Home » Outsized: Third annual Talent-On-Demand 2024 report

Outsized: Third annual Talent-On-Demand 2024 report

by Madaline Dunn

Outsized has released the findings from its third annual Talent-On-Demand 2024 report, based on proprietary data collected from its platform. 

The report revealed that the MENA region is now one of the fastest-growing freelance economies, having seen a 142 per cent growth in freelancer registrations from 2022.

Indeed, diverging from the global downturn seen in the US and Europe, the MENA is witnessing a boost in freelance talent demand, with a focus on diversifying oil dependency into a knowledge and skills economy.

It was shared that this spans a range of sectors, including IT, banking, finance, real estate, construction, energy, and hospitality.

Further, companies in the MENA, APAC, and Africa are now actively implementing agile workforce models to adapt to market fluctuations and unforeseen challenges.

The Talent-On-Demand 2024 report identifies the top skills in demand, as evidenced by MENA enterprises that have used Outsized. 

The findings show that the MENA region is embracing a broader scope compared to global trends, where tech and data analysis dominate. 

In the MENA, finance, risk, product and proposition, sales, marketing, and change management skills are increasingly sought after.

In addition, this year, new macro trends such as ESG and sustainability, data analytics, and procurement are expected to rise in importance, 

This is set to further accelerate demand for local and international skilled independent talent.

The on-demand talent pool in the MENA region also has the highest average expertise, at 10.1 years, according to the report, outperforming the larger APAC and African regions. 

Day rates for MENA professionals also stand at US$309, ranking third behind Southeast Asia (US$544) and Africa (US$316).

The report also notes that as the undergoes rapid modernisation and digital transformation, the shift towards agile work models is essential to capitalise on growing opportunities.

However, it shared that companies face challenges due to a lack of niche expertise and the limitations of traditional hiring practices. 

The technology sector, in particular, it shared, is experiencing acute capacity and capability gaps, stalling adoption and driving investments in retraining and reskilling. 

Consulting firms, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, that struggle with the local scarcity of specialised skills, are sourcing talent globally through secondments or new hires to maintain competitiveness, it noted.

It was also found that companies in MENA are increasingly prioritising employee well-being, acknowledging high burnout rates and evolving expectations around work-life balance and mental health.

Finally, in 2024, companies are anticipated to further progress towards a more holistic approach to agile talent. 

However, employers will not only leverage independents for specific projects but instead see them as a competitive advantage to be used at scale, proactively. 

For the full Talent On-Demand 2024 report, head here.

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