MENA Talent Trends in Focus- New Insights for 2019

The dawn of each year highlights new trends in the workplace, and helps forecast some changes to keep an eye out for. 2019 is all set to be an exciting one, and to help prepare for recruitment that’s in line with the future of talent acquisition, this article will weigh in on some key areas for you to navigate (without any surprises):


1) Gen Z workers are joining the workforce:

The Generation Z comprises of the generation born between 1995 and 2010. With their oldest members about 22 years of age, these new graduates are ready to take up their roles in the professional world.

Highly competitive,
independent, and with a definite desire for financial success, catering to the needs of this talent pool will require employers to give up traditional and outdated practices. Raised to be true maestros with easy access to the internet, employers will have to reshape their hiring strategies around use of technology more aggressively than ever before. Expected to represent 36 percent of the global workforce by 2020, businesses will also need to get creative with ways to brush up their soft skills such as in-person communication and negotiation to ensure great culture fits. Also, this will compensate for the drawbacks associated with their heavy internet-centric way of life.


2) Making a social impact is a necessity, not a choice:

Considering the volatility in political and economic environments, a lot of organizations are already stepping up to the challenge to make a social impact. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the ethical standing of employers has earned a very strong need to meet both society’s expectations and even employee demands.


From raising minimum wage levels, supporting sustainability initiatives, helping make the world a better place, these are traits top talent now seeks in their employers. A topic that sparked momentum in 2017, research conducted by Deloitte revealed that Generation Y are dedicated to ethical behaviour- in fact 56% of young millennials would not consider working with certain employers due to their values or behavior.


Having the social consciousness to have a mission and values that have a grander purpose than just profitability by contributing towards donation drives, welfare causes, and community programmes are just some of the ways to get involved if you’ve been lagging behind recently.


3) Contracts based work will be the new rising star:

Fading away are the days of full time positions; contracts will be replacing them sooner than you’d have anticipated. With employers witnessing lower engagement and retention rates especially amongst younger employees, businesses are trying to reduce their cost of turnover by awarding contracts to temporary workers and freelancers.

Usually lacking in health benefits and other perks, companies can keep their skillsets competitive to keep up with their industry demands, whereas the contract workers enjoy the flexibility to switch up employers as they please.


4) Make recruitment marketing your new best friend:

It should come off as no surprise that using content to pull prospects towards your careers portal and vacancies has recently been the most effective at achieving hiring targets. Yet, what’s ironic is that there are still so many candidates that report poor communication practices and outdated job descriptions offering little to no spark and incentive for talent to consider submitting their application.


2019 is the year your business should take their employer branding to new heights of stunning success? How? There’s plenty of avenues to highlight your culture and attract interest using engaging content on your customized careers website, providing 3D office tours, using employee testimonial videos, inviting questions on the social channels, and updating the company’s blog frequently with insights regarding all the awesome action happening behind the scenes.


5) A happier workforce is a more productive workforce:

The last year highlighted new changes such as acceptance of remote working convenience for employees. In 2019, the emphasis on making your workforce content with their roles and work-life balance is gaining even more attention. Offering many benefits including higher retention and productivity, paying close needs to staff needs, finding ways to digitally up-skill them, and creating an overall collaborative environment is a goal that makes perfect sense for businesses to prioritize.


Moreover, along with happiness is a boost in diversity that is emerging as a strong point of consideration at the workplace. Organizations growing globally will have to plan a culture of more inclusivity, respect and empowerment that provides equal opportunities for all ethnicities to excel in. With technology enhancements such as AI removing any hiring prejudices (intentional or unconscious), improved regulatory and compliance will provide direction for profound diversity in hiring like never before.




The global climate is transforming recruitment practices, making it necessary for businesses to keep up by proactively building changes into their hiring strategy. From gearing up to welcome the freedom loving generation Z professionals and contract workers, to finding ways to improve diversity and workforce happiness- the HR teams truly have their work cut out for them. Luckly, recruitment marketing is taking away a lot of hassle from talent acquisition by letting your content speak on your behalf (just make sure it conveys the right message though!).


Got thoughts to share your on workplace talent trends for 2019, we’d love to hear from you!


About Talentera

We strive to build a top-class online recruitment solution that will help organizations from every discipline to recruit smarter, faster and easier. A product of, which leads the job site market in the Middle East region, we are privileged to have served thousands of employers of every shape and size in the region and it is this 14 years of rich online recruitment experience that we have poured into Talentera.


If you’d like to speak with an expert to learn how Talentera can improve your company’s recruiting processes, please get in touch.