Middle East Job Market Update for 2015
With hiring returning to and even exceeding pre-recession levels businesses are beginning to see the end of what has been a tough time for the unemployed. However, with the talent pool so large it has made the hiring process more difficult as the advancements in technology have meant jobs now receive thousands of applicants, whereas previously they would have received only a handful.
However this does have its upsides. The demand and number of applicants, combined with the improving economic situation in the world, especially in the middle east, has caused remuneration packages to be more competitive than ever.
The hiring climate shows signs of prosperity, as the heavy investment in many industries within the Middle East has created a ripple effect. This has meant companies are looking to fill the demand to build these projects but also the demand to find employers for these expanding businesses. In many instances, demand for new employees is so high this is having an significant impact on the value of their remuneration package.
In the Robert Half Middle East Salary guide 2015 survey, 89% of HR directors expressed their concern at finding adequately skilled and qualified professionals. This is due to a number of reasons including: lack of niche technical experts (43%) general demand outweighing supply (29%) Slowed hiring during recession (15%) and not enough commercial and business skills (12%).
The pace at which the hiring is happening has become of paramount importance for companies, as the demand across the entire region has meant the inability to act swiftly may lose the company the right candidate to a competing business.
Due to this, salaries have increased throughout the Middle East as companies look to incentivise their offer with more robust packages.
As an expat, the challenges HR directors face when hiring expatriate talent was found to be competing for the best talent/paying competitively with 43% of HR directors expressing this as their main concern. Rising property prices/cost of living (28%), Securing requisite working documents/visas (17%) and culture shock (11%) were the other factors affecting the hiring of expat talent.
As mentioned earlier, the competitiveness for skilled workers and improved economy has seen salary increase heading into 2015.
Overall, according to the AON Hewitt survey The Global Talent they have mentioned the Middle East will see a salary increase of 5.1% in 2015, a further increase from last years 4.9%. This is only second to the Asia Pacific market who is expected to see an increase of 5.8% largely driven by China’s salary increase of 7.9%. Also in Europe there is an expected salary increase of 3.7% a 0.1% improvement from last year.
Retention is becoming a key factor most companies are becoming more aware of in this competitive market and the fear of losing their top performers.. This means that they are more willing to offer more meaningful pay rises and other stay incentives.
Additionally, ways in which companies are looking to make the compensation package more attractive is through bonuses with 33% of companies increasing their bonuses while 37% are remaining the same. 33% of companies have indicated they would be much more willing to offer a sign-on bonus in 2015 and 23% somewhat more willing as they look to enhance the likelihood of you joining while offsetting some the costs it may cost when relocating if coming from abroad.
Skills in demand
The need for niche experts have increased in the job hiring market as companies are finding the budget and value to hire to a more specific role. One of the niche skills highly becoming a priority on the minds of companies is cyber security and with the recent increase of cybersecurity threats in 2014 including the leaking of celebrity photos and conflict with North Korea and the USA over The Interview, this has simply heightened the necessity for information security.
Within the finance sector skills in demand are corporate governance/SOX, System savvy professionals (Oracle/SAP), Advanced Excel skills, Commercial/analytical and a excellent communication skills including high proficiency in Arabic for anyone looking to relocate.
Within the technology sector project management, commercial/business acumen, communication skills, ERP systems experience, developed market exposure and a degree and qualification pairing is highly sought after in 2015.
With the HR sector the key skills sought after for 2015 are: Performance management, organisational design, talent management, INternational and multinational exposure, manufacturing and FMCG experience, Banking and finance experience and CIPD, SHRM and MA, HR management qualified.
With the overall outlook promising for an exciting 2015, an increase in hiring and pay indicates that the Middle East will be one of the most formidable markets to be entering. If you would like further information on the specific industries and how they fair heading into Q2 2015 then please see our Q2 2015 Industry Updates.
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