At least 77% of Saudi Arabia's employers project a salary increase of up to 5% in their organisation for the current year, according to Hays Middle East.

The projected salary increase indicates a positive outlook and shows employers are willing to invest in their workforce, the recruitment agency said in its “Saudi Arabia Salary Guide 2024”.

“Saudi Vision 2030 is diversifying the economy and almost every sector is being scaled,” stated Mark Paul, Manager at Hays Saudi Arabia.

“With 69% of employers planning to expand, opportunities are plentiful. Simultaneously, 29% of professionals are actively preparing to change positions. As many organisations strive to be the employer of choice, understanding shifting dynamics is crucial.”

Remote and hybrid working options are a highly valued benefit among 25% of professionals, with those receiving such options reporting higher job satisfaction and better work-life balance. However, 69% of employers said that their organisations have adopted a fully-officed based model, up 14% year-on-year.

Despite the positive trends, challenges persist, with 50% of employers reporting a shortage of skilled professionals in the market. To address talent challenges, companies are increasingly turning to international recruitment and working to strengthen their employer brand.

The guide highlighted the disparity between professionals and employers regarding benefits. While 37% of professionals stated that they do not currently receive any benefits, only 4% of employers claim not to offer any. Most professionals (61%) said that the benefits package is crucial in choosing an organisation.

Additionally, Hays Middle East said employers are taking a cautious approach toward artificial intelligence (AI), with 39% of organisations recommending its use in the workplace.

Interestingly, only 14% of professionals report their organization prohibiting the use of AI. However, 38% of employers anticipate that AI will eliminate more job opportunities than it creates, yet only 22% are actively taking steps to address the potential impact.

(Editing by Brinda Darasha;