With the prevailing economic instability in the Middle East and North Africa, the evolving labor market needs and hiring preferences, and the new technologies that are constantly introduced to this region, the business world is definitely changing, and it is expected that recruitment will change as well. Without doubt, as the year 2017 quickly unfolds, it is highly recommended that business owners, managers, recruiters, and all professionals remain abreast of such trends as it will impact what strategies and tools they will need to utilize in order to remain at the top of their game. Here are five trends that we at Bayt.com expect the recruitment industry will experience in the year 2017.
1. More millennials in the workforce
Millennials will soon account for the majority of the global workforce and will, therefore, be part of nearly every company and organization across the Middle East and North Africa. In fact, millennials already constitute the majority of employees in some companies.
Millennials are the workforce of tomorrow; they bring in fresh perspectives and bold ideas, unprecedented technology savvy-ness and mastery, and most importantly loads of dedication and hard work. This group is interested in making their workplaces more innovative and they are willing to learn and make mistakes in order to grow and develop their skills. They are the digital media generation and are capable of managing social media and other technology-heavy roles better than any other generation.
According to the Bayt.com Millennials in the Middle East and North Africa survey, millennials are willing to sacrifice more hours from their personal life in order to further their career. Organizations that wish to attract and retain young talent will need to recruit this cohort of hard-working, digital natives and ensure that their journey throughout hiring and onboarding is supported by active engagement, learning and development opportunities, a friendly environment, and a distinguished employer brand for them to associate with and truly belong to.
2. Low-cost training
Today, employees everywhere are eager to build solid career trajectories and advance their professional development. According to the 2016 Bayt.com Career Development in the Middle East and North Africa survey, a lack of career development prospects can radically make or break employee engagement and retention. Many employees feel that their company is failing when it comes to equipping them with the learning and training opportunities needed to ensure their career growth, and this consequently leaves them feeling stifled in their jobs. In fact, the majority (78%) of respondents say that they would leave their company for better training opportunities.
Training and development opportunities in the past have not reflected what employees actually need, according to the Bayt.com Career Development in the Middle East and North Africa survey. For instance, while considered relatively more important, a smaller proportion of MENA employees received training in management development, leadership, time management and foreign languages. Designing solutions for employee engagement starts with listening to their goals and needs.
One in two professionals (47%) have not formally set any development plans with their manager in the Middle East and North Africa. The great majority (95%) of those not having set any development plan would like to have one. Almost one in two current employees state that training by external professional trainers (47%), followed by seminars at professional institutes (43%), certified study programs (40%) and company trainings by internal teams (40%) are the most preferred training methods.
With the proliferation of online learning and assessment tools, businesses in 2017 no longer have to pay exorbitant amounts for training their employees and expanding their skills and knowledge database. Companies and professionals who are looking for better career development opportunities and chances to learn and grow can now do so cost-effectively using learning platforms such as Bayt.com’s online courses and tests, many of which are free of charge. There are also numerous research reports and career support articles that are available on Bayt.com for all professionals in the MENA to make use of.
3. Big data
Companies that want to gain a competitive edge and have a more methodological approach to talent management are more commonly using analytics to collect data-driven insights and then taking action to refine their recruitment, compensation and retention strategies. Companies are now collecting all sorts of data that come from a variety of sources; ranging from performance numbers and attendance, to job satisfaction surveys and tracking employee life events. Today, more and more companies are making use of Bayt.com’s flagship product, Talentera, and similar breakthroughs in online recruitment, to help them make better sense of their data.
Such companies are aware of the importance of using analytics to outline trends in the job market and improve their recruitment and talent retention strategies. Not only is there a lot of employee data that is becoming readily available this year, but HR teams have started to understand what to do with it. Indeed, collecting and analyzing HR data requires a deep understanding of analytics and data science.
Not only do resources such as Talentera provide a comprehensive recruitment solution, through which employers can create branded career channels to source, track, assess, and hire professionals, right through their own websites, but using such platforms also enables employers to track their applicants’ information including skills, background as well as previous engagements with the recruitment team. Such information is very essential for taking the right and efficient decisions throughout the recruitment process.
Applicant tracking is also important for centralizing the information and making it more accessible for all stakeholders within the organization, such as hiring managers and talent on-boarding professionals. Applicant tracking systems can help all constituents share their feedback about the applicant in real-time, greatly expedite requisition approvals, and generate real-time reports and updates. Making use of such data in 2017 will lead to a more seamless recruitment experience that is faster and more reliable at the same time.
4. Employee engagement
Organizations are focusing more and more on achieving high levels of employee engagement. The reason for this is simple: engaged employees drive the innovation, growth and revenue that companies need in order to thrive. In fact, engaged employees tend to be more satisfied at their jobs and are likely to remain in their companies for longer periods of time. Managers should not only encourage transparency, but also promote open communication channels and foster a feeling of corporate citizenship across their organizations.
According to Bayt.com Career Development in the Middle East and North Africa, career development is seen as one of the most important factors for employee retention. The great majority of professionals (82%) would leave their current company for better training opportunities. The lack of motivation (38%), followed by no clear objectives (31%) are the most mentioned internal barriers for career development. This is where employee engagement comes into effect, as employers interested in increasing engagement, and subsequently satisfaction and retention, in 2017, there would be a need to adopt open communication practices and feedback tools. Encourage employees to draw their own career map; by inputting their objectives and painting a picture of where they would like to take their career in 2017 and the years ahead.
While almost half (48%) of those surveyed in the 2016 Bayt.com Middle East and North Africa Salary survey, said loyalty to their company is linked to the salary they receive at least to some extent, a considerable proportion (35%) claimed their loyalty is not linked to the salary they receive. Indeed, employers are recommended to continue navigating market averages and salary reports for 2017 to ensure equitable salaries.
However, employers should also explore other factors that influence employee loyalty. Retention may be impacted by employee’s lack of job security. As seen in the 2016 Bayt.com Stress in the MENA Workplace poll, 62.9% of professionals are concerned they may lose their jobs very soon. Such insecurities are valid factors for stress and low retention, and employers should aim to address them in 2017.
5. Employee health and wellness
With the increasing importance of healthy lifestyles, many companies have started offering and investing in wellness programs to ensure their employees are satisfied, healthy and productive. According to the 2016 Bayt.com Health and Lifestyle in the Middle East and North Africa poll, over 87% of professionals in the region say they would be more likely to exercise if their companies offered gym subscription.
Professionals who are happy and healthy will exert more effort to give back to the company, so make sure your employees are always well cared for. It is not simply a wish for employees to have companysponsored wellness programs. In fact, 96% of polled respondents believe that it is the employer’s responsibility to promote employees’ health and wellness. In the upcoming years, wellness programs will be increasingly instrumental in influencing employees’ happiness and performance. Therefore, we recommend employers to take early advantage of this rising trend.