Saudi, UAE workforce confidence on right track despite economic challenges: LinkedIn

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The Saudi workforce is showing signs of confidence in the market despite the ongoing global economic uncertainty, new research from LinkedIn showed.

The findings, which were released on Tuesday, noted that 68 percent of the Saudi workforce is confident in securing new jobs despite the slowing hiring levels across Europe and the Middle East in 2022 compared to 2021.

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Eleven percent, however, lacked this confidence while 73 percent said they were considering switching jobs in 2023 despite their confidence in their current role.

Conducted by market research consultancy Censuswide between December 9 and December 19, 2022, the research surveyed 22,985 workers aged above 18, from the US, UK, Germany, France, India, Singapore, The Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Japan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.

LinkedIn noted that that there are three main reasons behind these results: Employees are considering a higher salary, a flexible work-life balance and they believe that they can land better roles.

As for employees within their existing jobs, the research showed that around 73 percent of the Saudi workforce have shown increased confidence in seeking promotions and new opportunities with their current employers.

“[Meanwhile,] only 7 percent [are] feeling less of it, and over 7 in 10 [are] feeling confident about pushing for a pay raise,” the findings showed.

UAE workforce

The LinkedIn survey also reflected the workforce status in the United Arab Emirates where it showed that “74 percent of UAE professionals are confident in securing a new role, with just 10 percent saying that they lack this confidence.” The survey also said that the same 74 percent say they are confident in pushing for promotions within their existing jobs.

This comes despite a hiring slowdown by 10.1 percent for the month of December 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

“Despite the increase in confidence to grow in their current role, 77 percent of professionals are considering changing their job in 2023,” the survey said adding that the main reasons and incentives for this are similar to the Saudi workforce.

Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn MENA and EMEA growth hub, said that despite the challenges, the workforce in Saudi Arabia and the UAE knows its worth and is working accordingly.

“Despite economic uncertainty and the slump in global hiring that’s trickled its way into the region, we’re still seeing a significant number of professionals looking to either grow within their organizations or switch jobs in 2023,” Matar said, noting that many are driven by the desire for bigger salaries to meet the increasing living cost.

“Workforces clearly know their value within the job market and are taking charge of their career by investing in new skills,” he said. “It’s clear that since the pandemic, professionals have become much more resilient and we’re seeing this in their confidence to tackle the year ahead.”

Work flexibility key driver for career shift

Work flexibility is considered to be an important factor in the career path for many employees.

The survey showed that despite the employees’ confidence in their career prospects, there are still concerns on job security as well as the preference for a remote working option.

In the UAE and Saudi Arabia, 72 percent and 64 percent, respectively, of the employees surveyed said “that, if offered a new job or promotion that requires them to be in the office full time, they would decline the opportunity in favor of a hybrid or remote work policy,” according to the survey.

Millennials vs Gen Z

The findings also touched on the different career approach between millennials and Gen Z. It observes that the millennials have a higher tendency to switch jobs in 2023 and have a 15 percent more confidence in job searching than Gen Z.

The survey says that this can be explained by the fact that “81 percent of the millennial age group feels that their employer is not invested in them, which is almost 25 percent greater than similar concerns expressed by Gen Z.”

Millennials, it added, feel undervalued at work where a number of them no longer feel motivated enough to work as they feel underpaid.

As for Gen Z, the findings reflect a hesitation in seeking new opportunities due to the current economic challenges; hence, leading to an increased worry about job security.

“This distress could be a leading factor in them feeling 6 percent less committed to their current jobs than millennials, with external commitments taking priority over work.”

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