While most UAE companies ramped up their workforces in 2022 and is set to continue to do so buoyed by a strong economic recovery and government-initiatives to attract talent and investment, the rate of hiring is set to soften this year amid fears of recession, an employee benefits platform said in a report.  

In 2021, the number of employees onboarded in UAE companies was 2.6 times the number offboarded. For 2022, this figure dropped to 1.8x, Bayzat’s data showed.

However, a positive sign for the country’s professional talent pool is that on average, the amount spent by companies on salaries per employee last year increased by 17%.

Meanwhile in 2022, the ratio of employees onboarded to those offboarded through 2022 was highest for technology-related positions at 2.45x, Bayzat, which recently closed a $25 million funding round, said in the report Wednesday.

This was closely followed by HR (2.35x), and Marketing (2.02x). Sales-related roles saw the lowest ratio with the number of professionals onboarded for such positions exceeding the number offboarded by only 1.53x.

Elsewhere, the report said organisations focused on employee retention by doubling down on insurance and employee benefits. Last year, nearly half (47%) of organisations increased the amount spent on insurance premiums per member, with the average increase being an impressive 29%.

Fuel reimbursement allowance also rose by 38%, adding to operating overheads for companies.  

Talal Bayaa, CEO and co-founder at Bayza said UAE organisations now need to set their focus on realising the full potential of their investment over last year in human capital. "Equally important, amid growing fears of a recession, they must also ensure they are able to retain their top performers and keep operating costs in check. To do so, among other tactics, organisations must leverage technologies that enhance the efficiency and productivity of their employees.”

Bayzat's research analysed data related to 127,000 employees in the UAE from over 1,500 organisations .

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)