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Tue 19 Feb 2008 12:00 AM

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Employees demand 30% pay rise to switch jobs

ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey shows substantial rise in pay needed to tempt staff.

More than half of employees in the Gulf would only consider switching jobs if they were offered a pay rise of over 30%, the ArabianBusiness.com Salary Survey has revealed.

Data from the first annual survey indicates that despite a sharp decline in job loyalty across the GCC, it would take a substantial increase in pay for the majority of employees to quit their current job.

The findings will come as good news for Gulf businesses, which face a tough year ahead trying to retain staff.

Two-thirds of employees are more likely to leave their company this year than in 2007, the survey found.

Just under 20% of workers said they would consider changing jobs for an increase in their salary of between 21-30%, while over one in ten said they would for an increase of 16-20%.

Within the expatriate community, Filipinos and Bangladeshis are the least likely to switch companies, with over 70% saying it would take a pay rise of more than 30% for them to consider a change.

Europeans and South Africans are the most likely to quit their current job, with around 60% saying they would quit their company for a pay rise ranging between 11-30%.

Out of the local population Kuwaitis are the least likely to change companies, with just over 60% saying it would take increase in their salary of over 30% for them to consider switching, while Qataris are the most likely, with a fifth saying they would quit their current job for a pay rise of 5-10%.

Although the data indicates employees would not change jobs without a significant financial incentive, skill-starved companies in the Gulf are increasingly agreeing to meet wage demands as they battle to recruit and retain staff in an increasingly competitive job market.

High wage demands are also being driven by inflation, which surged to record highs across the Gulf last year, and the falling value Gulf states' currencies pegged to the US dollar.

Inflation surged to record highs across the Gulf last year, hitting 14% in Qatar, 7.6% in Oman, 6.2% in Kuwait, 6% in Saudi and 4.9% in Bahrain.

Inflation hit a 19-year high of 9.3% in the UAE in 2006, the last official figure.

The survey revealed there is little difference between Gulf countries on how likely employees are to change jobs.

However, those working in Qatare are the most likely, with 41.6% saying they would quit their current company for an increase in their salary of 11-30%, while those in the UAE are the least likely, with 55.6% saying they would only move if given a pay rise of over 30%.

The data also reveals that the more you earn the less salary is a motivator. Of those earning $150,000 and above 10.29% said salary was unimportant, compared to the 5.4% of those earning $20,000 or less.

Another clear trend from the data is that nationals working within their own country are always close to, or top of the group least persuaded by salary.

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