Gulf youths find financial sector alluring for jobs

JEDDAH — Saudi youths and those in the other Gulf countries find the financial sector alluring for jobs, according to GulfTalent.com, an online employment service for the Gulf region. With the spurt in banking and financial activities and moves to facilitate opening of foreign banks in the Kingdom, coupled with attractive pay packages, no wonder educated Saudis looking for jobs are turning to this sector.

By From Our Correspondent

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Published: Fri 10 Mar 2006, 10:54 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:32 PM

According to GulfTalent.com, one in every eight online job searches was related to the banking sector. In the final quarter of last year, 'banking' was the single most popular keyword that was searched by online jobseekers. Other related keywords included 'insurance,' 'finance,' 'risk,' 'compliance,' 'Takaful,' and 'private equity.'

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has reported an increase in the number of employees recruited in the past two years, which was more pronounced last year. The increase was said to be necessitated by the bank's expansion plans and NCB's shift from conventional banking to Islamic banking.

Still, banks face the problem of qualified people in certain departments and at some levels. GulfTalent.com said banks faced the greatest challenge recruiting locals with the right expertise at the corporate and investment levels.

It said the other areas include private banking, corporate finance, compliance, and certain specialisations within Islamic banking. Compliance is a major growth area, driven by the rising use of technology and Internet in banking, greater exposure of regional banks to international markets as well as the increasingly stringent international regulations post-9/11.

While the NCB met a majority of its staff requirements by hiring Saudis, it had o fill up some highly specialised positions with non-Saudis because of scarcity of qualified locals. This has forced the banks to look further afield. According to GulfTalent.com many are advertising in international financial publications to lure top talent from Europe, and the United States. Also, some banks are resorting to 'poaching' staff from local or regional competitors.

With the entry of foreign banks and investment houses, which are run from other Gulf countries, competition is getting tough.But there is no denying the fact that employer preference is for Saudis in the Kingdom.



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