Employers in the UAE are offering “record” increases in salaries for many in-demand roles, as talent shortage in the post-COVID-19 world has intensified, according to a new study by a recruitment specialist.
Over the past year, starting salaries for support staff, including office managers, chefs and lifestyle managers, have jumped by 40 percent to 95 percent, Tiger Recruitment said.
Many companies are finding it particularly hard to fill office manager positions, especially in the professional services, boutique financial services and technology space. “As a result, top employers are offering salaries up to 95 percent higher than a year ago to secure the right candidates for their business,” the hiring specialist said.
“Experienced lifestyle managers, chiefs of staff and private chefs are among the most sought-after business support roles in the region. At the top end of the scale, some private households are paying up to 40 percent more than this time last year to secure their lifestyle manager of choice, while family offices are paying as much as 80 percent more,” the company said.
The UAE economy has continued to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had previously forecast that overall GDP will expand by 2.2 percent in 2021 after a 6.1 percent decline in 2020.
According to Zahra Clark, head of Tiger Recruitment for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the hiring landscape in the UAE has shifted since the start of the health outbreak. Unlike in 2020 when jobs cuts were the norm, employers are hiring again, but there are not enough candidates to fill vacant roles.
“At the start of the pandemic, we saw large number of expat workers return to their home countries. They’re starting to come back again, but not quickly enough to fill the growing number of roles available,” said Clark.
“Forward-thinking employers now recognise that if they want to attract and retain high-calibre candidates in such a competitive market, they need to be prepared to pay a premium.”
However, many job applicants are considering more than just a fat pay cheque when deciding on a new opportunity, and one of their top priorities is being able to work in a flexible arrangement.
“There’s a growing realisation that employers need to offer personalised benefits to attract the best talent. We’ve seen employers step up and introduce benefits related to mental health and wellbeing, but it’s flexible working that’s the most in demand,” said Clark.
“Candidates are going as far as to turn down jobs that require them to be in the office full time.”
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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