Employers in Saudi Arabia are planning to ramp up hiring in the next 12 months after a near two-year pandemic, according to a Hays survey. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Employers in Saudi Arabia are planning to ramp up hiring in the next 12 months after a near two-year pandemic, according to a Hays survey.

Optimism is at an all-time high in Saudi Arabia with 79 per cent of employers feeling positive about the outlook for business this year and the majority planning to increase headcount in the next 12 months, the report said.

The survey found that a record 80 per cent of employers intend to increase their workforce numbers in 2022, up on 43 per cent who did so in 2021 and 29 per cent in 2020. “Two years on from the pandemic, the job market in Saudi Arabia has certainly bounced back,” said Aaron Fletcher, Business Manager at Hays Saudi Arabia.

“New and ongoing initiatives surrounding Vision 2030 and the PIF mega projects are driving growing opportunities in the job market, as well as multiple start-ups and MNCs establishing headquarters in the region,” said Fletcher.

“As an emerging economy, many companies are entering the market now to secure their place and establish a market share ahead of the anticipated boom. As a result, we are seeing opportunities pick up across all sectors,” he added.


Candidates most in-demand in Saudi Arabia include those with industry qualifications, years of like-for-like experience in both local and international markets, and strong commercial skills for making informed business decisions.

The report noted that demand was highest for senior-level professionals, who are equipped with the relevant years of experience and who have the leadership capabilities to drive commercial success and deliver projects on budget and to time.

Job roles most in-demand include business development directors, who can contribute to the organisation’s bottom line from day one of being in role; digital transformation specialists, who have the skills and expertise to implement streamlined, automated business processes; design and pre-construction professionals; senior legal professionals, with demand coming largely from mega projects where there are a significant number of business transactions taking place; and talent acquisition specialists

When it came to skill availability, ‘Technology’ and’ Managerial / Leadership’ skills were the two areas employers said they expected to face the greatest shortage of candidates in 2022. “It is not surprising then that salaries listed for these roles are relatively high versus others detailed in the report,” said Fletcher.

“Competition amongst employers for the most highly skilled professionals is fierce and salary, of course, is a big factor when looking to attract the top talent. That being said, flexible working options, career development opportunities and efficient onboarding processes all have significant impacts on talent attraction and must be considered by employers” he added