Hiring for Expo-related business activities is expected to begin between 2016 and 2017, according to Sanjay Modi, managing director of recruitment website Monster.com in India, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
“In 2014 and 2015, companies who already have a local presence in the region will be expanding in preparation for the Expo and any hiring (in this period) will be related to that expansion,” said Modi in an interview with Gulf Business.
Dubai’s successful bid to host the mega event is expected to impact the job market heavily, with reports estimating 277,000 new jobs created by 2020.
Anticipation of the Expo win has also led to a surge in business confidence across the country, according to a Dubai Chamber of Commerce study released last year. This has also been reflected in UAE’s job postings.
“Monster employment index indicated that online job postings have shown a 16 per cent year-on-year decline annually,” said Modi.
“However, we began seeing an increase in job postings from September onwards and that has sustained throughout the year.”
Modi forecasted a positive year ahead for the job sector with hiring expected to pick up in the second half of this year.
“Sectors like construction will start hiring by first two quarters while we expect industries like banking, healthcare and education to continue doing well throughout this year,” he said.
Despite a rise in hiring activity, the recruitment website head said salaries would be modest this year as employers have learnt to be cautious after the recession.
A recent survey by recruiter Robert Half projected an average rise of 3.8 per cent in salaries for Middle East professionals while a Mercer poll pegged wage hikes in 2014 at five per cent.
Modi said that the employee turnover rate among companies will also pick up as hiring activity in the UAE increases.
“When the economy is good, job seekers will be at the driving seat and this can be expected in the coming years,” he said.
“But this is also when an employer will need to build their brand and offer enough training and development opportunities to retain their best employees in the event of a possible talent war between companies.”
Employment outlook in 2014 is positive in other GCC countries too, according to Monster.com’s regional head.
“Saudi Arabia has done really well in the first four months of 2013 and we expect it to be the same in 2014 as well,” said Modi.
“Qatar has been showing a year-on-year increase in the last few years, growing in double digits even in 2009.”