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Growing Headcount: Employers Plans for Expansion in the Gulf Region

February 14, 2024 thehrobserver-organisations-jobs-mentalhealth

Despite the ongoing challenges, the labour market in the Gulf region is “thriving” with signs pointing to further growth, said Hays Middle East, part of Hays plc, the global leader in workforce solutions and specialist recruitment on Wednesday.

According to the GCC Salary Guide 2024 by Hays Middle East, around 41% of employers say that overall, there are more candidates applying for jobs than in the past. 

Simultaneously, 41% highlight a shortage of skilled professionals, and 23% emphasize that competition from other employers is very fierce. 

“To raise the competency bar and then keep their best people, the organisation will need to invest in employee training and retention programs, along with recruiting talent currently in possession of the skills they need,” said Hays Middle East in a statement.

The GCC Salary Guide 2024, has looked at 400 roles across 11 professions in the region, with the latest labour market trends based on expert insights and the analysis of a survey of over 2,300 employers and working professionals. 

“2024 is shaping up to be another exciting year! The transformation of the economy is continuing at pace, as is the pursuit of the government’s long-term goals,” said Commenting on the report, Oliver Kowalski, Managing Director of Hays Middle East.

According to the company, 67% of employers are looking to grow their organisation’s headcount this year. Moreover, 31% of skilled workers are actively preparing for their change roles.

A saturated market but skills in short supply 

According to the guide, 41% of employers say that overall, there are more candidates applying for jobs than in the past. Simultaneously, 41% highlight a shortage of skilled professionals, and 23% emphasize that competition from other employers is very fierce. 

Substantial salary increases are on the horizon 

78% of employers in the Gulf region believe that salaries in their organisation will increase in 2024, by 5% or less. 

Bridging the benefits gap is key to raising retention rates 

Only 5% of employers claim not to offer any benefits, and 41% of professionals state that they do not receive any.

AI in the workplace divides opinions among employers

Employers in the Gulf region are divided on the use of AI technologies or tools in the workplace, with just 41% recommending using it. Around 37% think that AI will eliminate more job opportunities than it will create. 

Training is crucial in such a changing environment; however, just 14% of employers say they are offering to upskill or reskill AI training programs to employees.

According to the research, the booming Sectors within the region are: the Construction & Property, the Banking & Financial Services sector, and the Technology sector.

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