Hiring process can last up to two months for majority of organizations in MENA

Hiring process can last up to two months for majority of organizations in MENA
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According to new findings in the Bayt.com 'Hiring Practices in the Middle East and North Africa' survey, conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov, seven in 10 respondents in MENA claim the hiring process can last up to two months in their organization. The hiring process in the GCC tends to be longer than in North Africa, with approximately seven in 10 organizations in the GCC needing at least one month to complete a hire.

Approximately one in two companies have a three month probation period for managerial and non-managerial positions. GCC organizations (GCC: 56%, KSA: 72%, UAE: 28%, Kuwait: 72%) are more likely to use a three month probation period than those in North Africa. 

The private sector is responsible for the majority of all managerial (83%) and non-managerial (82%) hires. Specifically, multinational companies account for 26% of managerial and 28% non-managerial recruitment; large local companies account for 25% and 24% respectively; and small and medium sized companies are involved in 15% and 17% of all respective hires. 93% of respondents hiring managerial staff and 92% of those hiring non-managerial staff believe first impressions in a job interview matter.

Sources of recruitment

74% of respondents in MENA say online recruitment facilitates the hiring process of both managerial and non-managerial staff; 35% say it has facilitated it 'greatly'. However, a majority of respondents (53%) still say that they do not use an applicant tracking system during the recruitment process; 22% say they do. The usage of applicant tracking systems is higher in the GCC (27%), and especially in the UAE (40%).

Referrals appear to be the most popular source of recruitment in MENA for both managerial and non-managerial employees, with 40% of respondents involved in the hiring process of both managerial and non-managerial employees saying so.

Among users of social media channels to recruit candidates for managerial positions, 79% do so to post jobs, while 52% do so for finding candidates and another 40% for pre-interview candidate screening. On the other hand, when using social medial channels to recruit candidates for non-managerial positions, 78% do so for posting jobs, 37% for finding candidates and 35% for checking referrals.

While employee referrals may be the most popular source of recruitment of managerial employees, 67% of firms in MENA don’t offer a referral bonus, although firms in the GCC are more likely to offer a referral bonus (39%) than companies in other areas in MENA. The same is true for hiring non-managerial employees with 74% of firms in MENA saying they do not offer a referral bonus despite employee referrals being the most popular recruitment source.

Hiring managerial employees

Approximately four in 10 companies use pre-employment tests and academic certificates as methods in the hiring process. The interview (55%) is still the most popular method used in the hiring process across MENA. Interestingly, pre-screening phone interviews are more popular in the GCC compared to North Africa.

For 37% of organizations, the potential candidate for a managerial position is interviewed by three different people. Being interviewed by 'four or more people' is more likely to happen in the GCC compared to North Africa. In MENA overall, according to 46% of respondents, a typical job interview lasts 16-30 minutes; 24% say that it only lasts for up to 15 minutes.

Seven in 10 companies need two weeks to make a hiring decision, and for 73% of companies a phone call is the most popular method of informing prospective candidates they have been selected. On the other hand, when a candidate is not selected, email is the most popular (44%) way of informing them, followed closely by a phone call (41%). A higher proportion of organizations in Egypt (32%) give no notification to an unsuccessful candidate compared to other countries.

Hiring non-managerial employees

The interview (57%) is the most popular method used in the hiring process of non-managerial employees in MENA; 45% of companies use pre-employment tests; and four in 10 use academic certificates as methods in the hiring process. Interestingly, a higher proportion of organizations in the GCC use academic certificates, personality tests, reference checks, pre-screening phone interviews and work samples or portfolios during the hiring a process, compared to organizations in North Africa.

For approximately seven in 10 organizations in MENA, a non-managerial candidate is interviewed by two or three people, and the interview lasts for 30 minutes at most - for 75% of organizations.

Eight in 10 companies need two weeks to make the hiring decision, and for 74% of companies a phone call is the most popular method of informing a candidate has been selected. Organizations in North Africa tend to take less time to make a hiring decision after having interviewed all prospective candidates with over half taking less than one week to decide. This percentage is even higher for organizations in Egypt (62%). For unsuccessful candidates, a phone call (38%) is the most popular way of informing them, followed closely by an email (34%). Almost three in 10 MENA firms do not inform a candidate at all.

"With 74% of respondents saying online recruitment has facilitated the hiring process - 35% say it has facilitated it 'greatly' - it seems more and more employers are using online recruitment methods to source, screen and hire potential employees," says Elissavet Vraka, YouGov. "Potential candidates now have to ensure they have an online presence that is well-thought-out and reflective of their skills, qualifications and professional experience."

Data for the Bayt.com 'Hiring Practices in the Middle East and North Africa' survey was collected online between 5-22 May 2015, amongst 1,178 respondents from MENA countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

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