Trend highlights in the MENA region

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1 Trend highlights in the MENA region 9/25/2013 Disclaimer: The presentation of material in this information report and in the supplementary Annexes have not been verified by IFC (World Bank Group) and the views/opinions expressed in this report are those of the Analyst and do not necessarily reflect the views/opinion of IFC (WBG). In addition, the mention of specific websites does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by IFC (WBG) in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

2 Table of Contents Definition of e-recruitment... Error! Bookmark not defined. How it works?... Error! Bookmark not defined. Main types of of e-recruitment services... Error! Bookmark not defined. Pros and Cons of e-recruitment... 4 e-recruitment trends in the MENA region... 6 Internet and social media use in the MENA region... 6 Comparative statistics MENA vs. the world... 7 MENA trends and statistics... 9 Social media role in creating jobs/employment opportunities in the MENA region Success of e-recruitment depends on advances made in ICT technologies in the region Observation

3 e-recruitment 1 i. Definition: The buzzword and the latest trend in human resource recruitment nowadays is called e-recruitment. Also known as Online recruitment, Cyber recruitment or Internet recruitment, it is the use of internet/web based tools for attracting, recruiting, and retaining job seekers and employees. ii. How it works: The basic business model is that employers pay a fee to post their open positions on a particular website, and may also pay additional fees based on the number of resumes they receive and any special handling or processing they want the website to handle. The web site is responsible for advertising and promoting their site to help attract the most qualified candidates possible. For the job seeker, e-recruitment websites offer access to job postings and the ability to post their resume online. Some websites offer different search functions for finding open positions in addition to useful articles and information on salary trends, career advice, training modules, and market/industry trends, etc. Some services are free when the job seeker registers with the website; however other more advanced services are available in return for a specific fee. Examples may include: access to "premium" job listings, assistance with resume writing and interview preparation, and other products or services designed to assist with a job search. iii. Main types of e-recruitment services: a. Corporate websites: These sites help promote an attractive image of a company, improve the visitor s knowledge of company services, and generate job applications. Corporate websites may simply list available vacancies and contact details, or consist of a dedicated website that gives different details of vacancies, such as benefits and how to apply for jobs by, completing, for example, an online application form and tests. 1 This mapping is not without limitations, due to the difficulty in recording and analysing all types of e-recruitment websites that are available on the internet- particularly since new ones come up all the time-the scope of the research is narrowed down to focus on the most widely recognized job portals/boards at the global and regional levels. In order to enrich this study, further research and mapping has to be conducted on the other types of e-recruitment, if necessary. The analyses presented in this research are drawn from different user blogs, IT reports and personal reviews. 2

4 An intranet link may also be available to enable internal staff to access the website and help create professional communities. In many cases, the website management can be outsourced to specialized recruitment consultants or agencies. b. Job listing boards: Boards give companies the possibility to communicate their job offers to a larger public in return for a certain fee. Generally operated by specialized companies such as Monster.com; HotJobs.com; and Fish4jobs.com, these boards consist of large databanks of job postings and candidate resumes and are often very useful sources of information on markets, various industries, career fields, and training/coaching opportunities. For the candidates, they can upload a resume to be included in searches by member companies usually for free with the possibility to upgrade to premium services in return of a certain fee. Job postings may be categorized into industry, profession, part-time/full-time/consultancy, and geographic location. Specialized Niche job boards generally have more detailed job postings and are usually favored by employers as they help filter the number and type of applicants for an advertised job. Moreover, Job boards can help find candidates that are actively looking for work, but they will not attract the "passive" candidates who might respond favorably to an opportunity that is presented to them through other means. Since the late 1990s, recruitment websites have developed to include end-to-end recruitment, whereas websites capture candidate details and then pool them in client accessed candidate management interfaces. Key players in this sector provide e-recruitment software and services to companies that want to e-enable their recruitment process (entirely or partly) in order to improve business performance. The online software provided by those who specialize in online recruitment helps companies attract, test, recruit, employ and retain quality staff with a minimal amount of administration. c. Recruitment agency sites: Whether private or public, specialized recruitment agencies/consultants show employees the jobs available through their agency. A job seeker can review the site to explore available jobs, then contact the agency for further information or career advice, whether over the phone or in person. The agencies work in two ways: i) by approaching companies and offering candidates from their own databases, ii) advertising jobs on behalf of companies and producing a shortlist of candidates for interview with the prospective employer. d. Job search engines: e-recruitment utilizes the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online resume search technologies to search and find databases including resumes, and social communities and networks. Some of the job search engines list the advertisements of traditional job boards, and provide a "one-stop shop" for job-seekers. 3

