Hunger, drive and ambition most important when hiring, employers

  • Salary considerations come second, while regional employers are very willing to hire subordinates more qualified than them

An employer poll conducted by, the region’s number one job site, has revealed that 28.8% of employers in the Middle East look for ‘hunger, drive and ambition’ as the most important factors when making a hiring decision. Salary considerations come in second (22.7%).

Meanwhile, career track record is the least important. In fact, most employers (67.2%) will consider hiring a candidate who has relevant skills but no direct experience in the company’s field; similarly, the majority will hire a subordinate who is older than them (59.6%) or who is more skilled, capable, and qualified than themselves (74.6%).

The employers surveyed say that the majority of jobseekers are letting themselves down by presenting unpolished resumes and not doing research prior to job interviews.

The results of the survey demonstrate that spelling and grammar does count, as 21.3% of employer respondents claim that poor language on a CV is the biggest mistake that jobseekers can make. The second biggest mistake, according to 19.7% employers, is submitting a CV that is not customised for the role. Clear exaggerations (16.4%) and poor format (14.8%) also figure highly on the list, along with lack of focus and key omissions.

When it comes to interviews, 20% of employers consider poor preparation to be the biggest turn-off in potential employees; 17.5% feel that dishonesty is the worst trait an interviewee can have, followed by the candidate arriving late or asking inappropriate questions/making inappropriate comments, with 13.8% of employers citing each as the biggest turn-off. Insufficient enthusiasm for the role and poor interpersonal skills come joint fourth on the list of biggest turn-offs(12.5%), followed by inappropriate attire (7.5%) and being overly aggressive (2.5%).

“The results of our survey suggest that candidates will be more successful if they take the time to carefully review their resumes before submitting them to any potential employer. It is also worthwhile taking the time to research a company and the position applied for before an interview, as being fully prepared is clearly a key requirement across the region,” said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at “ provides jobseekers and employers with the tools needed to get ahead in the world of employment, by publishing frequent surveys with information relevant to the region. Moreover the online CV builder has fully resolved the issue of poor CV format and sloppy CV style by ensuring that a style and format of CV that is attractive, state-of-the-art and uniform can be accessed very easily by all the region’s jobseekers.”

Most prospective employees are likely to be interviewed by one or two people (27.3% and 28.8%, respectively), though it is not uncommon for them to meet with more existing employees in their potential new company; 22.7% of respondents say that their interviewees will meet three people, while 18.2% claim that candidates will be interviewed by more than four. However, no matter how many people the candidate meets, the vast majority of employers (70%) say that post-interview follow-ups are essential.

Almost 61% of employers consider the hiring practices in their company to be sophisticated, with 58.1% claiming that their organisation provides training on interview skills for those involved in the hiring process.

Data for the Hiring Practices in the MENA Employer Poll was collected online from August 9 – December 22 2011, with 637 respondents covering more than 12 countries in the MENA region.


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