Employment in Saudi Arabia
The prospect of earning salaries that are much higher than what foreigners can earn in their own countries is mayor temptation for many foreign nationals who come to work in Saudi Arabia.
In job search abroad, if you want your application for employment in Saudi Arabia to be taken seriously you have to consider all national differences. Jobs in Saudi Arabia demand more than just the obvious Saudi CV and Saudi cover letter writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation for successful passing of Saudi job interview.
You should be prepared to take Saudi Arabia as it is with all of its difficulties, contradictions and challenges. Do not underestimate those national differences. What is common in one country might be very unusual in another country.
You will be confronted with problems that in all probability did not even cross your mind when you decided to job search in Saudi Arabia. Do not take too lightly the influence the search for employment in Saudi Arabia can have on the result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the unfamiliar immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, bizarre job selection trends and weird management culture.
Most visits to Saudi Arabia are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas.
In recent years, the Saudi authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Ensure that your travel documents and visas are current, valid and secured in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of your travel documents in lieu of the originals. Maintain a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, and exercise caution while driving. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.
The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic according to the constitution of the country, while English is widely spoken, especially in business and trade. Persian, Urdu and Hindi are also spoken.
While some positions require strong language skills (translator, consultant, etc.) others demand only minimal foreign language skills.
When applying for employment in Saudi Arabia, you may use either Arabic or English, depending on the company and your fluency. Foreign job seekers are expected to have at least a basic understanding of local language because knowledge of the language is considered necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.
Accept that most of the successful expatriate professionals are bilingual and many of them bicultural. Because of that, they can comfortably relate to people from different cultures.
Due to the number of expatriate workers on short-term contracts, there is not much casual and temporary work available. Therefore, you should not travel to Saudi Arabia with the purpose of finding temporary or casual work.
Any foreigner who wants to be employed in Saudi Arabia MUST have a working visa under a Saudi sponsor. There is no provision for freelance work. Foreigners found working without a working visa would be detained and asked to leave resulting in a possible ban from returning.
You should have a firm offer of employment before travelling to Saudi Arabia. Speculative visits are rarely successful. You need to be very lucky and have high-grade qualifications and experience to stand any chance. In addition, you will need knowledgeable local contacts and have done research of companies, which would be interested in your experience.
Online job search resources are expanding quickly, thanks to mass CV distribution services, online recruitment databases and opportunities to email job search applications. The Internet is now the best place to access employment information.
In the effective job search in Saudi Arabia, you should complement online job search by methods that are more traditional because jobs in Saudi Arabia are advertised in different ways and some jobs are not advertised in traditional forms at all. More than half of all work in Saudi Arabia are not advertised at all and are filled through referrals or networking. We refer to this as the "hidden job market" and it is a very important aspect of the job search process.
Quite often with employment in Saudi Arabia, it is not what you know, but whom you know. The most efficient way to find employment is through recruitment agencies, recruiters and employers on the Internet.
The job search process usually works this way:
- You find a Saudi employer through the recruitment agency, recruiter on the Internet.
- You fill up the job application and submit required documents like your CV, cover letter etc.
- When there is a match, the agency, recruiter or employer will agree to hire you subject to a work permit is obtained.
- The employer applies for a work permit for you. This process usually depends on what country you are from and what your skills or education is.
- If the permit is approved, you will receive such a document from your employer as the permit or its copy is necessary for obtaining a visa.
- Upon arrival at your place of employment, you may be required to register with the local police.
- If you change jobs, you must start the process all over again.
- Agency and consultancy fees are paid by the employer, with no charge to you.
In the search for employment in Saudi Arabia use the most powerful job-search engine on the Internet!
