Emiratis chase job security, expats target salary - survey

New poll reveals radically different perspectives when it comes to what matters most to them at work
Emiratis chase job security, expats target salary - survey
By Staff writer
Wed 04 Nov 2015 01:56 PM

Emirati job seekers tend to prioritise job security when looking for employment while expats are more focused on salary, according to a new survey by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The findings of the study, carried out in conjunction with The Network, a global alliance of recruitment websites, showed that UAE nationals and expatriates have radically different perspectives when it comes to what matters most to them at work.

For UAE nationals, the most important single job element is job security, followed by employer reputation, company values, financial stability, good relationships with colleagues, corporate social responsibility (CSR), a good work/life balance, leadership responsibilities, a high performance culture, and learning/development opportunities.

In contrast, UAE expats' happiness on the job depends first and foremost on the level of appreciation they receive for their work, the poll said.

A good work/life balance, good relationships with superiors and colleagues, leadership responsibilities, learning/development opportunities, company values, job security, financial stability, and lastly, job content were also highlighted.

The survey results also showed that numerous factors rise and fall in importance as UAE workers go through their careers and gain experience. For example, the overall compensation package becomes more of a priority once workers grow out of their thirties.

Moreover, the work environment fades in importance as workers enter their forties while their appreciation for work as well as their employer's reputation become critical must-haves.

Among young UAE nationals aged 21-30, job security, employer reputation, company values, and corporate social responsibility top their list of desired workplace attributes.

"UAE recruiters looking to tap into the national talent pool and hire more young Emirati professionals must take this into consideration," said Bas Van Ulden, project leader at BCG Middle East.

"For UAE nationals, a competitive compensation package is not a top concern. What lures them in is job satisfaction - and the ability to do work that not only makes them proud but also reflects their true values and deeply-ingrained principles. While that may be surprising to some, knowing this is key to attracting and retaining young Emirati recruits."

A total of 502 male and female respondents (composed of 175 nationals and 327 expatriates) aged 21-45 participated in the survey.

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