Dubai: It’s almost the end of 2016, and a lot of people are most likely looking for a new job right now. As a new survey suggests, nearly six in ten (55 per cent) professionals in the UAE anticipate moving to another company in 2017.

If you’re one of those workers who are raring to dive into the job market next year, it pays to look at the latest recruitment trends – find out what companies are looking for, what jobs are highly sought after and where head hunters look for new hirees.

According to LinkedIn’s “Middle East and North Africa Recruiting Trends 2017,” attracting new recruits will remain a key focus for organisations across the UAE and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

Understandably, HR managers will be even busier, as the spotlight will be on the quality of recruitment. LinkedIn revealed that jobs pertaining to operations, sales and engineering will be the highest priority roles to fill next year.

“The demand for operations, sales and engineering talent is so prevalent that recruiting teams in [the region] have to start thinking more strategically about how to find and recruit these talent pools,” said Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn talent solutions for growth markets, southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

LinkedIn, in a separate report, had also earlier revealed the top skills that companies want most in job applicants. Topping the list is statistical analysis and data mining, followed by public policy and international relations, algorithm design, web architecture and development framework and SEO/SEM marketing, in the top five.

Other HR experts are  also predicting a surge in hiring of professionals with background and experience in the registration/collection of value-added tax (VAT), as the implementation draws near.

While candidates in certain fields can anticipate job offers, employers will also be busier than usual in 2017. According to LinkedIn's recruitment trends report, which looked into the survey responses of more than 170 corporate talent acquisition leaders across Mena, most companies, or 60 per cent of recruiters, expect their hiring volumes to increase in 2017, while only about a third (29 per cent) expect the opposite to happen.

As to where companies will first look in order to hire new employees, online networking sites are the best place to promote your CV, with 57 per cent of recruiters saying that social media networks will be the favourite place to discover the right candidate, while 52 per cent will rely on employee referrals and 31 per cent will keep up to date with online job portals.

The top skills of 2016 in UAE (which can also get you hired next year)

1.      Statistical analysis and data mining

2.      Public policy and international relations

3.      Algorithm design

4.      Web architecture and development framework

5.      SEO/SEM marketing

6.      Middleware and integration software

7.      User interface design

8.      Renewable and sustainable energy

9.      Mining and commodities

10.   Corporate law and governance

Source: LinkedIn