UAE executives can expect to see a 5 percent rise in starting salaries this year, with those in the financial services sector forecast to enjoy the biggest boost in their pay packets, according to a survey by recruitment specialist Robert Half.
The firm’s Salary Guide found starting salaries for new executives in the financial services sector this year are set to see an average increase of 5.6 percent across various roles and sectors.
Technology and human resources professionals are forecast to see their base salary rise 5.3 percent, while average legal & finance and accounting executives are set for boosts of 4.1 and 4.8 percent respectively.
Despite these positive predictions, 85 percent of finance employers said they “are concerned about losing top performers in the next year,” the report found.
In terms of individual financial sectors, 29 percent of employers said finance was the most challenging area to recruit for, followed by audit (24 percent), operational support (17 percent), compliance (12 percent) and accounting (12 percent).
“While it may not be the double digit salary rises we witnessed a few years back, companies are increasing remuneration in an effort to attract, recruit and retain top talent,” said James Sayer, director of Robert Half Middle East.
“The wave of regulatory change that has swept across the global economy has resulted in a shortage of skilled professionals in compliance, risk and regulatory as well as IT security. Many companies are turning to expatriate recruitment to help fill the gap, whereas others are raising salaries and benefits to attract highly skilled local candidates to their organisations,” he added.
In line with this, 56 percent of the 75 human resource directors surveyed in the report said expatriate candidates’ expectations for total package remuneration was in line with local market conditions. However, 39 percent said expectations are higher, with 5 percent saying they were too low.