Hiring rises in non-energy sectors, but employers can afford to be picky

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 15 Mar 2016

Being bilingual is an increasingly desirable skill but organisations are less likely to take a risk on ‘job-hoppers’

Recruitment in the oil and gas industries is down, but all other sectors are increasing hiring in 2016.
 
But recruitment experts are warning that increased competition means that candidates without a stable career history and proof of long-term commitment will struggle, as employers can afford to be choosy.
 
In January, recruitment activity in the non-oil sectors rose by nearly half (45 per cent) compared to a year ago, according to the latest job index report by Bayt.com. Organisations dealing in consumer goods are reporting the biggest need for new employees.
 
“Oil and gas (O&G) and construction continue to be difficult, but there are opportunities in all other sectors for motivated job seekers with a relatively stable career history,” says Chris Greaves, managing director at Hays. “Organisations now have more choice of candidates than this time last year and will be less likely to take a risk with ‘job-hoppers’.”
 
Hays' 2016 Salary and Employment report revealed slightly different hiring trends. “We believe that an increase of 45 per cent in non-O&G hiring in January 2016 looks ambitious. Yes, hiring is happening across the non-O&G sectors mentioned, but not 45 per cent more than the same time last year,” adds Greaves.
 
Research has also highlighted which candidates appeal most to employers: those with management, engineering and commerce qualifications, and those who are mid-career. Efficiency, productivity and leadership skills are also highly valued, as is managerial experience. More organisations are demanding that new employees have good communication and language skills, with the ability to speak both English and Arabic reported as a desired skill by 40 per cent of those surveyed by Bayt.com.
 
“If candidates want to improve their skills to match the anticipated demand, they have to bear in mind that you can’t learn a new language in four weeks, or become an expert in leadership overnight: the only skills that people can realistically improve in the lead up to a new job search are interview skills,” says Greaves.“
 
“These are the real determinant of whether someone gets a job offer or not. Total preparation is the key, ie understanding everything about the organisation, the job role, the people on the interview panel, and the backgrounds of other people the organisation have hired (which you can find on LinkedIn).
 
“You should also find out how the interview will be structured, be aware of your strengths and how to articulate them, align your previous experience with what you understand the demands of the job to be, identify where you can add value to the organisation, have two or three sensible questions lined up, look interested and look people in the eye. And smile!”