5 e. Social recruiting: Social recruiting, also known as Social hiring, and Social media hiring, entails the use of social media for recruiting or hiring human resources. The most popular social media sites used for recruiting are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well as the mobile applications, YouTube and other dedicated blogs/community platforms. Social media is evolving continuously with the surge of innovative platforms such as Jobvite (which integrates Facebook Twitter and Linkedin) and the increasing number of new users thus making it an attractive resource for today s recruiters. However, such platforms require more time, higher labor costs and, most importantly, more staff engagement. iv. Pros and Cons of e-recruitment: Pros: 1. Facilitates the recruitment of the right type of people with the required skills 2. Automating the recruitment process which improves efficiency through reduced hiring time and costs. For example, when dealing with nationwide or even international searches, travel costs can make face-to-face interviews expensive. Skype video allows holding a face to face interview from anywhere in the world. 3. Gives a round the clock access to job posting and search activities 4. Provides a valuable database of valuable resumes, and information regarding the compensation and benefits offered by the competitors which helps companies to implement improved HR decisions regarding promotions, and salary trends in an industry. 5. Facilitates wider reach for employers: Unlike traditional methods which are usually restricted by career level, geography, industry or other parameters online recruitment portals typically have current and active talent databases that cover all career levels, industries and regions. 6. Expands reach for candidates as it enables them to access jobs in companies, industries and locations that they would not have otherwise have learned of or been able to access. 7. Ensures confidentiality: employers can choose to search the resume databases without posting a job if the vacancy is sensitive in nature, or they can post a vacancy while keeping the company name confidential. Likewise, candidates can post their resumes online while keeping their names and other personal info as confidential. 8. Improves company s branding and image to prospective job seekers through advertisement and ads. 9. Helps put the employer in the driving seat by giving full control of the hiring process. Employers can contact candidates real-time and directly filter, assess and select the desirable candidates. This grants the employer valuable insight into the competitive landscape for the position and the nature of the marketplace. 4

6 Cons: e-recruitment is not free from shortcomings, therefore some of the disadvantages that are worthy to note include: 1. Screening and checking hundreds if not thousands of resumes is a time consuming exercise for large companies, leading them to outsource the initial screening and filtering process of the resumes to a specialized recruitment agency/consultancy 2. No access/low internet penetration and lack of internet savviness in many locations across certain regions/countries 3. Companies cannot be totally dependent on e-recruitment methods as some employers and prospective employees still prefer the traditional face-to-face interaction with candidates 4. The Internet does not replace some traditional hiring processes such as candidate background checks, skills tests, and other steps to evaluate attitudes and behaviors that are key to finding qualified employees 5. Confidentiality could be a problem caused by absence/lack of proper privacy measures implemented by some untrusted websites 6. Concerns from discriminatory exclusion from the recruitment process based on demographic information such as age, marital status, race or nationality. It is noteworthy that e-recruitment has revolutionized the way companies hire and candidates search for jobs. This is mainly attributed to facilitating the flow of information and the general ease of use of the job sites. Today, nearly every one of has a digital identity formed online, and as internet penetration levels are improving around the globe which help blend geographic boundaries when it comes to professional mobility and the search for top talent in booming regional economies, this ultimately gives e-recruitment an indispensible role to play in an effective hiring process in today s digital age. The Internet is cited by many analytical reports as one of the primary drivers for economic and social development in the Arab region, transforming commercial transactions, social interactions, developmental and governance dynamics 5

