Saudi graduates prefer jobs in home country

UAE, 13 Oct 2005

Dubai: Saudi university graduates are eyeing a grab-bag of international employers, but the majority eventually want careers at home.

Although 54 per cent of graduates from the King Fahd University of Petro-leum and Minerals are interested in working abroad for a few years, 94 per cent said they would like to return home after gaining international experience, according to GulfTalent.

"This should ensure that there is virtually no threat of the 'brain drain' experienced by some other Arab and Muslim societies," said a spokesperson for GulfTalent, a regional recruitment website. Its report, Recruiting Top Graduates in Saudi Arabia, also ranks Saudi students' top choices among 30 employers.

Most coveted employers were Saudi Aramco, with 64 per cent wanting jobs with the firm, followed by 50 per cent for SABIC. The only non-Saudi GCC-based company on the list was the UAE's Mobily.

According to GulfTalent, key factors in choosing an employer were an opportunity to learn and grow, a chance to perform challenging work, and salary and benefits. Company reputation and working hours were not important.

"The results of the survey confirm that building an attractive employee value proposition demands far more than just an attractive salary."