Front cover2016 is to be a less buoyant year for salaries in the GCC compared to the previous 12 months. While employers sentiment for the year ahead is positive, there is less optimism than in 2015. Hays GCC 2016 Salary & Employment Report, published today by recruiting experts Hays, found that 49 per cent of employers feel positive about 2016 compared to a higher 69 per cent who felt the same in 2015.

The survey, which was completed by over 2,400 employees and 200 employers, forecasts mixed fortunes for job candidates and salaries over the next 12 months. In 2015, 48 per cent of employees received no change to their salary, yet 45 per cent of those that did received an increase in excess of 10 per cent of their annual pay – a contrast of outcomes that is expected to continue into 2016.

“There are many mixed messages around salary and expectations in the GCC hiring market.” Says Chris Greaves, Managing Director, Hays Middle East.

“On the one hand, the low energy prices and increasingly volatile political situation in the Middle East have led to companies being very careful when addressing any new risk and taking a cautious approach to growth in order to reduce costs.

“On the other hand, we continue to see a large amount of fluidity in the hiring market with much activity still to come, not least from the growing number of start-ups locating in the region. We are also seeing ongoing demand for candidates across a broad range of sectors as diversification of the economy, away from oil and gas, continues to intensify.”

The report found that a significant number of survey respondents (31 per cent) changed company in 2015 and 57 per cent intend to do so in the next 12 months. While this figure is down on findings from last year (78 per cent), there is much optimism with regards to salary and job prospects for 2016. Sixty-five per cent of employees surveyed feel positive about their career prospects and 52 per cent of employers expect to increase their headcount in 2016. Furthermore, the survey found that 70 per cent of employers are expecting to increase salaries in their company in the next year.

Of the 50 per cent of survey respondents that received a pay rise in 2015, 25 per cent were individually determined rather than a company-wide increase (23 per cent). The report suggests that proactively seeking a pay rise is a productive strategy at a time when large-scale across the board increases are unlikely.

Hays GCC 2016 Salary & Employment Report

The Hays GCC Salary & Employment Report is an annual in-depth analysis of the hiring market and employee salaries within the GCC region. This is the second, and most comprehensive produced.

The report explores the following specialisms: Accountancy & Finance, Construction & Property, Engineering, HR, IT, Legal, Office Support, Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain.

Notes on methodology

The report has been compiled using data gathered in Q4 2015 from over 2,400 employees and 200 employers based in organisations of all sizes throughout the GCC.

We have also used job listings, job offers and candidate registrations with Hays UAE to verify the survey results and give a rounded and detailed analysis of salaries and the employment market.


Victoria Alderson
Marketing Manager Hays UAE
E: [email protected]