Mideast businesses planning to add jobs

MANAMA: As many as 89 per cent of Middle Eastern businesses are planning to increase or maintain headcount this year, according to the latest Regus Business Confidence Index.

The survey of more than 26,000 businesses across 90 countries highlighted a strong emphasis on recruiting more sales and marketing staff in the Middle East.

This positivity is in spite of a business confidence index score which has fallen in the Middle East since October last year.

Globally, the index stands at 114 points, up three points.

In the Middle East the index stands at 121 points, down 12 points from six months ago.

As many as 54pc of Middle Eastern businesses have reported revenues rose and 45pc say they increased profits over the past twelve months.

Nearly a fifth (17pc) of businesses plan to increase headcount by more than 5pc.

About 70pc think firms will hire more sales and marketing employees and 40pc highlight operational staff.

“The stand-out figures are not just that firms are looking to recruit but that their plan is to invest in sales and marketing, and this shows that companies feel it’s the right time to go out there and sell,” said Regus country manager for UAE Kory Thompson.

“These results suggest that sales and marketing professional will be in high demand in the coming months.

“Businesses need to consider how to recruit and retain the best in the field, ensuring they can remain competitive in their market.

“All trends indicate that offering flexible working will move from a ‘nice to have’ perk to a necessary condition of employment, being key to securing and retaining the best employees for any company.

“As younger people come into the workforce, they have a very different attitude to work, placing flexibility and quality of life above more traditional considerations.

“But flexible working also brings additional benefits helping businesses cut fixed office space costs and increase staff productivity,” he added.

GDN, MAy1, 2013