In an era when talent is scarce and employers are scrambling to fill key positions, many candidates feel like they have a chance to land their dream job. But what are applicants looking for when they evaluate a role, and what can companies do to make their employer brand more attractive in this challenging market?

To find out, [Michael Page] surveyed over 450 employees and jobseekers across Saudi Arabia. We asked them about the kind of contracts they preferred, their commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), their ideal work arrangements and more. Read on to discover what turns a good job into a dream job.

KSA Candidate pulse

Landing the right contract

After two years of COVID disruptions, it’s no surprise that our respondents placed a high value on stability. When asked what type of contract they were willing to consider for their next position, a full 72% said they would like a permanent position. 40% also said they would prefer a short term contract, while 18% said they would be happy with any kind of position

Finding the perfect-sized company

Respondents were asked to choose their ideal company size: small, middle or large. Preferences were split, with large sized companies the top choice (57%) followed by middle companies (chosen by 33% of respondents) and small companies (5%). 

Candidates who prefer large companies seem to be mostly motivated by the chance to accelerate their professional development and earn a better salary. Of the respondents who preferred large companies, nearly half (44%) were drawn to the training and development programmes these organisations are known for, while quality of life at work (environment,atmosphere, well-being policy, etc.) and improved promotion and career opportunities were highlighted by 38% and 15% of these respondents, respectively.

Why do candidates gravitate towards middle-sized companies? Of the respondents who preferred middle-sized companies, over a third (35%) highlighted the fast decision-making they believe is a hallmark of these organisations. Other advantages identified by these respondents include more training opportunities (34%) and a clear strategic vision (27%).

While small companies were the least favoured option, the responses make clear that these organisations have several unique advantages. Just over a third (33%) of respondents drawn to small companies liked the idea of having more autonomy to manage their own tasks, while 25% found projects to be more interesting. Close to 17% prefer the flexibility and agility that comes with a small company than in a larger corporation. 

Getting the benefits you need

In today’s knowledge economy, jobseekers are focused on acquiring the skills they need to succeed. No surprise, then, that a full 71% of respondents placed training and career development among their most-wanted employment benefits. This was followed by private healthcare for employees and their families — a top priority over half (66%) of respondents. Other benefits that make a difference include financial advantages (chosen by 50% of those surveyed), a company car (also 26%) and company-issued devices (22%).

Working for a socially responsible employer

These days, candidates aren’t just looking for a salary boost and career development opportunities. (64%) of survey respondents said they wanted to work for a company committed to corporate social responsibility or CSR. Asked to identify the most important CSR values, 58% chose human rights, while environmental responsibility and economic responsibility were also highlighted by 46% for each.

Flexible work arrangements

Millions of employees found themselves working from home for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic — and our survey suggests that a majority would like to continue with this arrangement. Well over half of respondents (57%) said they would like to work remotely either some or all of the time. 

How would candidates like to divide their time between home and office? The most popular arrangement is three days at the office, two days at home, preferred by 30% of respondents. Around 27% would like to work from home more than four days per week or be fully remote, while 21% like the idea of spending just one day from home.

The trend for remote working shouldn’t disguise the fact that many employees enjoy working in the office. The key motivation for these workers is the chance to feel more engaged with their job (67%), while 48% like to keep personal and professional environments separate.

Office-based teams may also benefit from greater employee engagement. Almost 40% emphasised the importance of face-to-face meetings, while 24% said they enjoyed maintaining social links and enjoy relaxing moments with colleagues.

Making dream jobs come true

If you’re determined to find your dream job, Michael Page can help. Start your search today by visiting our jobs board. And if you’re an employer looking to hire top talent in your industry and location, don’t hesitate to contact one of our expert recruiters.  

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