Report: Get to know Saudi's Job Seekers!

July 3, 2022

9 minutes read
9 minutes read

July 3, 2022

Market needs are constantly changing on both supply and demand ends. You have jobs today that barely anyone would’ve expected 30 years ago, and a new generation of workers entering with different expectations and desires regularly.

We decided to take a closer look at the less popular side of this spectrum, the supply. Who are they? What do they want? What are they looking for in a job? We conducted a cross-sectional examination to find out the answers to these (and many more) questions!

Who are today’s “Job Seekers”?

We had a total of 974 respondents in our survey. Most of whom were between 23 and 35 years old (56.2%), and the closest age cluster was 18 to 22-year-olds (36.5). The majority reside in Riyadh (55.1%), then Jeddah (18%), and finally 8.7% reside in the eastern provinces.

Most respondents have a less than 3K SAR average monthly income (62.1%). We surveyed people with different occupational statuses from students (college students 38.7%, high schoolers (3.9%)), workers (28.4%), and unemployed (29.1%).

Money is the primary motive!

When we asked about the main goal behind work -and to no one’s surprise-, income was the number one answer (50.7%). The second most desired “gain” was experience (26.4%). These results add up given the age group, as more than 60% of our respondents are college students.

Here, you can see that “experience” is more valued among students. 39% of high schoolers and 33% of college students chose “experience” as their desired gain and main goal. On the other hand, 27% of unemployed and 16% of working respondents made the same choice.

The work environment is the most important factor!

Despite “additional income” being the number 1 motive/goal behind work; our survey revealed that a “positive work environment” is the most important thing job seekers look for in any job. It exceeded “added benefits” (work environment 29%, added benefits 26.8%). These results are not contradictory, job seekers look for a job because they want the money, but when it comes to selection, they will select the one with the healthier environment.  

High turnover rates are no secret when it comes to retail and F&B. Having worked in recruitment and operations, we have observed “work environment” to be one of the most important factors for retention. One of our partners, “Al Faisaliah Group” were able to retain their employees for over 7 consecutive months by focusing on cultivating a healthy and positive work environment (Read: Al Faisaliah Group & Flexible Staffing | How did they Succeed? [Case Study]).

How can you reach today’s job seekers?

Job platforms such as were the number one source (68.3%) job seekers use to find jobs. Google comes as a second option (46.1%), then friends and family (word of mouth – 44.9%). Notice how LinkedIn is only the 5th option, this makes sense since it is not really for blue-collar jobs.

Retail and F&B are the preferred sectors!

Job seekers prefer retail (73.9%) and F&B (63.7%) for flexible work opportunities (Read: Fantastic Employees for retail and F&B | How to find them?).

On the other hand, delivery is the least preferred sector (17.5%) amongst all respondents.

Current job seekers are all about socializing!

The first two choices in “preferred roles” were “customer service” (60.9%) and “host & receptionist” (57.5%). Delivery is still ranking at the bottom with 15.6%.

125 SAR/day is the minimum for a flexible worker!

When asked about income expectations for a 5hrs shift, students chose 125-150 SAR for high-schoolers and college students. The percentage was 29.4% and 38.8% respectively. The highest percentage of employees (29.1%) had the same expectation.

As for unemployed respondents, 150-175 SAR was the majority’s (25.4%) minimum, followed closely by 125 – 150 for 24.6%

These differences can be attributed to many things. One of which is the age difference which usually comes hand-in-hand with the proportion of responsibility. When it comes to financial expenses, the general observation is that a student is likely to have fewer responsibilities than a graduate.

Moreover, an interesting difference was noted among graduates. 24.6% of unemployed respondents expect more than 170 SAR/day compared to 20.06% of employed respondents. Could this be attributed to the lack of experience, hence, lack of realistic expectations?

If we go back to the “main goal” question. Our respondents unanimously chose “income” as the primary goal behind work. However, students selected experience as a very close second, which could explain the gap in income expectations (they are willing to take less, to learn more).

Experience makes all the difference…

We asked a very simple question: would you share your flexible-worker experience certificate with the HR personnel from a company?

“Yes” was undoubtedly the highest answer among all segments (70% of high schoolers, 75% of college students, 72% of unemployed, and 67% of employees). Job seekers don’t just want to work, they want to learn, and they want to prove that they have learned. Think of this fact when you consider your company’s added value and benefits to Its employees.

Choose your times wisely!

When asked about preferred times to work a shift during the week, the majority chose “evening/after Maghrib prayer” time (high schoolers 61.8%, college students 77.3%, and employees 76.1%). However, 75% of unemployed respondents chose the morning time. This makes sense when you consider responsibilities and time restraints throughout the day.


On weekend shifts, 47.1% of high school students prefer to work during the morning and afternoon. As for college students, they prefer these periods as well with 58.1% for afternoon shifts, and 54.7% for morning shifts. Unemployed respondents are still consistent with their preference for morning shifts (59%), while employees chose evening shifts (59.1%).

How much of an impact does prior experience have?

To scale things up a bit, we wanted to dig a little deeper into quality correlations! We looked into respondents’ prior work experience (yes/no?), and correlated it with their average Sabbar rating, which is out of 5 (this rating is done for each flexible-worker (gigger) by each shift’s supervisor). And while this might be a “duh” moment, we wanted to be a little nerdy and see if the numbers confirm the prediction!

Prior experience does impact giggers’ ratings, but it is not necessarily “positive”.  68% of our top-rated gigger (4-5/5) have had prior full-time work experience. 77% of our 3-4/5 rated giggers have as well. Further, 80% of our 1-2/5 rated giggers have as well.

This does not negate or discredit training or skills by any means, it does however confirm that the “quality” of experience should be your main focus, not the “duration” of it.

90.6% of today’s job seekers are interested in flexible work!

90.6% of our respondents expressed interest in flexible work. Flexible work has many benefits to both ends (supply and demand). A full-time job is no longer the most valued option, it is no longer the size that fits all.

As an employer, you should know how cost-effective flexible work is (read: 5 Reasons why companies use flexible staffing and so should you!). In addition to that, you now know that is indeed desired by today’s job seekers!

Read: How flexible Staffing Can Transform your Business.

Try it out for yourself. Become A Sabbar Partner!

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