The first quarter of the year is almost over, and if you haven't heard about your annual bonus or job promotion, don't feel let down just yet because there may be something else to look forward to this year.
According to a recruitment platform, many companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are actually planning to give out across-the-board pay increases of between five and 15 per cent this year.
Those planning the increments are in various industries including oil and gas, construction and engineering, automotive and business process outsourcing.
The latest Hiring Outlook Survey by Naukrigulf.com, which surveyed the human resources heads of 60 companies in the Gulf, showed that nearly half (49 per cent) of the employers will grant five to ten per cent salary adjustments in 2012.
About 20 per cent confirmed plans to grant increments ranging between ten and 15 per cent. A small portion, 13 per cent, said they will increase their staff wages by less than five per cent.
A little over half of the companies surveyed are from the UAE, while the rest of the respondents are from Saudi Arabia (21.43 per cent) and other GCC states (23.21 per cent).
According to Naukrigulf, the planned wage adjustments are a strong indication of the general positive sentiment among employers in the region.
"The overall economy is witnessing some boost in the sentiment primarily because of the rise in oil prices and government increasing their spends in the economy.
Also, local consumer demand is on a continuous increase," Tarun Aggarwal, business head of Naukrigulf.com, told Gulf News.
Given the positive mood among employers, it appears that there are more companies who have decided to be more generous this year. In 2011, only 38 per cent of the recruiters announced plans to grant pay increments within the range of five and ten per cent, while 15 per cent said the salary hikes would be less than five per cent.
Hiring scenario appears to be good
The hiring scenario in the first half of 2012 also looks positive, with 77 per cent of the recruiters across the GCC planning to offer new jobs over the next few months.
Tarun Aggarwal of Naukrigulf.com said they expect increased hiring from oil and gas, construction and engineering, IT and telecom and retail sectors.
Most of the companies (53 per cent) expect hiring increase in the four to eight-year experience bracket, while only a few (16 per cent) will be looking for applicants with more than 15 years experience.
Although seven per cent of the recruiters anticipated some layoffs and seven per cent said there will be no hiring, Aggarwal said the overall recruitment scene looks promising.
"The region is witnessing a positive hiring environment, especially in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This may not be the best time for hiring activity, but the sentiment is optimistic and most companies will be increasing their headcount over the next six months," he said.