Stock–UAE National Jobs
If 2020's job market trends were confined to select categories, hiring this year cut across more sectors and across executive ranks. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: There are more signs of the UAE’s job market picking up, with companies now active filling junior level vacancies. In fact, starting September, there has been a 45 per cent spike in recruiting junior accountants, sales and marketing personnel.

Another category of hires showing strength is in digital marketing and related IT services, where there is a 65 per cent increase. Plus, the ongoing Expo played its part in adding to the hospitality and allied sectors, as well as at companies directly related to handling events.

These trends, based on data put together by the consultancy Nadia Global, also show that new recruits, depending on the category, might be seeing a 10 per cent decline in their salary expectations. “Since the second quarter of 2021, we began to witness recovery from the pandemic as companies return to work from the office and hiring re-commenced to replace those made unemployed or redundant due to COVID-19,” said Ajay Malhotra, CEO. “By July, headcount started to grow with new hires experiencing an initial reduction to pre-Covid remuneration.”

IT hires hold up well

In a continuation of 2020 trends, when the IT sector was the standout in new hires, this year followed the same pattern. Even here, there subtle changes in the way new personnel are taken in.

“Local players are hiring directly within the Gulf depending on the job role,” the report finds. “Hiring of digital marketing professionals has witnessed a robust increase while jobs for SEO (search engine optimisation) professionals has grown. In 2021, demand for video marketing and digital marketing roles have trended resulting in higher remuneration expectations.”

What’s in store for hiring
In the next three to five years as “war for talent intensifies”, new working conditions such work-from-home, flexible working hours and a shorter working week will be important considerations for employers to attract and retain employees. Employers may face challenges to balance work productivity with the benefits of following new working norms.

IT skillsets that are in demand

• Cyber security hires were up 71 per cent while non-tech organisations beefed up their cyber security teams by 25 per cent;

• IT support service positions have seen a 65 per cent gain;

• Cloud computing – up 70 per cent;

• Digital marketing – a gain of 65 per cent; and

• AI credentials – a 30 per cent boost.

“We are seeing a return to normality, and expect an upward trend in salaries even in the new tech domains with a 20-25 per cent increase in hiring,” according to the report.