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Employees in UAE may expect 6% pay hike this year

DUBAI: There is still hope for that elusive pay hike as recruitment experts in the country predict nominal increase of 6 percent, and signal a trend where bosses negotiate, and give increments to their staff.

According to recruitment experts at Robert Half UAE, employees in the country should expect a 6 percent pay increase in the next 12 months as the demand for talent increases, Emirates 24/7 reported.

The results are based on the survey it carried out and on an average HR directors who responded predict salaries for existing employees are likely to increase by 6.17 percent in the next 12 months, with 43 percent of companies anticipating an average wage increase of over 5 percent, the report said.

“The UAE is entering a heated jobs market where skilled professionals can negotiate salaries and companies are increasingly willing to enter into salary negotiations to secure skilled professionals,” says the survey carried out by the recruitment firm.

The findings reveal that over half (56 percent) of HR directors are more willing to negotiate salary rates with top candidates than a year ago, signalling to applicants that they are now in a stronger position to push for higher salaries and benefits packages, the report said.

Most HR directors who took part in the survey say a return of salary inflation is now a given for both existing employees and when seeking to recruit new candidates, it added.

Reportedly, two in five (40 percent) HR directors say they are operating in a job market where salaries are increasing with no HR directors surveyed reporting a deflationary wage environment.

The demand for talent in the UAE is on the rise and a big percentage of employers in the country are struggling to find the right talent to fill up vacant roles, directly impacting salaries, the report said.

This can be attributed to impressive growth in neighbouring countries – Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman, for example – which is enticing jobseekers from Dubai, the recruiter believes. A growing level of confidence is also seeing many candidates seek new positions to further their career prospects, leading to employers scrambling for talent.

“The tables have turned in the job market and top performing candidates can now negotiate, and command higher salaries,” Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director of Robert Half was quoted as saying by Emirates 24/7.

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