Welcome to the annual Cooper Fitch’s Salary Guide for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the year 2018. Our salary guide for Saudi covers professional mid to senior level jobs across our key disciplines. Cooper Fitch is a specialist recruitment firm based in the GCC since 1997 focusing on recruitment, HR advisory services and executive search. We are delighted to present our Salary Guide findings for 2018, where we are providing insights into employment and salary trends in key sectors for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are basing all of our salary predictions on information regarding organizations based in Saudi Arabia only, as well as our own experts’ observations on market trends. This guide summarises our expectations for salaries and recruitment trends for the coming year.
Cooper Fitch estimated GDP growth of over 2-3% in line with Bloomberg’s figures but takes into account references that the IMF report in October of 2017 is forecasting reduced growth of between 1 and 2% across the Kingdom of Saudi of Arabia (*IMF forecasts). With the prediction for the outlook for oil prices being at around S55 per barrel (**S&P raises 2018 Brent oil price forecast), we see salary levels and new jobs in the Kingdom for 2017 remaining quite flat. This is off the back of a flat year, albeit a slightly better-than-expected finish to 2017, but with a reduced GDP of 0-1% (***IMF). Economically, 2017 was a flat year overall in Saudi. This was reflected in lower-than-expected recruitment activity, with slower job creation and consolidation in some sectors, so jobs and salaries have either reduced or remained flat in most sectors.
The economy overall was sluggish, and not helped by poor consumer confidence and lower commodity prices. The number of new jobs coming to market was similar to that in 2016, translating into a softening in salaries for the year as a whole. The outlook for the economy, new jobs, and salaries for Saudi is improving, and market sentiment looks reasonably positive. Saudi is in a period of rapid transformation, both socially and economically. We see growth in terms of the creation of new headcounts for the year ahead, with new hires for jobs in consultancies, digital, advisory, legal jobs, strategy, and tax, along with big infrastructure projects playing a big part of the recruitment drive for 2018.
The single biggest growth factor is the privatisation of certain government-owned or -run entities in Saudi. The requirement for "privatization" and "public-private partnership expert" will be a key driver. Energy and Oil & Gas show good signs of recovery, with what will hopefully be a reasonable level of job creation and headcount approval for 2018. The imminent introduction of VAT in Saudi for the year ahead will be another key driver of new jobs creation.
Cooper Fitch are predicting that salaries will remain flat, staying at current levels dependent on predicted GDP and commodity prices as outlined. By reading the commentary in this guide, however, you will see that there are significant differences in how certain sectors are forecasting recruitment activity, with certain sectors likely to perform better than others, leading to corresponding salary performance. We hope you find the insights presented in this report interesting and useful, and we welcome any feedback.
We provide HR advisory services to our clients, including bespoke compensation and benefits, assessment centres, and engagement surveys.
Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.