The Cooper Fitch Salary Guide for Strategy represents the predicted market-rate salary ranges for new recruits across the UAE for 2020.
The UAE’s strategy and consulting sector is more competitive than ever, driven by growth in industries such as healthcare, energy and technology, media and telecoms (TMT), together with a pick-up in regional IPOs and corporate transformation programmes as firms position themselves for future growth.
Market rate salary ranges in 2019 increased by a healthy 5% and we expect to see the same growth in salary ranges for 2020. Although there was a degree of variation depending on the type of candidate and specifics of their positions; bilingual Arabic-English consultants with public sector experience are in exceptionally high demand, inflating salaries as firms compete for the best. Many companies have struggled to lure such candidates from competitors, and this is expected to remain a challenge in 2020, our experts say.
Salaries in this sector are also dependent on location, level of specialist experience and language skills. Consulting organisations pay slightly more for individuals based in Abu Dhabi compared to Dubai. This reflects the fact that Abu Dhabi sees a significant upturn in recruitment activity compared to 2018 and earlier when lower oil prices muted industry growth. Meanwhile, healthcare, TMT and energy firms are paying more due to high levels of growth in these industries, and this trend is set to continue.
Another factor impacting strategy sector hiring is technological change. Advances in technology have disrupted many firms’ operations in recent years and prompted them to rethink aspects of their business. As a result, strategy consultants are expected to possess a more in-depth knowledge of technology and its impact than they were previously. Our experts predict a moderate increase in hires in this sector in 2020, with the exception of Abu Dhabi, which will be increasingly active.
Quality of work-life balance sits among the most common motivators for professionals moving into industry roles rather than consulting. For senior candidates, the biggest driver for changing jobs is the opportunity to take organisations through significant transformations and IPOs, or otherwise lead companies through ambitious growth plans. Others are motivated to switch roles by the specific projects firms are working on, and the potential for career development.
To secure the best candidates, recruitment processes must be as streamlined as possible, as the market is highly competitive and different organisations are competing for the same talent. They must also strive to achieve a positive candidate experience during the interview and selection stage, and create an appealing company culture to gain an edge over competitors.
The top source markets for UAE strategy staff include Europe, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
Download the full Strategy Salary Guide 2020 here
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