To search for employment in Saudi Arabia, simply type keywords, job title or company name into the what box describing the kind of job you want and enter a city, region or postcode in the where box. Then click the Find button or hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
Careerjet searches for employment in Saudi Arabia on all of the major job boards, newspaper sites, niche industry sites and corporate job sites. Those include:
odysseyconsulting.org, odysseyrecruitment.com, oilandgasjobsearch.com, jobs2web.com, aljazeerajobs.com, jobstreet.com.ph, datamaticsstaffing.com, getitllc.com, aarknet.org, capitaresourcing.co.uk, monstergulf.com, eteach.com, fecareers.co.uk, hotel-career.ch, jobsdb.com.ph, killerjobs.com, resumepromo.com, workabroad.ph, bayt.com, euni.de, gulftalent.com, gulfjobsmarket.com, mygulliver.com, caterer.com, allarabia.com, justengineers.net, justconstruction.net, justlanded.com, learn4good.com, staffnurse.com, progressiverecruitment.com, naukri.com, worldwideworker.com, jobstore.co.uk, recruitgulf.com, catererglobal.com and hundreds more.
If you are unhappy with presented jobs you may use another powerful job search engine covering the different job sources.
Remember that your Saudi CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your CV writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples and CV templates or:
- human CV writing services
In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with a current CV. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. The online CV should not include sensitive information as they could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
Check the academic requirements of desired positions as in most cases the Saudi government insists on degrees from accredited universities.
Make sure the employment you accepted is the employment you really want. This is important, as there is a law, which aims to stop people from job-hopping. This law enables employers to give you a minimum of six months ban from working in Saudi Arabia if you resign from a job. If you accept just any job in order to enter the country you are likely to end up doing that job for a longer time than initially planned since resigning often means that you will be banned from Saudi Arabia!
Do not pay someone to find you a job. Employers pay the fee at a reputable employment agency. Don’t be fooled by ads in newspapers promoting international jobs for a fee. Do not deal with any employment agency that requires a fee unless there is a money-back guarantee, and even then think twice. When looking for a job be cautious of frauds. Many agencies and recruiters take advantage of the problematic job situation for foreigners and provide very tempting job offers, which eventually turn out to be false. Always contact the Better Business Bureau or your state Attorney General's office before you do business with a fee-based agency.
Recruitment consultants and recruiters in western countries (particularly in the UK and USA) deal with most managerial jobs in Saudi Arabia, while agencies in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Korea, the Philippines and Thailand supply most of the manual labourers. Some of them have offices in the capital cities of these countries too.
If you are considering a job offer before coming to Saudi Arabia be sure to check carefully how much (in what currency) you will be paid and if your employer will assist you with accommodation. It is often for workers of Asian nationality to fall victim to promises of good pay and provision of accommodation only to find themselves having their passport confiscated and falling under the control of their sponsor. Be sure to check the reputation and credibility of any potential employer before accepting a position.
Expect to be paid anywhere from SAR 5,000 – 6,000 for average middle range positions to SAR 7,500 – 11,000 for higher positions such as teaching and SAR 35,000 – 95,000 for executive and managerial positions. At both extremes, the employer usually provides accommodation.
Saudi Arabia is heavily saturated with IT workers (mostly from India), so wages in the IT industry are very low.
Some aspects of living in Saudi Arabia are relatively expensive so terms of service besides basic salary are important. The common benefits offered to expatriate include:
- Accommodation: An employer may provide a villa or flat, or give a rent allowance, which may or may not be adequate. Check if it includes utilities like water, power etc.
- Car: Employer may provide a company car. Nevertheless, often a car allowance is given instead. Check that it is adequate to cover the running costs. Some companies provide employees with a loan to buy a car or will act as guarantor to a finance company.
- School fees: Fees for local schools, which follow foreign curricula, vary. Make sure that school fees paid by an employer are adequate.
- Annual Holidays: Annual leave varies from 28 days every two years to 42 days or more a year.
- Return Air Fares: Make sure that annual return airfares included in an employment contract cover family members.
Unless contractual benefits are adequate, actual savings may not reach expectations.
Personal income tax is not currently applied in Saudi Arabia.
Depending on where you are going, you might need immunizations.
Other Employment in Saudi Arabia Info
To be successful in your search for employment in Saudi Arabia and getting the position you want, you need prepare Saudi cover letter and Saudi CV which you must email instantly to the prospective employers selected during a job search in Saudi Arabia.
When you receive an invitation to the Saudi job interview, you may apply for a Saudi visa and Saudi work permit. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at Saudi dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in not hired for available jobs.
Good luck with your employment in Saudi Arabia!