Michael Page has released its annual Emiratisation Salary Guide and Hiring Insights 2023, highlighting findings relating to salary benchmarks as well as an outlook of job applicants on key topics like job application, candidate experience, and ideal job scenarios. The salary guide covers industry disciplines, including but not limited to, Banking and Financial Services, Human Resources, Legal, Marketing, Procurement and Supply Chain, and Technology & Data.
The comprehensive report has been developed as a reference for hiring managers and job seekers to make informed employment decisions as they kick off 2023 with the goal to achieve targets announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). Last year saw the strongest push on Emiratisation across the UAE. As per guidelines effective January 1st, 2023, companies with more than 50 employees are required to ensure that 2% of their employees are Emirati, thus increasing to 4% by January 1st, 2024. Failure to comply will result in a range of financial and legal penalties outlined by MOHRE. Similarly, companies that already exceed the mandated Emiratisation quota can expect financial discounts to help sustain growth.
Emiratisation salary guide
Throughout 2022, Michael Page saw increased activity at the junior end of the market; particularly fresh graduates in industries like IT, Technology, and Finance, triggering an increase in salaries being offered. Samantha Wright, Emiratisation Lead at Michael Page UAE explains, “It’s interesting to see the different approaches being taken up across a range of industries in the UAE. Research shows that businesses venturing into Emiratisation for the first time are mostly progressing with a bottom-up talent approach.
“Those close to achieving their quota continue to develop their Emiratisation strategy with a combination of entry roles, and senior roles mainly in Human Resources and Finance. What’s important here are the tools and procedures that have been put in place to facilitate this transition.” Wright further added, “Platforms like NAFIS are dedicated to offering various benefits including the Emirati salary support scheme for specific industries. The Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council has held over 1500 workshops and virtual meetings to assist private companies in straightening their Emiratisation policies.”
The guide also sheds light on key job applicant sentiment from Emirati talent that is actively seeking recruitment. Findings show that almost six in ten (59%) applicants consider a job title as the most important element of a job listing, followed by salary (59%) and location (41%). Candidates are also looking for a more transparent research process with 90% of respondents preferring visibility on salary range, and 77% interested in learning more about the organization’s non-monetary benefits.
In terms of factors that limit the completion of an application, 39% of respondents shared that they wouldn’t apply for a role if they felt under/over qualified for it; while 35% wouldn’t consider a role that was posted a long time ago. Other factors that prevent candidates from submitting their application include poor company reputation (30%), salary (29%), and an unstructured job listing (25%). A full 19% of respondents said that they wouldn’t apply for a position if it involved filling out long forms.
UAE job market
Another notable takeaway was that 78% of survey respondents were keen on joining companies that are proactively committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Interest in CSR values ranged from human rights (61%) environmental responsibility (56%) and economic responsibility (50%). 61% of respondents also give immense importance to the leadership capabilities of their managers, followed by communication and respect. In line with the overarching trend in the UAE job market, over 72% of respondents prefer to integrate a hybrid model into their professional lives.
An interesting insight to come out of the study found that 36% of survey respondents said they would consider returning to their former company if the opportunity arose. Furthermore, 6 out of 10 respondents (57%) strongly believe that, in the end, returning (to a former employer) is a win-win solution for both parties. However, it appears that there’s not enough awareness from the employer’s end when it comes to returning programs with 52% of respondents stating that they weren’t aware of any such programs in place.
The overall outlook for Emiratisation in 2023 is optimistic based on collective efforts by authorities, businesses, and candidates – all working together for a smooth transition amidst the backdrop of a market as complex and as dynamic as the UAE. Wright predicts, “Adjustments to policies and deadlines are expected throughout the year, but overall, the wheels are in motion to ensure that Emiratisation efforts are seamlessly integrated into what is expected to be a promising year for the UAE.”