Findings from Outsized’s In-Demand Talent report highlight the sectors that are making the most use of flexible talent models and future skills to address the region’s growing skills gap.

Outsized, an on-demand talent platform, has seen an increase in the number of freelance qualified consultants signing up to the platform and an increase in demand from companies moving to more agile and flexible workforce models. The discoveries found in the Talent in Demand 2022 report, based on proprietary data collected from Outsized’s platform, summarizes thousands of data points on customer demand and talent skills. The report’s findings also revealed that the Middle East was one of the fastest growing regions in terms of growth in the new independent economy.

As the MENA region continues to consciously move away from oil dependence, digital transformation and automation are taking center stage and widely hailed as the fourth industrial revolution, while data is being dubbed the “new oil”. “. Governments are investing heavily in skills development and infrastructure to support this development. One of the initiatives implemented by the government, called UAE Industry 4.0, aims to transform the UAE into a competitive, productive and sustainable global sector at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution.

To run an agile organization and succeed in highly competitive markets, companies need to focus more on skills management. To achieve this, organizations are moving to manage a distributed and virtual workforce while integrating freelancers into their teams to bring in skilled talent from around the world, increase cost savings, reduce office footprint mainstay of the business as well as operating with great speed and agility.

Due to the massive transformation caused by rapid modernization and initiatives implemented by regional authorities for digital transformation, many companies are consciously turning to these agile working models to address chronic skills shortages.

In McKinsey’s 2021 Global Survey, 58% of respondents said closing the skills gap has become a higher priority since the start of the pandemic. Looking just by region, PwC’s survey found that skills gaps in the region are hurting the growth of 3 out of 4 organizations.

In line with the global trend, there is a growing demand for specialized skills in the field of digital products and services in the region. As evidenced by Outsized’s client demands, the key skill sets in demand in the MENA region for 2022 include:

  • Digital transformation
  • Payments
  • Data Governance and Analytics
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Cards
  • Project and program management

Vikram Malhotra, Managing Director – MENA, Outsized, said: “Before the pandemic started, on the one hand, companies were struggling to find the right talent to meet their needs, and on the other hand, the talent qualified were hard to find. the right opportunities with blue chip clients due to a very fragmented market. At Outsized, we’ve built the infrastructure to enable qualified talent to meet premium clients efficiently. Clients can easily find the best freelance talent in the region and beyond, and freelancers and freelance consultants can access opportunities with leading organizations all in one place. The MENA region is witnessing the dual advantage of local talent having access to global opportunities and regional organizations having access to global talent.

The report also reveals that Outsized’s MENA clients were focusing on higher skill areas and the trend of freelance consultancy contracts and skilled freelancers is on the rise, with embedded people often based overseas.

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