Revealed: the impact VAT has had on UAE hiring levels

New LinkedIn survey shows how many UAE candidates are demanding above average salaries since the roll out of VAT
Revealed: the impact VAT has had on UAE hiring levels
The LinkedIn survey said the implementation of VAT in the UAE at the start of 2018 does not seem to have affected hiring rates.
By Sam Bridge
Sat 16 Feb 2019 11:12 AM

The majority (84 percent) of recruiters and human resource (HR) professionals in the UAE remain confident about their ability to recruit the right candidates for businesses, according to a new survey.

However, more than half (56 percent) have experienced candidates demanding above average salaries since the roll out of VAT, according to the Recruiter Sentiment Survey by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.

The survey said the implementation of VAT in the UAE at the start of 2018 does not seem to have affected hiring rates, with most respondents (57 percent) seeing an increase in hiring from April to December 2018, when compared to the same period in 2017.

The top reasons for the increase in hiring from April to December 2018 were attributed to business growth (63 percent), availability of more suitable candidates (52 percent) and access to relevant talent insights (51 percent).

However, over half (55 percent) of respondents stated that there was a greater supply of candidates than available roles.

“It is interesting to see that despite the introduction of VAT, the UAE job market and workforce appears to remain confident. However, the new tax does appear to be putting added pressure on businesses as candidates demand higher salaries to compensate for the increase,” said Ghassan Talhouk, head of LinkedIn – UAE LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

The survey revealed that the most in-demand roles since the implementation of the VAT regime were tax and finance executives and IT specialists, as companies geared up for VAT -compliance.

According to the survey findings, transport, public administration and design sectors are among the hardest to find candidates for, while the hiring rates in IT, food and beverage and hospitality industries have peaked since the start of 2018.

The survey findings also revealed which industries were the easiest and most difficult to find candidates for. Since the start of 2018, hiring rates for the IT, food and beverage and hospitality industries have peaked, according to respondents, while the transport, public administration and design sectors were among the hardest to hire for.

In addition, two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents think that sourcing and hiring candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds is a big or major priority, amid increased awareness of the benefits of workplace diversity and inclusion.

Survey respondents said they expect that artificial intelligence (AI) will have a significant impact on the future of work in the UAE. The survey revealed that 68 percent of recruiters and HR professionals believe that AI will particularly affect jobs in finance, healthcare and transport/storage industries.

At the same time, half of recruiters and HR professionals (51 percent) agree that AI will also grow employment opportunities in the UAE and the wider region, yet lower availability of entry- to mid-level jobs are anticipated by 46 percent of respondents due to increased automation of work processes.

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.