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Job security top concern of Saudis in their 30s

When it comes to job security, it is the number one concern among Saudi nationals in their thirties

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For Saudi nationals, the most important single job element is job security, followed by financial stability, good relationships with colleagues, an attractive fixed salary, good relationships with superiors, an attractive performance bonus, a good work/life balance, the employer’s reputation, the company’s values, and leadership responsibilities, a new survey led by The Boston Consulting Group revealed.

When it comes to job security, it is the number one concern among Saudi nationals in their thirties; in parallel, it is the fifth most important factor for those in the 41-45 age bracket (and presumably occupying mid-level positions).

“People holding management positions typically feel quite accomplished; more importantly, they are sought-after in the marketplace and have high-profile connections and a large network – which means they are not too worried about losing their job or being unemployed,” said Bas Van Ulden, Project Leader at BCG Middle East. “That is precisely why HR departments in Saudi Arabia will have to, over the next 10 years, work hard to find different ways to incentivize and retain their top talent.”

BCG’s study also shows that an attractive fixed salary becomes more of a priority once Saudi workers enter their forties (and family responsibilities increase).

Moreover, details related to job content and opportunities start to fade in importance as Saudi nationals grow older; maintaining good relationships with superiors, however, becomes critical.

“In general, workers in their forties have moved up the organizational chart and are more or less settled in their respective roles,” added Van Ulden. “In this particular context, it becomes increasingly imperative to form good relationships with superiors.

Why? Because this helps ensure team cohesiveness, expand growth opportunities, guarantee personal support, and boost morale. Having a flexible, supportive, and considerate ‘boss’ is absolutely one of the keys to a healthy work environment; your superior can help you get ahead, secure a raise or promotion, and push your agenda forward.”

Based on the survey results, for young Saudi nationals aged 21-30, factors related to the very nature of their work make it onto their list of top 10 priorities. These young professionals want to assume leadership responsibilities and have access to learning and development opportunities; they also want their bosses to show appreciation for their work.

“Saudi recruiters looking to tap into the national talent pool and hire more young Saudi professionals must take this into consideration,” Van Ulden noted.

The study also revealed that various factors influence the importance of the different attributes. One obvious game-changer is a worker’s age. Although having good workplace relationships is at the top of the list of desired workplace attributes among Saudi nationals between the ages of 21-30, it is the fifth highest priority for respondents aged 31-40.

This is understandable: workers lower down on the hierarchy assign more importance to their relationships with colleagues than to their relationships with superiors – exactly the opposite of higher-level managers – and they focus on factors that wouldn’t usually matter to an executive or a high-level manager.

Furthermore, low-level workers simply don’t have many opportunities to interact or connect with those at the top of the corporate ladder; as a result, they are more disengaged in that regard.

Moreover, the study showed that nationals and expatriates living in Saudi Arabia have both similar and disparate priorities when it comes to what matters most to them at work.

This article first appeared in the This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Nov. 8 , 2015.