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Dubai: Professionals in the information technology and finance sectors are among the most sought after by employers in the UAE today, according to the latest data.

Recruitment specialists at Robert Half revealed that analysts, developers and finance managers have topped the list of in-demand jobs for 2019, as companies are increasingly focused on improving their digital, automation and smart technology capabilities

Financial planning analysts can earn an annual compensation of Dh301,000 to Dh453,000 ($82,200 to $123,500) at big companies in the UAE, according to Robert Half. They are in demand because revenue forecasting and cost cutting are an important focus for many firms in accounting and finance.

“They are keen to get the insights they need to plan accordingly for the automation and digital transformation in 2019,” said Robert Half.

Developers are also at the top of the list, as more start-ups and fintech firms set up shop in the UAE. “The rise in the number of start-ups and fintech firms is placing more pressure on the demand for web and full stack developers.” A developer’s annual income can range between $52,300 and $125,100 .

Also in demand are management accountants, network engineers, executive assistants, personal assistants and law professionals, among others.

Among professionals who are qualified to secure finance manager roles, those with two to three years of experience are likely to get hired. Companies lean towards applicants who can show that they are willing to grow and develop within the organisation.

Candidates who get hired as finance managers can expect an annual salary of $103,000 to $165,000, according to Robert Half. What’s more, they can also benefit from flexible working, which has become a “remuneration staple” for firms who are looking to retain top talent for the long term.

Companies looking to hire management accountants are likely to choose applicants who have two to three years “part-qualified experience” and their salaries can range between $63,500 and $117,800.

Network engineers are in demand across tech companies. They are popular because many organisations want to develop platforms that enable the so-called “internet of things (IoT). They also need to keep up with market growth.

Candidates who want to land an executive assistant or personal assistant role are more likely to get hired if they have the “right cultural fit” and can easily adapt to the business and the needs of their bosses.

A number of companies have recently resorted to workforce reduction to minimize costs. However, as the economic outlook is improving, more organisations are becoming more bullish about the growth of their business, and thus they are hiring new staff.

“Confidence is increasing for businesses in the Middle East. More than two-fifths (42 per cent) of CEOs are very confident in their growth prospects over the next year, and 40 per cent expect the outlook to remain positive over the next three years,” said Gareth El Mettouri, UAE associate director at Robert Half.

“If we look further into the way businesses are growing, digitisation, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to transform the world of work and are quickly becoming necessary in meeting the needs of a rapidly evolving market,” he said.

“For hiring managers, this means incorporating these processes into their business, however, there is growing concern over hiring the necessary talent that is needed to match the demands of the current professional world. This has led employers to focus on improving retention, offering more initiatives such as remuneration packages and flexible working and not overlooking the importance of soft skills as integral to a candidate’s profile.”

Here are the top 10 most-in demand roles and their respective pay brackets:

  1. Financial planning analysts ($82,200 – $123,500)
  2. Developers ($52,300 – $125,100)
  3. Finance managers ($103,000 – $165,000)
  4. Management accountants ($63,500 – $117,800)
  5. Network engineers ($62,200 – $104,600)
  6. Paralegals ($64,000 – $91,500)
  7. Compliance officers - offshore and onshore ($58,900 – $127,500)
  8. IT project managers ($71,900 – $163,500)
  9. Executive assistants and personal assistants ($49,000 – $98,000)
  10. Senior counsel ($89,000 – $220,500)

(Disclaimer: Salary figures are provided by Robert Half; actual numbers vary per company and can be lower in firms with small capitalization)