7 ii. e-recruitment trends in the MENA region: When it comes to personal internet activity in the MENA region Jobs and careers seem to come on top of the list 2 as 64 percent of the region s population spend at least 3 hours a day online, with as many as 18 percent noting that they spend more than 6 hours a day online. Another survey s respondents claimed that careers/jobsites were their favorite type of website, while social networking sites also featured prominently as favorites with 17% of the responses. In addition, 39 percent said they have tried to use social networking sites for business networking but without much success compared to 43 percent who have never used them for business networking. It is worth also mentioning that internet appears to become the most important source and tool for recruitment in the region 3 as findings indicate that not only is the internet the medium of choice for 50 percent of employers seeking potential hires, but 84 percent (eight out of 10 employers) will take the time to research candidates online before making a final decision. iii. Internet and social media use in the MENA region: key channels for erecruitment According to the findings of a recent report 4 71 per cent of Arabs use the internet as an alternative to traditional communication, while 28 percent prefer social media as the primary source of information. The report indicates that with 125 million internet users in the Arab region today of which, more than 53 million actively use social media platforms to connect within their societies, the region is witnessing dramatic changes in the economic and social development dynamics largely caused by internet s increasing role as an indispensable part of people s lives. As much as this should serve as an encouragement for businesses to adopt an online presence as an essential part of their strategies, there are still some persistent challenges that yet need to be made aware of. To name a few are the imbalanced internet accessibility rate in the region; disparities in the levels of education, income and internet costs which is still on the rise in several Arab countries compared to others in the Gulf region like the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar who recorded internet usage growth during 2012 that amounted to 50 percent, while the average rate of growth in the rest of the region was scored at 28 percent. It is forecasted however that by addressing some of these challenges 60 percent of the region's population will be online by 2020, accounting for 260 million users, while the use of mobile phones will grow up to 340 million people. 5 In addition, 87 percent of surveyed mobile internet users use a mobile phone as the main means to connect to the Internet 6 - an indication of the important role of mobile services in extending online access, which creates an additional market for developing and launching mobile job applications. 2 MENA Internet Trends Survey- Bayt.com, Hiring Management in the MENA poll - Bayt.com Arab World Online: Changing Internet Usage Trends report, Arab Media Outlook report, Mobile Internet Survey in the Middle East and Africa 2013: Internet Access Trends and Analysis 6

8 iv. Comparative statistics MENA vs. the world: 7 a. Internet penetration: The UAE has the highest internet penetration rate at 75 percent, followed by Kuwait at 64 percent and Qatar at 61 percent. Meanwhile, Egypt has the lowest rate in the region at 26 percent (Source: Ipsos, 2013) 7 Source of all inforgraphics in this section: Middle East and North Africa: Internet Statistics Compendium- Econsultancy,

9 b. Use of social media: Jordan has the highest penetration of social networks across internet users, at 88 percent, while Egypt is the second highest rate averaging 79 percent. Lebanon is the lowest at 47 percent (Source: Ipsos, 2013) c. Mobile market size: Saudi Arabia and the UAE have the highest rates of smartphone penetration at 63 percent and 61 percent, respectively, while Egypt has the lowest at 5 percent (Source: Ipsos, 2013) 8

10 viii. MENA trends and statistics: a. Access to internet: 8 8 Source of graphics: Dubai School of Government and Bayt.com,

11 b. Penetration of social media users in selected MENA countries: 9 c. Popular social networking channels in selected MENA countries: 10 9 Source of graphic: Arab Social Media Report- the Dubai School of Government, Source of graphic: Internet Usage in the Middle East, Bayt.com survey,

12 d. Total usage of social media in MENA: 11 e. The use of internet for job search: Source of graphics: Go-Gulf research, Source of graphic: Internet Usage in the Middle East- Bayt.com,

13 f. Breakdown of online candidates 13 : 13 Source of all graphics in this section: Recruiting Online: A Guide for Decision Makers - GulfTalent.com,

