The Cooper Fitch Salary Guide for Human Resources represents the predicted market-rate salary ranges for new recruits across the UAE for 2020.
Salaries in the human resources (HR) sector remained broadly stable in 2019 with no overall increase across different positions. Roles in organisations with strict budgets are the jobs most likely to have seen a slight decline in the past year, whereas specialist roles in learning and development (L&D) and compensation and benefits (C&B) typically enjoyed the most substantial salary increases over the period.
In 2020, recruitment activity is expected to remain steady with 0% increase in market salaries as some organisations expand, while others restructure and retract from the region. Some multinational firms have centralised their Europe and Middle East HR operations outside of the UAE, resulting in fewer roles available. On the flip side, emerging start-ups are seeking high-calibre HR professionals to support growth.
The market faced several challenges in 2019, some of which are likely to continue in the year ahead. One particular challenge in the market for in-house HR teams is the sourcing of candidates from the global labour market, as many lack time to develop a comprehensive strategy for sourcing and attracting talent.
Finding candidates with multiple and wide-ranging capabilities beyond fulfilling the traditional expectations of an HR role is another challenge. HR roles continue to merge and expand to save costs, especially during corporate restructurings, and this requires a more extensive breadth of skills and experience. Market instability amid more moderate economic growth in the UAE in recent years has caused redundancies in some industries and retention issues in others. However, companies are identifying new ways to engage employees and support career growth. Leaders in the market should ensure they have a career development plan in place for all employees, training and development opportunities so employees feel a sense of
professional growth, and an appealing compensation policy that offers both short and long-term incentives. In addition, businesses should ensure that HR professionals have a voice to share feedback and understood they would be listened to.
Many organisations have begun implementing psychometric assessments and early-stage reference checks to ensure that prospective candidates are the right fit. Some are involving senior stakeholders in the recruitment process to ensure candidates are a strong match.
The most in-demand roles in 2020 will be HR generalists (particularly for smaller businesses); C&B professionals, especially those with strong local experience to ensure policies are in line with labour laws and help retain talent; L&D and training professionals, to retain employees and improve performance, and organisational development, particularly for start-ups. Businesses consider situational and adaptive leadership styles necessary when hiring senior appointments.
There is a skills shortage in the region in respect to HR industry qualifications such as CIPD, PHR and SHRM, however, this is likely to improve in future as many HR professionals are seeking ways to enhance their knowledge through postgraduate courses or training programs.
The top source markets for HR professionals are the GCC, Europe, US and Canada. Dubai and Abu Dhabi host the majority of UAE career opportunities as they enjoy a higher level of foreign and local investment than other emirates.
Download the full Human Resources Salary Guide 2020 here
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