This is where candidates look for the hottest jobs in the UAE
Nearly half (42.6 per cent) in Bayt.com's poll say that they use their smartphones to browse or search for jobs online.
Dubai - Job-seekers prefer online searches; smartphones most popular tool
The vast majority of people in the region use online job sites to look for work (36.8 per cent), according to a new poll by Bayt.com entitled "Job Search Challenges in the Middle East and North Africa".
This is followed by company social media pages (11.9 per cent), company websites (4.7 per cent), personal networking (3.1 per cent), newspapers and magazines (2.2 per cent) and "other" (5.6 per cent); 35.7 per cent of respondents claim to use "all of the above" methods.
When it comes to why respondents from the Middle East and North Africa prefer using online job sites, more than one quarter (28.7 per cent) said that online job sites' best service is that it allows free, fast, and easy access to all available jobs. Other job site benefits loved by respondents include the aggregation of all available jobs in one place (17.9 per cent), allowing professional networking (15.2 per cent) and the availability of easy online management tools for job search activities (11.4 per cent).
Nearly half (42.6 per cent) say that they use their smartphones to browse or search for jobs online, while an additional 26 per cent use their smartphones to search for jobs, network with other professionals, create a CV or cover letter, and fill out online job applications. Almost nine in every 10 (85.5 per cent) agree that social media has changed the way people search for jobs.
"When Bayt.com was created, we set out our mission of - and plan for - creating an institution that empowers people in the Middle East and North Africa with the tools and information to lead their lifestyle of choice," said Suhail Masri, vice-president of employer solutions at Bayt.com. "We have made it clear that we will work constantly to create an easy-to-use platform that connects both companies and professionals in one place. Today, we are proud of providing over 10,000 job opportunities to job seekers on any given day, connecting over 26 million professionals with employers, alongside the many tools that help people in the region with career planning, networking, and learning."
A large majority (91 per cent) of Mena professionals agree that networking plays a key role in the job search, with more than one quarter (28.5 per cent) stating that they "strongly agree". Whether they're connecting with other professionals via smartphones, social media, or online job sites, respondents undoubtedly see the importance of this particular method.
There's certainly no deficit in commitment when it comes to investing the time and effort into the job search. More than half (51.7 per cent) of the respondents spend between one and four hours per day looking for jobs, while nearly one-third (28.9 per cent) spend more than four hours per day on the search.
After applying for jobs, more than half (59.7 per cent) of respondents wait one week or less to follow up with employers. The most challenging aspects of searching for jobs are communicating with employers (36.3 per cent), understanding the job requirements (25.6 per cent), and uploading/sending the required documents (20 per cent). Moreover, nearly half (40.6 per cent) of respondents feel that finding relevant jobs is the most difficult part of the job search.
There are other factors that contribute to job search challenges in the Mena. Three-quarters (75.2 per cent) of respondents agree that their geographical location affects their employment opportunities, and for nearly one third (31.7 per cent) of respondents, a shortage of jobs in the market is the largest barrier to landing a job. Additionally, one-fifth (20.1 per cent) think that job seekers lack the necessary skills that employers are looking for.
In order to make their job search less challenging, more than one third (37.3 per cent) of Mena professionals say that they need support in locating more relevant job opportunities, while another third (36.2 per cent) think that they need support in creating a CV and a public profile.
Masri added: "As the Middle East continues to be plagued by one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, we multiply our effort to find more and more opportunities for job seekers. Bayt.com collaborates with many universities and local government entities around the Middle East to tackle these challenges today, and we are constantly conducting polls and speaking to our members to understand how we can improve our tools to better connect them with companies. Today, the Bayt.com team is proud to work on numerous free products that empower professionals to build their CVs, network with others, and enhance their skills.
Data for the 2016 Bayt.com poll was collected online from September 19 to October 18; results were based on a sample of 8,608 respondents. Countries that participated are the UAE, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and others.