About 76% of employees in the UAE have either changed jobs in the past year or plan to do so within the next 12 months as they seek higher salaries and better benefitsaccording to a new survey by Zurich Workplace Solutions and market research firm YouGov.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said higher salary packages motivated them to look for a new job, while 44% wanted best benefits and 43% were looking professional development and skills developmentthe investigation revealed.
“As companies seek to attract and, more importantly, retain talent in the UAE, they must accept that this is a mature labor market where talent holds many cards,” said Sajeev Nair, Director CEO of Zurich Workplace Solutions.
“Offering better benefits is a clear way for companies to position themselves as employers of choice. yet our survey reveals that there is a disconnect between the employer’s definition of a benefit and what employees understand to be a tangible benefit.
Statistics behind the UAE hiring boom
The survey, conducted between September 29 and October 5, interviewed 2,021 respondents, including 1,006 employers and 1,015 employees.
The The UAE job market has seen a strong recovery the coronavirus-induced slowdown, aided by the government’s fiscal and monetary measures.
The United Arab Emirates, the second-largest economy in the Arab world, has undertaken several economic, legal and social reforms over the years to strengthen its business environment, increase foreign direct investment, attract skilled workers with new visas and encourage businesses to s establish or develop. their operations.
“The environment is now fertile for employers to capitalize and act to make the UAE a net importer of talent and a net exporter of knowledge work,” Mr. Nair said.
Around 52% of employers believe they face a talent shortage – with sales and marketing, and data science facing the biggest shortage – indicating that organizations need to reassess the benefits they offer, according to the Zurich Workplace Solutions survey.
However, 89% of employees said they would change jobs for the same pay if better benefits were offered.
“The report demonstrates that employee savings, unemployment insurance and education allowances are among the benefits most valued by employees,” the survey said.
In March, the Government of Dubai announced that non-Emirati employees working in government and the public sector can join a new retirement savings plan.
The Dubai Government Savings Scheme will offer expatriate employees a choice of capital protection investment plans, including Shariah-compliant options.
The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) was the first entity in the United Arab Emirates to set up a free system when it introduced the DIFC Company Savings Planor Dews, in February 2020.
At the same time, workforce sustainability to attract future talent is important, with 50% of employees saying improving skills is key, along with recognizing and rewarding achievements and listening to employees, according to the Zurich study.
While 82% of companies in the UAE believe they provide plenty of development opportunities, 36% of employees say professional development is lacking in their workplace and 53% cite dissatisfaction with growth opportunities as a reason. to change jobs.
Employees also see a need for organizations to demonstrate social leadership. For example, 36% of employees surveyed said they felt their organization was not doing enough to address climate change.
Socially responsible initiatives supported by employees include waste reduction programs and flexible working, according to the study.
“Companies need to create personalized and engaging packages that focus on the benefits that talent actually wants, and they need to better communicate those benefits, both to potential hires and to existing employees who may not have a complete picture of what the employer offers,” said Mr. Naïr.
“With the UAE committed to being one of the world’s leading knowledge-based economies, now is the time to meet future skills needs and attract the world’s best talent.”
Updated: November 24, 2022, 4:30 a.m.