Starting salaries for professionals in the Middle East are projected to increase on average by 3.8 per cent in 2014, according to specialist recruiter Robert Half.
Newly hired accounting and finance professionals are expected to see the largest salary increase at five per cent. The report also forecasts higher demand for professionals such as finance managers, management accountants and financial controllers in 2014.
Technology professionals can expect starting salaries to rise by an average of 4.6 per cent.
Starting salaries for HR professionals are also expected to rise 1.2 per cent this year with all major industries on the hunt for skilled HR professionals, the report said.
“The job market for experienced professionals across the Middle East has tightened,” said Gareth El Mettouri, associate director, Robert Half Middle East.
“What was proving to be a shallow talent pool has further diminished, leaving companies struggling to find local talent and often turning to expatriates to fill critical roles.”
Recent surveys have also predicted a moderate hike in salaries for GCC employees this year.
An Aon Hewitt study found that companies across the Gulf are predicting an average pay hike of 5.5 per cent in 2014, with the highest rise (six per cent) expected in Saudi.
Despite moderate wage increases of 5.2 per cent in the later half of 2013, UAE firms were offering only a minor boost in housing allowances, a Mercer survey found.
The poll recorded an increase of eight per cent on housing allowance, slightly higher than the 6.7 per cent increase recorded in its 2012 survey. However, it is yet to be seen if this trend carries over to 2014 as well.
“While we have not returned to a climate where double digit salary increases are the norm, businesses are looking at their compensation and adjusting levels to both attract and retain the market’s top talent,” said El Mettouri.
“Periodically benchmarking salaries against industry averages will help businesses remain competitive as they look to grow their operations in 2014.”