Stock - UAE jobs
73 per cent of job seekers feel they are in a strong negotiating position when looking for a job. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Busting a major recruitment myth, a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network has revealed that 76 per cent of UAE jobseekers still want to work the traditional five-day workweek. This proves false the notion that conventional day jobs are increasingly becoming obsolete, to be replaced by part-time solutions, gigs, and side projects.

“Perhaps they are satisfying the appetite for flexibility by taking advantage of opportunities for hybrid work, which blends time in the office with time working remotely,” read the report. What’s more? Hybrid work is also losing its sheen. A majority of respondents in the UAE (58 per cent) cited full-time office presence as their work model of preference.

The survey, titled ‘What Job Seekers Wish Employers Knew’ released on Monday, highlights that despite a possible economic slowdown experienced globally, the UAE is experiencing a significant boom. At least 82 per cent of UAE employees are approached multiple times yearly about new job opportunities, and 57 per cent are approached monthly.

The study is based on a survey that explores job seekers’ recruitment preferences in major markets, including the UAE.

What candidates want

The survey’s findings reveal that compensation and work-life balance are valued as the number one priority for UAE employees when building an ideal career path.

“It’s not easy to win over top talent. A strong offer is not enough; 41 per cent of candidates in the UAE would refuse a good offer if they had a negative experience during recruitment. Most talents (67 per cent) imagine their ideal career in a stable job with a good work-life balance and time for family, friends and hobbies. However, a main deal breaker when looking for a job is still financial compensation,” said Dr Christopher Daniel, Managing Director and Senior Partner, BCG Middle East.

Top jobs in demand

The survey reveals that the most coveted candidates are those working in health and social care, digital, and public service, followed by those in administration, business management and financial services. Engineers and IT professionals receive the fewest offers, likely due to the global slowdown in the field of technology.

In addition, 73 per cent of job seekers feel they are in a strong negotiating position when looking for a job, a figure that runs five per cent higher than the global average, where only 14 per cent feel that employers hold the reins in job offer negotiations, next to 12 per cent in the UAE.

Confidence is highest among teachers, and IT professionals and lowest among those in administration, business management and healthcare.