In its 2021 Salary Guide, Robert Half said UAE companies are now on the lookout for candidates that support efforts to recover from the downturn, as well as to digitally transform their business and remain competitive in a remote working environment.
“Business leaders are primarily hiring for roles which support financial recovery, digital transformation and human resources,” the recruitment specialist said.
It said that the most resilient industries at the moment are pharmaceuticals, utilities, FMCG and government, while the soft skills that companies are looking for during the recruitment process is adaptability, resilience, communications, leadership and empathy.
As for specific positions, Robert Half said the most popular are executive assistants, finance managers, human resources (HR) officers, as well as those related to financial planning and analysis.
Demand has also increased for digital experts, as companies undergo rapid digital transformation to remodel and implement new processes.
As companies head into 2021, organisations will continue to focus on digital transformation and implement new ways of working to maximise revenue options.
“While focus remains on hiring for critical vacancies, businesses will also dedicate resources to bolstering the skills in their technology, legal and finance departments. The rescheduling of Expo 2020 Dubai to next year will also give a further boost to the economy,” Gareth El Mettouri, associate director of Robert Hall, wrote in the report.
“We are seeing many companies consolidate across the banking, government and utilities sectors to stop duplication, reduce costs and improve efficiencies. This has created a number of new roles and has prompted employers to up-skill the talent they already have,” he said.
“The hiring market is now weighted in favour of the employer; companies are strategically attracting top talent that might not have been on the market a few months ago. Digital skills are more in-demand than ever as remote working and digital transformation continue to change the workplace,” El Mettouri added.
Accounting, financial services
Within the accounting and finance sector, recruitment for “non-critical” roles has resumed, although much of the search is focused on “core positions”.
While it may be encouraging to know that there are opportunities in the sector, Robert Half warned that the competition among jobseekers is very stiff, with the number of applicants now outweighing the number of job openings.
In the financial services sector, jobseekers can expect an increase in hiring for roles within the private equity (PE) space next year, with 80 percent of investors in the Middle Eastern PE market expecting deal activity to slow until the first quarter of 2021.
However, sales roles within foreign exchange houses and insurance brokers have seen an increase in demand, as businesses adapt to the changing environment.
Banks have also shown an increase in “tech requirements” as they seek to improve services and respond to client needs, particularly within the digital transformation and artificial intelligence space.
For technology professionals, the most in-demand roles are those related to cybersecurity and data analytics, and professionals in this space can expect to take home between $20,000 and $40,000 per month, depending on experience level, according to Robert Half.
There are good opportunities within fintech, specifically with online payment and lending specialists, and start-ups are rushing to cash in on e-commerce.
Candidates with HR experience or qualifications need to ensure they have the digital skills for admin, HR and business support functions, as hiring and managing the workforce have gone digital.
Robert Half noted that some of the challenges faced by organisations today is that remote onboarding processes are lagging behind and are delaying how quickly new hires can add value to the company during this critical time.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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