Job sites like are the most common tool for recruiting managerial and non-managerial positions across the Levant

Job sites like are the most common tool for recruiting managerial and non-managerial positions across the Levant

A majority of Levant employers surveyed in and Yougov’s ‘Hiring Practices in the Middle East and North Africa’ say the hiring process takes up to two months.

The ‘Middle East and North Africa Hiring Practices’ survey, conducted amongst recruiters and employed professionals in the MENA, revealed a variety of insights about the evolving hiring landscape and how recruitment practices have changed in the digital era. According to the survey, online job sites emerged as the most common resource used for recruiting candidates for both managerial and non-managerial positions in organizations across the Levant. In fact, more than four in five Levant recruiters agree that online recruitment has facilitated the hiring process at their companies.

The survey, administered by, the Middle East’s #1 job site, and YouGov, a global pioneer in online market research, aims to gather opinions on the hiring trends and practices in the MENA region to help employers and jobseekers better understand today’s hiring mechanisms and strategies, measure preferences, and identify trends in hiring and job hunting.

Recruitment in the Internet Era

Survey results indicated growing trends in online resource usage for recruiters across the MENA. According to the survey, respondents in the Levant consider online job sites (42%) to be the most effective source of recruitment for managerial roles across the region, followed by their own company websites (33%) and employee referrals (30%). For non-managerial roles, employee referrals (40%) emerged as the most popular, followed by company websites (38%) and online job sites (37%). In addition to that, applicant tracking systems are used by around a fifth of Levant employers for both managerial (14%) and non-managerial (19%) positions.

More than four in five (85%) respondents in the Levant agree that online recruitment has facilitated the hiring process for managerial employees, including two in five (38%) who believe it has ‘greatly’ facilitated the hiring process. The same can be said for non-managerial employees (83%), with over a third (36%) of respondents claiming it has ‘greatly’ facilitated the hiring process.

“With over 10,000 jobs available on on any given day, it comes as no surprise that the top method for recruiting candidates in the MENA is job sites,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President Employer Solutions, “At, we have been working with organizations in the MENA large and small for almost 20 years, helping them recruit top talent. We have been listening to client feedback and improving our offering to improve recruitment efficiency. For example, many employers complement their CV Search tool with employment tests that verify the candidates’ skills. Likewise, online job sites have evidently helped prepare jobseekers to better execute the job hunt. In line with this, we at work with over 32,000,000 job seekers and 40,000 companies using advanced hiring technology to make the process smoother, less time consuming, and much more rewarding.”

The Job Interview 

For managerial and non-managerial candidates in the Levant, interviews (72% and 78% respectively) are considered to be the most popular method in the hiring process, followed by academic certificates (47% and 40%), background screening (53% and 46%) pre-employment tests (47% and 43%) and second interviews (35% and 33%).

For just over three quarters of Levant companies, a typical job interview for both managerial candidates and non-managerial candidates (both 77%) lasts up to 30 minutes; and at a large majority of MENA organizations, potential candidates for both managerial roles and non-managerial roles (both 79%) will be interviewed by two or three different people throughout the hiring process.

The survey found that first impressions make a sizable difference in a job interview across the region. In the Levant, almost half of respondents believe that first impressions matter ‘greatly’ in a job interview for both managerial (44%) and non-managerial (43%) candidates, two in five (37% and 36%) said it matters ‘moderately’, while around one in five (19% and 21%) think that first impressions don’t matter very much.

The Hiring Decision

After interviews have been conducted, almost all surveyed Levant recruiters claim their companies need less than four weeks to make the hiring decision for both managerial (96%) and non-managerial (95%) roles – and over three in 5 (69% and 63% respectively) need less than two weeks. Additionally, more than four in five Levant respondents claim that the hiring process for both managerial employees (84%) and non-managerial employees (85%) can last up to two months at their company, while nearly half (48% and 44 %) claim that it typically lasts less than one month.

According to the survey, the most popular way to inform a candidate that they have been selected for either a managerial position (79%) or a non-managerial position (75%) in the Levant is via phone call, while email (46% and 35%) and phone call (38% and 50%) are the most common ways to inform a candidate if they have not been selected for the job.

In terms of improving the recruitment process in the Levant, respondents looking for managerial candidates most commonly believe they would need added help from specialists for interviewing talent face-to-face (34%), comparing and benchmarking salaries (33%), and sourcing top talent CVs/profiles (30%). For non-managerial candidates, respondents most commonly believe they would need added help from specialists for interviewing talent face-to-face (41%), screening and filtering CVs/profiles (33%), and comparing and benchmarking salaries (30%).

The Jobseeker Perspective

The survey also gauged insights on the hiring process from the jobseeker perspective. It found that currently employed professionals in the Levant were keen on using digital tools to find employment, as nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents created online CVs/public profiles on top job sites during their most recent job hunt, two in five (37%) used a cover letter and one quarter (23%) used a professional CV writing service.

As for the journey from recruitment to hiring, three in five (61%) Levant respondents had up to three different interviews before finding their current job and 35% had four or more interviews.

More than half (54%) of Levant respondents found their current job within three months, including a quarter (26%) who found their job in less than one month. Two in five (38%) found their current job after more than three months of searching.

“The hiring practices survey is an important depiction of the region’s current techniques and tools that are used to facilitate hiring,” said, Nehal Jibouri, Head of Custom Research MENA, , YouGov. “With a comprehensive overview of the hiring process, companies can better understand what works and how the process can be improved. Likewise job seekers can gain a comprehension of what their job hunt journey could look like and what tools are available for them.”

Data for the 2018 Middle East and North Africa Hiring Practices survey was collected online from 14 March 2018 to 26 April 2018. Results are based on a sample of 2,491 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan.