How do contract staffing companies work in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is the fifth largest country in Asia which is also one of the top destinations for job seekers in Asia. Before we understand how you can find or contact recruitment agencies, it’s crucial to know exactly what they do and how they work. There is a difference between an in-house recruitment agent and a best contract staffing agency. Let’s understand this difference:

In-house recruitment agents are employed by a particular manufacturing or services company, for example: Reliance or Amazon etc. This recruiter will be hiring directly for the company they work for (i.e. why the name In-house) and will typically work on many different roles like recruiting for vendor management, sales or IT specialist and go through the stages of the process single-handedly.

On the contrary, recruitment agents work for many recruitment agencies and act as an outsourced recruitment function. A recruitment agent that works for agencies usually specialize in a particular and recruit for only that area. For example; sales or finance recruitment agencies in Saudi Arabia.

The remuneration also differs in both these cases, in case of an in-house recruiter they receive monthly salary as all employees do for doing their job. However, recruitment agents are paid only when they have successfully hired a candidate. The fees will be equivalent to 15-20% of the hired candidate’s annual salary.

There are huge number of recruitment agents in Saudi Arabia, which work for some of the best contract staffing agencies and have solid reputation over a long period of recruiting in Saudi Arabia.

While one is looking for jobs in the country, partnering with one of the top recruitment agents and working with the best contract staffing agencybecomes really important.

There must be a solid partnership between an agent and a candidate which should lead to an effective relationship between the two. Only when the staffing agency understands what the candidate is exactly looking for and the candidate knows what to expect from the agency, better things can happen for both.

Four ways to successfully contact recruiters in Saudi Arabia are as follows:

  • LinkedIn: One of the most formal way to approach recruiters as most of them are usually active on the platform on a daily basis. Here is a strategy on how it should be ideally done:
  1. Send a connection request: This may take time as recruitment agents receive constant connection requests. For your request to stand out, one must personalize it and give the recruiter a reason to accept it.
  2. Send a message: Once you’re connected you must send another message which is more specific mentioning about yourself, and the reason to meet them or discuss it over a call.
  3. Use InMails: The above process may take time and in case you want to hasten the process, one can use InMails and can bypass these steps. InMails allow you to directly message someone even if you’re connected.
  • Email: If you have email addresses of the top contract staffing companies in Saudi Arabia, you can send out emails to introduce yourself and that you want to speak them. Though LinkedIn messages can get overwhelming, sending an email directly to their work address can sometimes be a better approach. If you opt for this medium, make sure that the email is drafted well and communicates exactly the reason of sending them a mail.
  • Telephone: Many people shy away from talking over phone but it may be worth trying this approach in order to connect instantly with recruitment agencies. Every agency has a direct telephone line that you can call on. Once, you have the telephone number one must research on the recruiter that specializes in the field the candidate is interested in and can ask to speak to him directly.
  • Apply for a job online: Another way to get on the radar of a recruitment agency, is by applying for a job that they are advertising and looking for an appropriate candidate.

How does hiring in Saudi Arabia work?

  • In general, Saudis value personal touch and want to establish good relationship with their clients before negotiating agreements with them. They do not like directly saying no to a candidate or giving him the bad news, but one must look for terms during their discussion that mean ‘no’.
  • Saudization is the national policy of the country which encourages employment of nationals in private sector, which is actually dominated by emigrant workers.
  • The economy is highly dependent on emigrants, which have a work and residency permit to work in the country.
  • Employment Contracts in Saudi Arabia are a strong, written employment contract which mentions the terms of employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination requirements.
  • Saudis generally work for 40-48 hours a week. If an employee work more than 40 hours a week they are entitled to overtime compensation, with no capping on the payment.
  • Saudi Arabia also offers supplementary benefits like health insurance, travel tickets for vacations, education expenses, retirement plans, mobile phones and house allowances, along with transportation allowances.
  • Probation period of up to 90 days are normally allowed in Saudi Arabia. If there is an agreement between the employer and employee this period can be extended by an additional 90days. Though probation period is not a statutory requirement.
  • Notice Period: Employees that possess unlimited contracts are entitled to receive 60 days’ notice on the other hand employees with other contracts are entitled to 30 days’ notice period.
  • Employers must pay social insurance tax in Saudi Arabia on behalf of their employees. This contribution is usually levied on basic salary, including housing allowances and other commissions. Employers are also liable to pay contributions towards occupational hazards at a rate of 2% for both Saudi employees and immigrants.


It is really important to find yourself a recruitment agent or agency to save you lot of time, effort and money. It’s really important that one does their research in advance and identify 2-3 industries that they would like to work for and the kind of role you’re looking for. Always remember, to build a positive relationship with your chosen recruitment agency and make sure you set your expectations right in the beginning to avoid any complications later.

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