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90 Percent of GCC Jobs are Posted Online: Study

Middle East : 12 July 2012

Source: The Saudi Gazette

A study conducted on 20 Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) companies hiring from the Middle East and Southeast Asia revealed that 90 percent of new hires were employed after they responded to online job vacancies.

The study, conducted by Hiring Solutions Company, reviewed 1.1 million applications during the last 6 months of 2011. The study then focused on 6,193 hires that resulted from these applications in order to find out the channels through which new hires got their jobs.

45 percent of all applicants said they learned about a vacancy through the employer’s website. The study noted that the majority of employers do not use the Internet to consistently advertise openings. However, the study predicted that more employers will rely on the Internet to draw new hires in the coming years as industry figures show that job seekers are increasingly turning to social media when searching for vacancies.

Channels of applying included online websites, job fairs, and employment agencies. However, social media, despite all its popularity in the Middle East, produced an unexpectedly low 1.5 percent of applications of which only 0.4 percent were hired. Other channels that yielded poor results among recruiters were career fairs and newspapers.

What came as an unexpected result however, was that 23 percent of hires came from employer talent pools (recruitment databases used by companies). Some of the organizations in the study had hired up to 40 percent of their employees this way.

Although the original source of talent-pool hires vary, the quality of these candidates are high as they have already been reviewed, rated and sometimes shortlisted through previous application processes. As companies have become more web-savvy, the need for recruitment agencies has greatly diminished, thus decreasing costs. However, there were times when organizations relied on recruitment agencies as evidenced by the 6 percent of new hires that came via such agencies.

Employee referrals proved to be a very effective recruitment channel. Although they only accounted for 2 percent of applications, they produced 16 percent of hires.

The study recommended that companies post vacancies on their official websites, increase web traffic, build a talent pool, and promote employee referrals. It also noted that although job boards only accounted for 4 percent of hires, it is still useful for employers wishing to recruit online.

The jobs advertised varied from positions of drivers and cleaners to mid-level executives and senior managers. The employers were from a wide range of industries such as oil and gas, retail, hospitality, IT, telecommunications, energy, banking, technology, construction, healthcare, and education.

On average, employers in the study received 180 applications for each job opening, and are often left with a surplus of qualified candidates which they flag in their system for future hiring needs. Some employers in the study have millions of applicants in their talent pool.

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