Workers in the Middle East, whether citizens or expats, enjoy high incomes and excellent standards of living compared to those in other regions of the world.
This high standard applies to both skilled workers and white collar professionals.
Excellent opportunities in the region
In Qatar, for instance, the annual per capita income is $129,700 – the highest per capita income in the world. Hence, it is not surprising why many people from other regions of the world are looking for jobs in the Middle East.
The region also attracts a lot of foreign investments and businesses because of the low or zero income tax and business tax. The economy of the region is not only sustained by fossil fuel production but by other industries such as electronics and banking.
Their real estate industry has long since recovered from the previous property bubble. Greater demand for residential and work space has again spurred property development. In turn, this has reawakened the property development industry – from high-rise residential apartments to industrial manufacturing zones.
Consequently, the demand for workers is again being stimulated by the renewed economic dynamism of the region. From domestic helper jobs to powerful CEO positions, the region has opportunities for all types of workers.
To better your chances at successfully snagging a job in the Middle East, here are some tips you can apply whatever your level of education, talent, skills and experience:
- Ask from insiders
Some potential employers do not advertise their job vacancies.
In these cases, only their existing employees know about the job vacancies, and the management would simply ask for referrals from their employees. If you have friends and relatives who are now currently working in the region, try asking them for possible referrals.
Some companies are able to fill job vacancies just through word of mouth, saving on advertising costs. Even for companies that put up job advertisements, insiders get firsthand information. Hence, you will have some advantage in terms of applying early if you know someone who can give you referrals.
- Do some cold calls
If you really want to be ahead of other job applicants, you may do a bit of cold calling. You may try calling the HR offices of your prospective employers, or you may send application letters and CVs even if the companies do not currently have job vacancy ads.
This shotgun strategy may work if you apply to many companies. However, just make sure that you have the basic qualifications that those companies could be looking for. Depending on your field of specialization, you may narrow down your application to a specific industry or job category such as accounting.
- Apply online using job websites and portals
The internet offers a lot of resources that you can use in your job search. These include job websites and portals.
You can use job websites if you are looking for specific jobs and you want to be regularly notified about new opportunities or postings. Job websites will require you to create a personal account with a resume. Many of these websites also give skills tests which you may opt to publish with your account.
Typically, job websites have job employment matching algorithms that can help you narrow down your search. Your resume and skills/knowledge test results will also be matched to opportunities that have similar specifications.
On the other hand, if you want to have the widest possible search, you may try job portals that collate information from various sources. These sites will lead you to other sites and job ads as well.
- Apply in person
Some companies entertain walk-in applicants and their hiring process is much faster.
If you are currently residing in one of the Middle Eastern countries and are looking to change jobs, you may try applying directly to companies nearby. As a walk-in applicant, you may immediately be given the opportunity to be interviewed or take a job exam.
Some companies have an urgent need for new employees. You have better chances of being hired if you personally apply rather than simply send in your application via snail mail, courier service or email.
- Partner with an HR consultant
If you really want to improve your chances at succeeding in your Middle East job search, consider partnering with professional HR consulting services.
By working with a human resource partner, all you need to do is submit the requirements and wait for them to communicate possible good employer matches. They have the knowhow and the network to get you placed in a well-established company sooner than you think.
Landing the job that you want in the Middle East is just a matter of applying all or any of the above job search strategies. In the end, all you need is the patience to weigh and consider various job opportunities until you find the best fit.
David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group, including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.