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Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Khaleej Times - UAE businesses go on hiring spree as economic activities gain momentum
Majority of the UAE companies are expected to continue hiring spree this year as the economic activities gain momentum in line with the government policy to attract skilled and talented professionals from across the globe, experts say.
About 60 per cent of the businesses expanded their workforces last year and spent 17 per cent more on salaries, according to latest data released by the UAE’s leading employee benefits platform Bayzat.
The research, which covered 127,000 employees in the UAE from over 1,500 organisations, indicates the ratio of employees onboarded to those offboarded through 2022 was highest for technology-related positions at 2.45x. This was closely followed by HR (2.35x), and Marketing (2.02x).
Sales-related roles saw the lowest ratio with the number of professionals onboarded for such positions exceeding the number offboarded by only 1.53x. The research further indicates that a slowdown in hiring rate is expected this year.
Talal Bayaa, CEO and co-founder at Bayzat, said it’s clear that government initiatives such as the introduction of new visa categories, changes to the work week, and sweeping regulatory reforms have set the country up to be a thriving ecosystem for businesses of all sizes.
“Having ramped up their human capital over the course of 2022, UAE organisations now need to set their focus on realising the full potential of this investment,” Bayaa said.
“Equally important, amid growing fears of a recession, the businesses must ensure they are able to retain their top performers and keep operating costs in check. To do so, among other tactics, organisations must leverage technologies that enhance the efficiency and productivity of their employees,” he said.
“Bayzat has itself been a beneficiary of this as just recently, we successfully closed a $25 million funding round which is enabling us to invest aggressively into hiring top talent as we look to expand across the GCC. It’s clear that other organisations in the UAE are also growing their human capital to take advantage of the unique opportunity that this market presents,” he added.
GCC set to be next Europe
Atik Munshi, managing partner at FinExpertiza UAE, said the UAE and the other GCC countries have witnessed a decent growth in businesses during 2022 and which continues this year.
“Hiring at different levels has also seen an upward trend as the business sentiment has improved. Some sectors like real estate, technology, contracting, etc have seen a growth which in turn has increased the hiring,” Munshi told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
“Our own firm has increased its staff strength by more than 15 per cent. Apart from the increase in head count of the employees the overall cost of salaries and benefits have also been pushed up in view of the increased cost of living fuelled by higher rents, energy prices, etc,” he said.
He said the other factor which has driven the workforce expansion is also the instability in Ukraine and other parts of the world, which has triggered more migration of HNWI’s to the UAE.
“Europe is no longer a very attractive proposition for businesses. I think that this favourable trend for UAE will continue for 2023 as well. The Gulf is expected to be the next Europe in the not so distant future,” Munshi said.
The UAE organisations are also demonstrating their focus on employee retention through their efforts to enhance the experiences of their employees, according to the research.
Insurance and employee benefits, which came into the spotlight in 2020 with the advent of the pandemic, is one such area where companies are doubling down. In 2022, nearly half (47 per cent) of organisations increased the amount spent on insurance premiums per member, with the average increase being an impressive 29 per cent,” Bayzat’s data shows.
Unsurprisingly, with growing ambitions, operating overheads for UAE organisations also increased significantly last year. In the first half of the year, Bayzat saw that fuel reimbursement expenses increased by 38 per cent. This was one of the key factors driving an increase in the overall expense per employee for organisations in the UAE by a modest 13.6 per cent.
Strong job market
Financial, tech sectors leadSource: