"It is critical that companies use social media to engage both existing and aspiring employees.
Harnessing value from the flow of big data generated from social media is critical for driving greater operational efficiency, cutting costs, boosting profits and unlocking new routes to innovation," said Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director of SAP Mena, who was a partner in the study.
Nearly 80% of those surveyed agreed that social media, and associated technology, helps provide access to important job market data, allowing users to both advertise and locate job opportunities, with 75% agreeing that a new 'virtual job market' has emerged as a result of engagement with social platforms.
While perhaps being weaker in terms of case studies and quantitative research on how social media engagement is leading to successful entrepreneurship, the study did cover the range of uses for social media.
"Of course this is just based on peoples' perception and it doesn't necessarily translate onto the ground yet," Racha Mourtada, Research Associate with Dubai School of Government told AMEinfo. "But we do know that people are willing to utilise social media to create enterprises and promote job creation, so the willingness is there as well as the realisation of the benefits of social media."
"It's mostly been a qualitative approach, but we did have a few questions about peoples' actual experience with social media. We specifically asked entrepreneurs what they use social media for - mostly promotion and outreach. We're not quite at the stage where [social media] is used as more of a collaborative tool for crowd sourcing and crowd funding."
Report shows enthusiasm toward social media in business
The landmark report excels in providing vital clues to the mood of young professionals - the majority of those surveyed were in their twenties. The research team from DSG had a specific profile in mind to reflect the demographics and gender breakdowns on which the study was focussed, which was about a 60% male and 40% female, leaning more towards younger people under 30. Respondents were mostly within the private sector, but generally all were social media savvy.
"We were pleasantly surprised about the overwhelmingly positive view that social media can impact entrepreneurship and employment," explained Mourtada.
The big surprise is due to the fact that, for young Arabs, the job market outside of the public sectors of wealthy GCC member states is not at all bright. A UN survey released earlier this year referred to Arab youth unemployment as 'disturbingly high', while noting that Middle East and North African countries had the highest unemployment youth rates in in the world in 2011 - at 26.2% and 27.1%, respectively.
However, DSG's report tells a sunnier tale, hailing social media as a vital component for start-ups in the Arab world, with 86% of respondents agreeing it contributed to success. Among the reasons cited were the multifaceted marketing potential (90%), a capacity to tap into wider markets (86%), substantial customer engagement options (85%) and its overall potential to raise awareness and instill entrepreneurial mindsets (84%).