Saudi employers lagging behind tech-savvy candidates: LinkedIn

New light shed on challenges for employers looking for people to hire

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Some employers in Saudi Arabia are still relying on platform such as their own website and online career websites, as well as print media to find candidates, LinkedIn said in its new study into KSA’s “talent gap”. The report noted though that professionals, on the other hand, have flocked online and are engaging employers on professional social networks, with print media being the least-used channel for job hunters.

The study, which sampled 300 employers and 1,500 job seekers in the GCC, sheds new light on the challenges and opportunities faced by those searching for jobs, and employers looking for people to hire. At the core of the findings was the stark gap between where employers look for talent and where professionals are looking for jobs.

Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, MENA, said: “Talent is the number one contributor to company success. If employers are unable to find and attract the best candidates to their organization then they will struggle. This study shows that, while more and more employers are effectively engaging candidates through social media, many aren’t keeping up with the advances in technology and could be missing out on key hires. The most striking fact is the mismatch between how information on available jobs is communicated, and how job-seekers prefer to go about finding these jobs.”

Underlining this mismatch, 72 percent of KSA employers say it is hard to find a candidate who possesses all the required skills and qualifications to fill a particular vacancy. More than 62 percent of KSA companies included in the survey said that it takes a lot of time and cost to fill vacancies in their organization.

Matar added: “Online professional networks such as LinkedIn are the preferred search method for job-seekers in KSA, so should be the first place employers turn. More and more companies are realizing this and proactively engaging LinkedIn’s audience of 14 million professionals in the MENA region.”

Wassim Eid, Chief Human Resources Officer at luxury brand company, Chalhoub Group, said: “Identifying, engaging and attracting the right talent for our organization is a key competitive differentiator for us and one that is central to our companies’ success. Having recently passed 50,000 followers on the platform, LinkedIn has helped us to build a powerful Employer Brand within our sector, and is helping us to attract a high caliber of candidate. Together with its powerful search tools that allow us to identify the professionals with the right skills and experience, LinkedIn allows us to access those individuals much faster than traditional recruitment methods.”

Key Findings:

• Employers are still using traditional recruiting methods to communicate available jobs, while the majority of jobseekers are turning to professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn

• The majority of employers (68 percent) rely on their own websites to communicate vacancies, even as the clear trend is for ‘social recruiting’

• Seventy two percent of KSA employers responding to the study agreed that is hard to find candidates who possess all the required skills and qualifications

• Seventy five percent of job-seekers and professionals believe that there are many who currently hold jobs that do not match their skills and qualifications — SG

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 22, 2015.

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