14 ix. Social media role in creating jobs/employment opportunities in the MENA region: percent of 4,754 surveyed job seekers in the region indicated that they would rely on social media to find their next job. In particular, 80 percent of the respondents felt that social media could help with job hunting by providing access to employment information. A smaller percentage, 75 percent, felt that social media can help create networking opportunities that could lead to employment opportunities, and that social media could create a virtual job market. Meanwhile, 63 percent said that it could be useful for crowdsourcing contributors and freelancers. 14 Social Media, Employment and Entrepreneurship New Frontiers for the Economic Empowerment of Arab Youth- Dubai Business School of Government survey,

15 However, a significant number of Middle East companies believe that social media is not being underutilized, or is missing its potential 15. The top challenges cited were the difficulty to monetize online presence (11.3 percent); reflecting the correct informative and educational content (11.3 percent); keeping up with processing feedback (10.5 percent), as well as the difficulty in dealing with frequent technology updates, among others. A positive step towards addressing such challenges may lie in companies understanding of key issues such as the extent to which social media is aligned with the business strategy, and how can internet and social media be best utilized in internal communications, recruitment, or customer service to enhance processes and outcomes. x. Success of e-recruitment depends on advances made in ICT technologies in the region: 16 Highlighting the role of digital technologies in creating and accelerating much needed jobs in MENA, rankings by a recent report indicate that GCC countries like Qatar (23), UAE (25), Bahrain (29), KSA (31) and Oman (40) continue to embrace ICT to boost their country s competitiveness. In contrast, countries in the Levant and North Africa still lag behind and face challenges to fully leverage ICT. Jordan ranked (47), Egypt (80), Morocco (89), Lebanon (94) and Algeria (131). The report further highlights that policymakers in the future need to become creators of a digital economy that provides its citizens, enterprises, and economic sectors with the competitive advantage essential to thrive in an increasingly global market. At a regional level, digitization (or the mass adoption of digital applications through connected services and devices) had $16.5 billion impact on the MENA GDP and estimated to have led to the creation of more than 377,000 jobs in However, the impact of digitization by country and by sector is not even, For example, as digitization rises, financial services gain the most in terms of output and productivity, however, it leads to job cuts in financial services and manufacturing because productivity gains surpassed output gains. In contrary, digitization created jobs in services sub-sectors, with reasonable gains in the hospitality and retail subsectors. Moreover, the report reveals significant differences in the digital divide separating top performers and those still struggling to close the ICT and skills gaps, therefore matching investments in ICT with investment in skills and innovation can play a remedial role to the problem. 15 Corporate Usage of Social Media in the Middle East survey- Bayt.com, Growth and Jobs in a hyper connected World: 12 th Global Information Technology Report (GITR) INSEAD business school,

16 xi. Observation: With what appears to be an overwhelming and expanding online world to turn to, it s often hard to decide what e-recruitment tool would work best because each avenue has its own benefits and limitations, thus having a mix of appropriate tools based on the resources and the target audience would be the best approach to consider. For successful e-recruitment, there is a clear regional demand for locally generated Arabic language content for online communication mediums. In the area of business, the use of Arabic helps act as an important facilitator of dialogue between the different e-communities New websites are constantly being created, others are merging, while some are even being dissolved, therefore e-recruitment sites that stand out are those that offer and share the most interesting and relevant information in a clear, concise and user friendly manner. The content must be interesting enough to get people to read and actively engage. As the e- Recruitment environment is expected to continue to grow and develop significantly, employers and job seekers alike should benefit from the available tools to improve job prospects particularly in the MENA region where youth unemployment rate is stark. An example of a strong employment platform that could serve as a good model to consider replicating and/or improving is Silatech s MasrWorks website (currently known as Ta3mal). Considered to be Egypt s first employability portal, the website s features and services that are available 24X7 make it personally relevant to each young person. It provides learning for skills and certification and helps connect young graduates to career paths, potential entrepreneurs to mentors, partners and funding, policy and change makers to networks and advice. 15

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