Outsized: Talent-on-Demand platform reveals the skills most in demand in the MENA region in 2022

Outsized: Talent-on-Demand platform reveals the skills most in demand in the MENA region in 2022

The findings from Outsized’s talent-on-demand report highlight the sectors making the most use of flexible talent models and the skills of the future to address the growing skills gap in the region.

Outsized, a talent-on-demand platform, has seen a surge of independent skilled consultants signing up to the platform and an increase in demand from enterprises moving to more agile and flexible workforce models. The findings uncovered in the Talent-on-Demand 2022 report, based on proprietary data collected from Outsized’s platform, summarise thousands of data points on client demand and talent skills. The findings from the report also revealed the Middle East as one of the fastest growing regions in terms of growth in the new freelance economy.

As the MENA region continues to consciously move away from oil dependence, Digital Transformation and automation are taking centre stage and are being widely hailed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution — along with data being christened as the ‘new oil’. Governments are investing significantly in skills development and infrastructure to support this move. One of the initiatives implemented by the government termed UAE Industry 4.0, aims to transform UAE into a globally competitive, productive, and sustainable sector at the cutting edge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

To run an agile organisation and to succeed in highly competitive markets, businesses need to have a sharper focus on skillset management. To achieve this, organisations are taking to managing a distributed and virtual workforce while integrating freelancers into their teams to make use of skilled talent from across the globe, increase cost savings, reduce the businesses’ main office footprint as well as function with great speed and agility.

Owing to massive transformation caused by rapid modernisation and initiatives implemented by the regional authorities for digital transformation, many enterprises are consciously shifting towards these agile work models to address chronic skill shortages.

In McKinsey’s 2021 Global Survey, 58% of the respondents stated that closing the skills gap has become a higher priority since the pandemic began. Narrowing down to the region, PwC’s survey found that skill gaps in the region are adversely affecting the growth in 3 out of 4 organisations.

In keeping with the worldwide trend, there is a growing demand for specialist skills in the area of digital products and services in the region. As evidenced by Outsized’s clients’ demands, the top desired skill sets in the MENA region for 2022 include:

  • Digital Transformation
  • Payments
  • Data governance and analytics
  • Agile methodologies
  • Cards
  • Project and programme management

Vikram Malhotra, Managing Director – MENA, Outsized, said: “Prior to the onset of the pandemic, on one hand, enterprises were struggling to find the right talent to meet their needs, and on the other hand skilled talent found it difficult to find the right opportunities with blue chip clients due to a very fragmented market. At Outsized, we have built the infrastructure to make it possible for skilled talent to meet premium clients in an efficient manner. Clients can easily find top independent talent from the region and beyond, and freelancers and independent consultants can access opportunities with leading organisations in one place. The MENA region is witnessing the dual benefit of local talent getting access to global opportunities and regional organisations getting access to global talent.”

The report also reveals that Outsized’s MENA clients were focused on higher skills areas and that the trend of independent consulting and skilled freelancer contracts is increasing with those onboarded often being based abroad.

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