Khaleej Times, Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023 | Rajab 16, 1444
Nearly 60% of Emiratis consider job title most important when seeking new roles, reveals salary guide
Job title, salary and location of the work are some of the most important
factors Emiratis look at when picking a job. This has been revealed by the 2023
Emiratisation Salary Guide and Hiring Insights, released by recruitment firm
Michael Page, that highlight findings relating to salary benchmarks and outlook
of job applicants on key topics like job application, candidate experience, and
ideal job scenarios.
Guidelines effective January 1, 2023, set forth by the Ministry of Human
Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) stated that companies with more than 50
employees are required to ensure that 2 per cent of their employees are Emirati.
This will be increased to 4 per cent by January 1, 2024. Failure to comply will
result in a range of financial and legal penalties. Companies that already
exceed the mandated Emiratisation quota can expect financial discounts to help
Findings by the 2023 Emiratisation Salary Guide reveal that among Emirati talent
that is actively seeking recruitment, almost six in ten or 59 per cent
applicants consider a job title to be the most important element of a job
listing. For 59 per cent of the candidates, salary, followed by location, (41
per cent) matter the most.
Candidates are also looking for a more transparent research process, with 90 per
cent of respondents preferring visibility on salary range, and 77 per cent
interested in learning more about the organisation’s non-monetary benefits.
In addition to this, 39 per cent of respondents revealed that they wouldn’t
apply for a role if they felt under/overqualified for it, while 35 per cent
wouldn’t consider a role that was posted a long time ago. Other factors that
prevent candidates from submitting their application include poor company
reputation (30 per cent), salary (29 per cent), and an unstructured job listing
(25 per cent). A full 19 per cent of respondents said that they wouldn’t apply
for a position if it involved filling out long forms.
Another notable takeaway was that 78 per cent of survey respondents were keen on
joining companies that are proactively committed to corporate social
responsibility (CSR). Interest in CSR values ranged from human rights (61 per
cent), environmental responsibility (56 per cent), and economic responsibility
(50 per cent).
61 per cent of respondents also give immense importance to the leadership
capabilities of their managers, followed by communication and respect. In line
with the overarching trend in the UAE job market, over 72 per cent of
respondents prefer to integrate a hybrid model into their professional lives.
An interesting insight to come out of the study was that 36 per cent of survey
respondents said they would consider returning to their former company if the
opportunity arose. Furthermore, 6 out of 10 respondents (57 per cent) strongly
believe that, in the end, returning (to a former employer) is a win-win solution
for both parties. However, it appears that there is not enough awareness from
the employer's end when it comes to returning programs, with 52 per cent of
respondents stating that they weren't aware of any such programs in place.
The salary guide covers industry disciplines, including but not limited to:
Banking and Financial Services, Human Resources, Legal, Marketing, Procurement
and Supply Chain, and Technology & Data.
The comprehensive report has been developed as a reference for hiring managers
and job seekers to make informed employment decisions this year, with the goal
to achieve targets announced by the (MoHRE) on Emiritisation. The year 2022 saw
the strongest push to hire Emiratis in the private sector across the UAE to meet
requirements the set forth by MoHRE.
According to Michael Page, the company saw increased activity at the junior end
of the market; particularly fresh graduates in industries like IT, Technology,
and Finance, triggering an increase in salaries being offered. “It’s interesting
to see the different approaches being taken up across a range of industries in
the UAE,” said Samantha Wright, Emiratisation Lead at Michael Page UAE.
“Research shows that businesses venturing into Emiratisation for the first time
are mostly progressing with a bottom-up talent approach. Those close to
achieving their quota continue to develop their Emiratisation strategy with a
combination of entry roles, and senior roles mainly in Human Resources and
According to Wright, the most important factor were the tools and procedures put
in place to facilitate this transition. “Platforms like Nafis are dedicated to
offering various benefits, including the Emirati salary support scheme for
specific industries. The Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council has held over
1,500 workshops and virtual meetings to assist private companies in
straightening their Emiratisation policies.”
The overall outlook for Emiratisation in 2023 is optimistic based on collective
efforts by authorities, businesses, and candidates - all working together for a
smooth transition amidst the backdrop of a market as complex and as dynamic as
“Adjustments to policies and deadlines are expected throughout the year", Wright
predicts, "but overall, the wheels are in motion to ensure that Emiratisation
efforts are seamlessly integrated into what is expected to be a promising year
for the UAE.”