow them down to the exact candidate they are after.

Employee branding

The ‘Arab World Online’ survey has revealed that 78 percent of professionals in the Middle East spend more than two hours on the Internet every day.

Recruiting talent online certainly has its advantages; 88% of professionals polled on reported they would consider an offer from an employer with a strong online presence. but it can reach its full potential only if you dedicate enough time and efforts to build a strong employer brand

Social Networking

Professional networking websites are the new frontier in online recruitment and a top choice for identifying leaders in their area of expertise, especially at the senior end of the career spectrum.

This could be attributed to the fact that 81% of professionals feel that these platforms provide a way for employers and job seekers to engage together and exchange views and know-how

Collaborative hiring

The way of thinking about the hiring of recent recruits, where more than just the HR representative is involved in the decision-making process, is definitely a trend on the rise. The practice of involving multiple team members in the hiring process is definitely a trend on the rise. The collaborative model has proved to have positive effects on the hiring results and on team satisfaction and employee retention.

The 2022 lookout

The pandemic was a “call to action” for organisations to update and reset their future of work agendas, to be more relevant and inclusive in a post-pandemic world, and create a reimagined future of work for all.

What that future of work looks like depends on the organisation; it will definitely be more fluid, agile, and involve greater employee choice. We believe in building a more people-centric leadership culture, promoting colleague wellness and being more aware of and sensitive to mental wellbeing, empowering our colleagues to deliver in a hybrid environment, promoting diversity, and enhancing the digital experience for both colleagues and clients.


Binding Partnerships successfully supports the financial industry across GCC with their efforts to attract talent to their organisations. If talent attraction, succession planning, or hiring the right staff is a problem facing your business, please get in touch with our recruitment experts today.

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