(Words by Leith Ramsay, Managing Director, Michael Page Middle East)
In 2018, specialist recruitment consultancy PageGroup saw recruitment activity across every industry vertical. But, let me be clear – it does not mean that every industry vertical is on the up. Ultimately it has come down to which organisations made intelligent and proactive decisions in the last 2 years (post the Q1 2016 oil price collapse).
To make these intelligent decisions, and to build and implement plans, you must have quality talent at all levels – and this is where our expertise is utilised by clients, and indeed how we produce our salary survey: actual placements made throughout the year.
We realise that candidate expectations are now multi-layered.
Whereas previously a salary increase when changing employers was expected to be around 10–15% (sometimes more in certain sectors), candidates are now wanting more detail about career development plans and organisation culture, which also includes an approach to maintaining a flexible work environment.
Flexibility has the same currency as salary for many candidates and the cost to organisations is negligible. Equally, it is a difficult initiative to get right, requiring careful analysis and consultation. There is more talent on the ground committing their careers and long term future to the region than ever before, so tax-free salary is no longer enough to attract and retain the best people.
Sector-wise, the role of the public sector i.e. government spending in both the UAE and KSA, will continue to play a huge part in regional growth. The private sector still remains heavily reliant on major projects which drive hiring requirements across key sectors, namely Financial Services, Energy and Property & Construction. Government spending, driven by an improved rolling annual oil price translated into improved market confidence – we felt this via an all-time record number of new job acquisitions in 2018.
So what skills are in demand and what kind of pressure does that put on salaries?
-Data Science / Analytics – With an emphasis on achieving high levels of return on investment (ROI), all sectors are in pursuit of this talent, perhaps even though some do not know how to properly harness them
-Procurement / Cost Management – Professionals who have had experience reducing cost or spend across an enterprise whilst not negatively impacting productivity
-Governance & Compliance – Professionals who can design and implement a rigid process to safeguard organisations and their employees
You can find the full survey here for a full listing of jobs and their respective salaries.