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  • Noor Elqaq

Top Things to Know About Recruitment in the Middle East

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

The Middle East has witnessed fast-paced growth over the years and has become a sought-after destination for job seekers. The market is very competitive and even more so in sectors that are in high demand, namely the fashion and tourism industries. Other popular industries include the oil and banking industries, which offer competitive positions and high salaries. While looking for a job in the Middle East may seem exciting, it is worth mentioning that the area faces its unique challenges.

Growing Economy

The rapidly growing economies in the MENA region have led to the creation of many jobs, but not many qualified candidates to do them. As a result, recruiters seek talented individuals outside the region to fill these vacancies.

This is a challenge in the Gulf as governments continue to push for workforce localization, hoping to achieve a balanced labor market. In the UAE’s case, HR managers are struggling to implement the new rules around localization and find it easier to scout talent from abroad. There is an imbalance in the ratio of local to expatriate employees; the bulk of employees are expatriates, while only 5% of locals make up the workforce.

Salaries and benefits

Employee benefits attract quality candidates to the Gulf, where salaries are tax-free, and health insurance is mandatory for all employees.

Included in the package is a yearly flight home and a company gratuity (i.e., housing and transport allowance and pension). While these rules generally apply, the terms may differ from one company to another. Job seekers are always encouraged to touch base with their employer before proceeding with any job application.

Challenges in the region

The recruitment process in the Middle East is slow. According to a poll done by, it can take a company as long as 3 months to fill a job vacancy. Other obstacles that potential foreign employees could face are visa-related.

Because so many of the employees are foreigners, reserving talent within the company is another challenge in the MENA region. Oftentimes, expatriates will work in the region temporarily before they move back to their homeland. The circumstances regarding visas make it difficult for those who want to stay long-term.

Recruitment process

Recruiters today heavily rely on professional networking websites such as LinkedIn. They are a great way to connect with professionals from different backgrounds and can identify suitable candidates easily. These websites are particularly helpful in filling job vacancies for senior positions.

These new tools allow companies to sift through thousands of resumes and pick the candidate that ticks all their boxes. By using filters, they can narrow down the candidates based on their skills, certifications, their location, and more.

Nowadays, the recruitment process involves more than one person. This approach has improved team satisfaction and has yielded positive feedback in hiring results.


Recruiting freelancers is another rising trend in the MENA region. It is seen as an accessible option for both the employer and the employee. Full-time employees are expensive, and hiring freelancers allows companies to reduce costs. On the flip side, professionals benefit from a work-from-home arrangement and find that it allows them more flexibility.

If you are looking for recruitment tips in Bahrain, you have come to the right place.

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