Aramco and SABIC Voted Most Popular Employers for Saudi Graduates

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• Training and development cited as the main attraction of top employers, according to GulfTalent.com study. • Average salary expectation for male graduates is 10,000 Rials per month, compared with just 5,000 for female graduates.

Logo of GulfTalent.com, Middle East online recruitment portal

A research study just released by online recruitment firm GulfTalent.com confirms Saudi Aramco as the top career choice for Saudi graduates, followed by SABIC.

GulfTalent.com’s study “Recruiting Top Graduates in Saudi Arabia” was based on a survey of over 2,400 recent graduates and final-year students at six leading universities in the Kingdom.

The universities that participated in this landmark study include King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), King Abdulaziz University, Jubail University College, Prince Sultan University, Alfaisal University, and Effat University.

The study provides a list of the top 50 most popular employers in Saudi Arabia – including multinationals, Saudi private companies, state-owned companies as well as government ministries.

Multinationals that came close to the top of the popularity rankings include oil services firm Schlumberger, consumer goods company Proctor & Gamble, and industrial conglomerate General Electric.

Among local firms, after Aramco and SABIC, the most popular employers were found to be Saudi Airlines, Mobily, Samba, Saudi Telecom and the National Commercial Bank.

Among government departments and ministries, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) had the highest popularity with graduates.

The survey findings come at a critical time for the private sector. Following the introduction of the government’s Nitaqat system earlier in the year, companies in the Kingdom are required to meet ambitious quotas of Saudi employees.

Graduate Preferences

Saudi graduates surveyed by GulfTalent.com cited the quality of a company’s training and development programme as the main attraction of joining them.

“They give you courses and let you learn. They send you to Dubai and to the US to develop yourself so you can advance in your field.” said AbdulRahman, a graduate of King Fahd University who was interviewed by GulfTalent.com about why he had chosen Schlumberger as his top choice.

Other factors ranking highly for graduates were the opportunity to do interesting and challenging work, the company’s public image and reputation, as well as the salary offered.

Average salary expectation of male graduates was found to be SAR 10,000 per month, while the figure for female graduates was much lower, at only SAR 5,000 per month. The gap reflects greater competition among female graduates for a smaller number of female vacancies currently available.

Female graduates also showed much greater interest than males in joining government organisations, citing higher job security, more flexible working hours and the infrastructure to absorb a female workforce.

Impact of Location and Family

According to the survey, job location was an important factor for many graduates, with most stating a preference for taking up a job close to their city of origin where they had grown up, rather than relocate to other regions of the country.

At the same time, there was significant interest in gaining international exposure – by working, travelling or training abroad. Based on the survey results, over 63% of males and 35% of female graduates would like the opportunity to live and work for a few years outside the Kingdom, and would be attracted to employers that offered them this opportunity.

The study also reveals that graduates’ employment decisions are heavily influenced by their families. Over 76% of males and 91% of female graduates said their families were somehow involved in their choice of employer. Most families were reported to play an advisory role, while a minority of families made the final decision for their children – 3% for male graduates, and 12% in the case of female graduates.

GulfTalent.com’s study was based on a survey of 2,440 Saudi graduates and final-year students in six leading universities in the Kingdom. The survey was conducted during June/July 2011. The full survey results entitled “Recruiting Top Graduates in Saudi Arabia” is available for download free of charge from the company’s website at: http://www.gulftalent.com.

GulfTalent.com is the leading online recruitment portal in the Middle East and one of the market leaders in Saudi Arabia, used by over 60,000 Saudi professionals and managers for finding top career opportunities. It is also a key provider of both national and expatriate talent to over 500 companies within the Kingdom.

Appendix – Top 50 Most Popular Employers for Saudi Gradates

1.    Saudi Aramco
2.    SABIC
3.    Schlumberger
4.    Saudi Airlines
5.    Procter & Gamble (P&G)
6.    General Electric (GE)
7.    Mobily
8.    Samba
9.    Saudi Telecom (STC)
10.    National Commercial Bank (NCB)
11.    National Guard Hospital
12.    King Faisal Specialist Hospital
13.    Google
14.    SABB
15.    Al Rajhi Bank
16.    Chevron
17.    Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)
18.    Baker Hughes
19.    KPMG
20.    McKinsey
21.    Petro Rabigh
22.    Unilever
23.    Capital Market Authority (CMA)
24.    Halliburton
25.    Ministry of Education
26.    Satorp
27.    Microsoft
28.    PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
29.    King Abdulaziz University Hospital
30.    Ernst & Young
31.    Saudi Binladin Group
32.    Royal Commission
33.    Deloitte
34.    BAE Systems
35.    Maaden
36.    HSBC
37.    Sasref
38.    Ministry of Interior
39.    Nestle
40.    Siemens
41.    Sipchem
42.    Emaar
43.    Marafiq
44.    CITC
45.    Ministry of Health
46.    Samsung
47.    King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital
48.    Savola
49.    Olayan
50.    Apple

Source: GulfTalent.com Survey of Saudi graduates

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Maryam Afandi
TRACCS Public Relations - Jeddah
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