| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Saudi Arabia jobs: hiring activity to accelerate in 2022

According to recruiting firm Hays, hiring activity in Saudi Arabia is likely to pick up in 2022, owing to a robust economic recovery from the Covid-19 outbreak and the kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative, which has already created more than half a million new employment.

According to Hays’ Saudi Arabia salary guide for 2022, optimism is at a “all-time high” in the Arab world’s largest economy, with 79 percent of employers optimistic about the business environment.

“The job market in Saudi Arabia has obviously bounced back two years after the pandemic,” said Aaron Fletcher, business manager at Hays Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.

The International Monetary Fund said Saudi Arabia’s quick response to the Covid-19 outbreak has mitigated the impact of the worldwide crisis on the country’s economy, which is now predicted to increase 4.8 percent this year after expanding 2.9 percent in 2021.

A significant recovery in the kingdom’s non-oil industry, as well as investment from the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, will support growth (PIF).

Mr Fletcher noted that “new and ongoing activities surrounding Vision 2030 and the PIF megaprojects are creating rising job possibilities, as well as several start-ups and MNCs [multinational corporations] establishing offices in the region.”

According to the General Authority for Statistics, Saudi Arabia has created 555,000 new jobs over the last four years as part of its aim to establish $1 trillion worth of new projects to satisfy its Vision 2030 objective of diversifying the economy away from oil.

The sovereign fund is a key component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project, which aims to diversify the country’s economy and reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons. The fund announced a five-year strategy in 2021, with the goal of increasing its assets to $1.07 trillion and promises to invest at least $40 billion per year in the domestic economy through 2025, creating 1.8 million employment.

In February, corporate activity in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy accelerated, shrugging aside Omicron-related concerns as new business increased amid strong consumer demand.

According to a research released in February by recruitment firm Cooper Fitch, new employment growth in the GCC region would continue to expand in 2022, fueled by sectors like cyber security, digital, real estate, and finance.

According to Cooper Fitch’s Gulf Employment Index, job creation in the region increased by 18.3% in the third quarter of last year, while growth in the fourth quarter increased by 2%, reflecting the market during the holiday season.

Meanwhile, according to the Hays survey, 80% of Saudi Arabian businesses plan to increase their personnel this year, compared to 43% in 2021.

Mr Fletcher explained, “As a developing economy, many companies are entering the market now to secure their spot and establish a market share ahead of the projected boom.”
“As a result, we’re seeing an increase in possibilities across the board.”

Business development directors and digital transformation specialists are in high demand, according to Mr Fletcher, since they have the abilities to design streamlined, automated business processes and contribute to a company’s bottom line from day one.

He noted that there is a high demand for design and pre-construction professionals to work on new building projects in the kingdom, as well as top legal professionals to close commercial deals on megaprojects.

“In general, industry qualifications, years of like-for-like experience in both local and international markets, and excellent commercial abilities for making educated business decisions” are the most in-demand candidates in Saudi Arabia, according to Mr Fletcher.

“As a result, we’ve seen the strongest demand for senior-level experts with relevant years of experience and the leadership skills to generate commercial success and deliver projects on time and on budget.”

According to the Hays survey, companies in the kingdom foresee a lack of applicants with technological and leadership capabilities in 2022, and their increased compensation reflect the fierce competition for top talent.

Mr Fletcher explained, “Competition among firms for the most highly qualified experts is strong, and salary, of course, is a key element when attempting to recruit the top talent.”

“However, businesses must consider flexible working options, professional development opportunities, and efficient onboarding processes, all of which have a substantial impact on talent acquisition.”

What are the highest paid jobs in Saudi Arabia?

  • Accountancy and finance: Chief financial officer — 90,000-140,000 Saudi riyals (per month)
  • Construction and property: Urban planning director — 60,000-100,000 riyals
  • HR: Chief human resources officer — 100,000-150,000 riyals
  • Legal: Chief legal officer — 100,000-140,000 riyals
  • Manufacturing: General manager — 70,000-90,000 riyals
  • Marketing: Chief marketing officer — 100,000-150,000 riyals
  • Oil and gas: General manager — 80,000-120,000 riyals
  • Engineering: Reservoir/exploration/production engineer — 55,000-75,000 riyals
  • Procurement and supply chain: Supply chain director/procurement director — 55,000-75,000 riyals
  • Sales: Country director — 80,000-120,000 riyals
  • Technology: Chief technology officer — 50,000-110,000 riyals

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