Some Saudi nationals are giving up their public sector jobs in search of challenging opportunities and lucrative salaries in major companies.
They claim that bureaucratic hurdles and lack of enough support for innovative ideas in government jobs prevent them from achieving their career ambitions.
Government jobs also do not offer performance-base incentives and good training opportunities, they added.
These claims emerged as the latest data from the Ministry of Civil Services revealed that around 12,000 Saudi employees quit their government jobs in 2010 to join the private sector.
The report also contradicts the common perception that Saudi nationals prefer working in the public sector because it is perceived to be safer as jobs are secure until retirement.
Amal Shira, a human resources director at Schindler Group, says the government sector should improve its management techniques and work ethics. “Government departments need to get out of their comfort zone,” she quipped.
The automatic promotion mechanism in the public sector also breeds inefficiency, she charged.
“The staff are sure about their regular promotions with slight pay increases, whether they work or not,” she claimed.
“Employees know their positions and salaries at each stage of their career. So they don’t work hard,” said Shira.
“Lazy employees can keep their jobs in the public sector because the level of service offered to customers is never monitored properly. In contrast, customers are the main concern for private companies. Hence they focus on developing staff skills.”
But she said the private sector provides a golden opportunity for talented employees to set their goals, face challenges, boost skills and widen their knowledge.
“Private companies organize training courses and workshops to develop staff skills. But such events are rare in the public sector and even if a government department conducts a training course, relatives and close friends of managers are given priority,” she alleged.
Some Saudi nationals told Arab News that they prefer working in the private sector even if there is a chance to earn higher salaries in public service careers.