We have continued to see challenges throughout 2016, with low oil prices and a slow job market. There have also been growing frustrations for job seekers, due to employees being unhappy with their salary packages and a lack of opportunities to progress within their organisations. Q3/Q4 2016 saw a 35% drop in hiring within retail and trade in the UAE as a result of the region's struggle to cope with low oil prices. Due to the lack of jobs available, we saw a substantial rise in postgraduate and online training courses. However, confidence has increased across the region with the price of oil rising and the advent of Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Recruitment is already picking up amidst positive predictions of the market rebounding for 2017. However, competition in the region still remains high, resulting in professionals feeling more pressure to enhance their qualifications. Clients are requesting stronger academic backgrounds and there is a definite preference for an MBA in a relevant field. Clients are focusing less on volume hiring, instead moving towards strategic hiring and headhunting talent from outside the GCC. Arabic talent is still very desirable within the strongest markets - Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Throughout 2016 we have seen organisations invest heavily in marketing, consumer market insights and export sales.
SALARY & COMPENSATION TRENDS
We saw little change in salaries from 2015 to 2016, however, we expect to see salary growth of around 6-10% in 2017, along with increased bonus payments. Many companies are looking to increase headcount and have aggressive plans in place, taking full advantage of the stabilising economy.
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