UAE firms looking to hike salaries over high inflation; pay rise, salary hike
A majority of employees will be expecting a salary increase in the next 12 months due to inflation. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: By June, salary packages being offered to new recruits were matching market rates compared to 15-20 per cent lower at the start of 2022. Those currently employed and seeking salary hikes at new jobs, by June, were asking for 10-15 per cent more, and in some cases even hit 30 per cent as the employment scene in the UAE recorded strong hiring activity.

In fact, the UAE emerged as the No. 1 destination for job search, according to a report by Nadia Global. Candidates are applying for jobs more frequently in the country than ever before. According to the survey, the UAE saw an increase of 200 per cent year-on-year in vacancies in the first-half of 2022.

Salary hikes

A majority of employees will be expecting a salary increase in the next 12 months due to inflation.

Although there has been no double-digit pay rise in the region since 2007, prior to the global financial crisis of 2008, the average pay increased between 1-3 per cent.

Pressure build up

Employers are now facing a perfect storm with inflation pressures and the ‘war for talent’ merging together within a short period, and world economies facing the challenge of recovering from COVID-19 in the midst of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.

Job security, incentives

A recent poll stated that 50 per cent of employees would not change their employer even if offered a substantial pay raise by a prospective new employer. Looking at this another way, the other 50 per cent want to leave.

Both employers and employees are now faced with balancing job security against rising costs. If a ‘double-digit pay rise era’ takes hold, then employers must embrace alternative methods of recognising and rewarding employees. In the long term, this will result in a greater emphasis on job grading focusing on responsibilities and loyalty, in addition to performance bonus for those employees who have become more sophisticated with targets and feedback.

With petrol prices becoming one of the major drivers of inflation, employers will need to review transport allowances and remuneration for business use of personal transport on a regular basis.

Change in job market dynamics

> Employers are more receptive to freelancers

> Significant rise in commissions-only sales vacancies (no salary)

> Post-Covid new hires paid 5 per cent less than existing employees in 2022

> Employers’ emphasis on digital marketing/IT hiring rise by 65 per cent

Popular vacancies

> Emirates airline increased recruitment by hiring 6,000 cabin crew and 2,000 pilots

> Expo 2020 boosted HORECA (hotels, restaurants, cafes) and events-related employment leading to an increased candidate base for job opportunities in the booming tourist industry

> Junior accounts, sales and marketing positions increased by 45 per cent in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 and continues at the same growth rate

> Senior HR vacancies increased 35 per cent in Q3-2021 and continues at the same growth rate

The top salaries

> Salaries for accounting and finance section range between Dh4,300 to Dh40,000 per month, while administration and secretarial roles could pay between Dh3,500 to Dh16,000, depending on position and seniority

> HR roles, running at red-hot demand, can pay up to Dh48,000. Regional HR managers and directors can take home up to Dh105,000 per month depending on the size of the organisation

> Market rates of IT and cyber security roles could go up to Dh27,000. Experienced roles like IT manager and IT director are offered up to Dh63,000 depending on the type of organisation. The same position in a smaller work environment pays 20 per cent less.

> Salaries in supply chain, logistics and procurement sector hovers around Dh5,500 for logistics assistant to Dh68,000 for logistics director in a multinational.

> The average salary for people working in sales and marketing sectors hovers at Dh18,000. The range goes up to Dh36,000. Higher positions like marketing director and regional marketing manager could pay up to Dh90,000.