Hay Group releases 2012 Saudi Arabia compensation and benefits study
- Saudi Arabia: Thursday, September 06 - 2012 at 14:11
- PRESS RELEASE
Hay Group released its 2012 Saudi Arabia Compensation and Benefits study which found that the average salary increase is holding steady tracking just below inflation, and that the impacts of Nitaqat are increasingly evident in private sector pay.
Hay Group's Wendell D'Cunha says the picture is fragmented with more variation between employee groups than we have seen in previous years.
"Within the basic pay rise of 3.8% there are three key trends, so we should be cautious in looking at the average," he said, "One trend is the expanding salary gap between nationals and non-nationals, the second is that national new hires are receiving the largest pay increases, and the third trend is an increase in the proportion of salary that is a performance based bonus."
Hay Group's report finds that nationals now receive 17% more than the market average, whereas in 2011, nationals received 13% above the market. Non-nationals now receive 4% below the market average.
D'Cunha says this is a trend that is set to continue, "The widening of this gap can be attributed to a combination of the efforts of Nitaqat and a talent shortage in certain functions and industries. In 2013 we expect to see more demand for nationals with specialist skills such as finance, IT, HR, engineering and production. 51% of our participating companies told us there is a scarcity of candidates."
From the report it is evident that Nitaqat is succeeding in encouraging the recruitment of nationals into the private sector. What's more, on average, Saudi new joiners are paid a 19% premium. Non-nationals are paid an average of 5% below the market on joining an organisation.
D'Cunha said, "Private sector organisations are recruiting more nationals and we see high premiums for nationals, especially when they enter a specialist field which is where the critical shortage of national talent lies."
When it comes to performance, the leadership and management teams of private companies are keen to cultivate a performance culture, but employees state they see little improvement. Hay Group reports that between 2007 and 2012 there has been little change in the number of employees who believe that the better their performance is, the better their pay and opportunity for advancement will be. In 2009, 46% of employees in Saudi Arabia felt their performance was reflected in their pay and career progression, in 2011, 42% did.
D'Cunha commented, "In Saudi Arabia, the proportion of an employee's package that is performance based bonus has doubled from 4 to 8% since 2010, even more so at the senior level. This demonstrates that senior leadership are bought into the idea of pay for performance but somehow, that is not filtering through."
He continued, "This suggests a gap between performance management policy and the understanding of its implementation. It also suggests there are cases where there is a gap in communications and employees are feeling the impact of this disconnect."
This is in contrast with an improvement in the Middle East region as whole; elsewhere Hay Group finds that employee opinion on the link between performance and professional progression is becoming stronger.
D'Cunha believes the employee opinions are also part of a wider appetite for changes in the workplace, "In most societies in the GCC we are witnessing changing expectations amongst citizens who expect fair treatment, more transparency and open two way communication. Employers that understand the implications of these changes and demonstrate their understanding, by visibly responding to changing expectations, will win the race to recruit and retain the best talent."
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