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Press Release

UAE firms are in hiring mode, but are having to look beyond pay to attract talent into digital and sales jobs

November 10, 2022

Compensation Strategy & Design|Employee Experience|Ukupne nagrade

DUBAI, November 10, 2022 — UAE businesses are upbeat about their business performance and hiring plans. But they are having to explore a wide range of pay and reward strategies to attract and retain key staff, a survey by WTW revealed today.

Nearly half (47%) of businesses said they have increased recruitment since the start of 2022, and 57% say their company performance by the end of this year will be better than last year.

And the research by WTW, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, showed that, over the coming 12 months, a third (35%) of firms plan to grow their workforce, while 65% plan to maintain their headcount. None said they would reduce their staff numbers.

These stronger hiring plans in a tight labour market are leaving many firms with recruitment headaches, especially for certain skills. 60% of firms say they have problems attracting or retaining staff with digital skills, while 42% say the same for sales roles. Better growth opportunities and higher pay are the two key reasons that employees leave.

The firms that succeed will listen to their staff, understand the labour market, and really fine-tune their offering to stand out in a busy jobs market.”

Roman Weidlich | Senior Director, WTW UAE

Roman Weidlich, Senior Director with WTW in the UAE, said: “Many UAE businesses have seen a strong 2022 and are optimistic about next year. They’re ambitious about hiring but that is putting extra pressure on attracting and retaining the right talent, and at the right cost.

“We are seeing particular market hotspots around roles involving digital or sales skills. To attract staff into these roles, or even just to keep them, firms are having to push pay offers to the very top end of salary ranges.

“And increasing basic pay alone often isn’t enough. Greater workplace flexibility, more investment in training opportunities, and tailored bonuses and incentive plans are all finding their way into the overall package that employers are offering.

Firms are using a wide range of compensation tools and activities to attract and retain the right talent. Half (47%) said they are placing or plan to place greater emphasis on non-financial compensation.

  • 72% are offering greater workplace flexibility
  • 65% are making pay offers at the very top end of the relevant salary range
  • 64% are increasing the range of training opportunities
  • 57% offer one-off rewards and 52% offer retention bonuses for key staff.

Roman Weidlich added: “This year a third of companies have refined their rewards philosophy by tailoring rewards to their various talent segments, and by broadening the spectrum of tools and practices used to hire and retain the talent needed for the business to succeed. We expect this trend to continue in 2023 and the firms that do it best will be those that listen to their staff, understand the labour market, and really fine-tune their offering to stand out in a busy jobs market.”

About the survey

The WTW Inflation and Rewards Actions Survey took place in the UAE in late September 2022 and 35 organisations responded.

About WTW

At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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