GCC employers expect salaries to go up in 2018, report says

New report from Hays finds that both employers and employees are optimistic due to better economic conditions
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 16 Jan 2018 01:57 PM

A majority of employers in the GCC expect salaries within their companies to go up over the course of the next year, according to a new report from Hays global recruiting group.

In its 2018 GCC Salary and Employment Report, Hays found that 68 percent of employers expect salaries to increase, which stands in contrast to the 39  percent of employees who received pay hikes in 2017. According to Hays, the figure suggest positive economic conditions for 2018.

“The results are indicative of more prosperous market activity for 2018,” said Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays Gulf region. “We are noticing an uplift in hiring activity across certain sectors, which will have a positive effect on salaries for a number of working professionals.”

Greaves, however, warned that employers should remain cautious about budget spends and the salaries they offer, “given the increasingly competitive nature of the market and challenging conditions of the past two years.”

Of those surveyed for the report, a majority (52 percent) said their salaries remained the same year-on-year, with 9 percent saying their salaries decreased – the same figure as in 2016, Of those that increased, the most significant reason, for a third consecutive year, was due to starting a new job at a new company.

According to the survey, office support professionals experienced the largest proportion of pay decreases, while accountancy, finance and legal professionals received the highest proportion of pay increases.

“The tax-free environment of the region attracts a vast and ever-growing volume of job seekers, which allows employers to be very selective as to who they hire, the skills they possess and the salary they will pay them,” Greaves said. “Understandably then, the best salaries are given to those who stand out from the crowd and who are the least replaceable.”

In the legal and finance professions, Greaves said that the highest paid salaries were found to have gone to those with multiple years of post-qualified experience in local and international markets who are capable of managing whole departments and are less readily in supply than entry-level job seekers.

For the first time since the report was first issued, employee salary expectations are largely aligned to that of employers, with 59 percent expecting salary increases in 2018. However, there is a disparity between the anticipated percentage of salary changes, with employers reporting an increase of up to 5 percent and employees a slightly higher one of 5 to 10 percent.

“It is impossible to predict salary trends for the whole market as they will very much dependent on individual roles and the expertise required,” Greaves added. “However, we do expect trading conditions to improve over the next 12 months and pay increase may well be more common practice than in 2017.”

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Last Updated: Tue 16 Jan 2018 01:00 PM GST

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