UAE Job Market Set To Boom This Year

A stable economy and an unwavering flow of investments will push up hiring, writes Suhail Masri, VP of Bayt.com

With a stable economy and an unwavering flow of investments across various sectors, job seekers in the UAE have a good reason to rejoice.

A recent survey done by Bayt.com has shown that the job market in the country will be picking up in the next three and 12 months.

The Bayt.com Middle East Job Index survey (February 2015) reveals that 55 per cent of employers in the UAE are hiring within the next three months; 68 per cent are hiring within a year’s time. Up to 69 per cent of employers hiring within the next three months are looking to fill up to 10 positions in their companies.

Data from Bayt.com Middle East Job Index survey suggests that junior executives (40 per cent) will be highly in demand. UAE employers will be mostly looking for accountants, sales managers, customer service representatives and receptionists, with banking/finance (38 per cent), construction (34 per cent), oil, gas and petrochemicals (31 per cent) and tourism (30 per cent) emerging as the top industries that will be hiring talents in the UAE.

We also expect to see multinational recruitment go upwards, with 73 per cent of employers in multinational companies saying that they will be hiring within the next 12 months.

In line with the above, the Bayt.com Career Aspirations in the Middle East and North Africa survey (January 2015) shows that an overwhelming majority (86 per cent) of professionals in the UAE feel positive about 2015. The same survey reveals that 56 per cent of UAE professionals are motivated at work while 57 per cent hope to get a new job this year (50 per cent hope to be able to move to another department or area of expertise; 45 per cent are prepared to move to another industry altogether).

According to the Bayt.com Middle East Job Index survey, transferable skills – mainly in the form of soft skills – are gaining an increasing importance by companies. Half of UAE employers are looking for team players, 49 per cent are looking for people with good leadership skills and 45 per cent are seeking good communication skills in both English and Arabic. Problem-solving and analytical skills are also highly in demand by employers in the Middle East, as revealed in the Bayt.com ‘Skills and Hiring Trends in the MENA’ poll (January 2015).

Salaries are also expected to be on the rise, according to 65 per cent of UAE respondents in the last Bayt.com Middle East Salary Survey. This can be attributed to the rising cost of living, an increase in opportunities and economic growth, and the intense competition for talent in the country. When it comes to perks offered to professionals, UAE also has an edge.

According to the 2014 Bayt.com Middle East Salary Survey, 67 per cent of professionals across the Middle East region say that they receive a basic salary plus benefits, such as housing allowance, transport, children’s education and more, while in the UAE, this figure climbs up to 80 per cent. Bonuses are also received by a third of UAE professionals.

When it comes to experience, employers in the UAE will be looking for professionals who have experience in managing people (38 per cent), but also those with sales and marketing acumen and computer skills. The most desirable qualifications in the UAE are graduate and post-graduate degrees in business management, engineering and commerce.

In terms of the top hiring trends in 2015, we foresee online recruitment to be a major player in hiring top talent – from junior and entry-level professionals to senior executives and C-suites. In fact, 29 per cent of employers in the region say that active online candidate recruitment will be the top hiring trend this year.

When it comes to the job market in 2015, we can safely say that the UAE remains a very competitive marketplace with a positive outlook for both employers and job seekers. And while job seekers are encouraged to build their online presence in order to stand out, employers are urged to attract top talent by offering competitive packages that can meet the demands of an increasingly talented and multi-skilled workforce.