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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Higher salaries still the most important factor for UAE jobseekers

Making money and becoming financially independent are key goals for many professionals, new study finds

Over half of those surveyed said that “higher salaries and improved perks and benefits” would boost their motivation at work. Paulo Vecina / The National
Over half of those surveyed said that “higher salaries and improved perks and benefits” would boost their motivation at work. Paulo Vecina / The National

Salaries and benefits are the top factors UAE professionals consider when hunting for the “ideal job”, according to a new survey from Middle East jobs site Bayt.com.

Eighty per cent of those surveyed by Bayt.com and market research firm YouGov for their latest Career Aspirations Study said salaries and benefits were important. The next key consideration was career growth for 66 per cent of those polled followed by job security and work-life balance. The study polled over 3,100 people across the region in November and December.

Bayt.com said the top reasons for seeking employment in the region are marked by the desire to “consistently learn and gain experience”. Two-thirds cited this as their key goal followed by making money for 55 per cent of those polled and to be “financially independent” for a similar number of respondents.

A recent study by LinkedIn on recruiter sentiment found that 56 per cent of recruiters said their candidates demanded higher than average salaries during April to December last year compared to the same period in 2017.

But while candidates may demand higher rates, whether they secure them is another matter. According to the 2018-2019 Salary Survey and Review from Gulf recruiter and training institute Nadia Global, the average age of the UAE workforce is now under 30 and packages are becoming all-inclusive, meaning “the days of highly inflated salaries and subsidies to cover living costs ... are now a thing of the past”.

While Nadia Global recommends employers award pay increases of 3.5 to 5 per cent in 2019 – a figure that factors in inflation – it says whether employers act on their advice is their choice.

In the Bayt.com study, while the majority feel motivated at work, 56 per cent said that “higher salaries and improved perks and benefits” would help to increase their motivation.

When it comes to the outlook for the year ahead, 84 per cent of UAE professionals are optimistic about what is to come with the majority setting future professional goals for themselves, which included finding a new job and learning new skills. However, securing a higher salary was the aim of 43 per cent of UAE respondents.

Suhail Msari, vice president of employer solutions, Bayt.com, said the positive sentiment for the 2019 working year was “wonderful”. "This encouraging outlook will reflect positively on the region’s hiring activity and the individual career progression,” he added.

Money was also at the forefront when it came to personal goals for 2019. Almost three quarters of UAE respondents said saving more money was their top ambition for the year. Other prominent goals included spending more time with family, more travel and buying property.

Updated: February 10, 2019 02:56 PM

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