LinkedIn, interconnection, and transforming recruitment in the MENA region

By Ali Matar,

LinkedIn recent released figures announcing that it has hit the 500 million members milestone across 200 countries and 22 million members in the MENA region.

Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Emerging Markets, Middle East and North Africa talks about 'interconnection' and how it is revolutionising the MENA’s recruitment industry and facilitating knowledge-sharing

Globalization has served as the world’s engine of progress over the past half century. Life today is better for most people thanks to the depth and breadth of cross-border interactions. "Interconnectivity" largely possible due to social media and the Internet is not just a passing phase, it is a trend that we are living and breathing every moment.

Boasting some of the highest social media penetration rates in the world, people in the Middle East and North Africa are not only well connected, but also savvy to the potential of what a highly connected global community of professionals can do, and the value that is created for each member of the workforce.

For instance, LinkedIn now has half a billion members in 200 countries connecting, and engaging with one another. Not just this, LinkedIn’s UAE members have been ranked as the most connected in the world, reporting an average of 211 connections per individual.

What does this mean for UAE and the MENA region? Simply put, It means that each LinkedIn member has direct access to 10 million active jobs, 9 million companies,  and more than 100,000 articles published every week, that will help you gain and share knowledge with others.. Not just this, with each connection you make, the total reach of your professional community grows and so do your career opportunities. Every connection reflects an average of 400 new people you can get introduced to and begin to build relationships with. It encompasses 100 new companies who may be looking for the skills and talents you offer; and it represents connections to an average of 500 jobs.

The impact of half a billion professionals connecting and communicating is very real and this is evident in a research that LinkedIn had conducted at the start of 2017 as part of the MENA Recruiting Trends of 2017 which said that MENA business will continue to use social professional networks such as LinkedIn to identify and hire new talent, further strengthening the reign of social media and helping build the ‘Connected’ talent pool ecosystem. The report also says that 2017 will be a very busy year for MENA recruiting leaders as 81% of them feel that talent is the number one priority in their organization and over 60% of teams are preparing for an increase in hiring volume – again a very good example of how the region is viewing technology as a medium to connect with talent.

As far as UAE is concerned, it is becoming a thriving hub for business and industry. We have data that shows that almost 60% of the UAE’s workforce is currently employed by local companies. This is demonstrative of the investment local companies are making in the youth of the UAE and shows how some sectors such as banking, aviation, telecommunications, hospitality and retail are staunchly supporting UAE talent. We expect this trend to go only upwards, with UAE further strengthening its position as a global hub.

With its strategic location and an enticing promise of a better life, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has acquired an enviable position of being a land of endless opportunities. As businesses from all over the world set up operations here, there is an unprecedented need to build a workforce that supports the economic development. The region’s job market is evolving as a result of many external socio-economic factors. In this environment, companies are now assessing their recruiting strategy and ensuring it is aligned with the priorities of today’s professionals. Companies are also investing in channels for the public to research jobs before they apply and empowering employees to contribute towards recruitment needs.


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