While employers’ sentiment for the year ahead is positive, there is less optimism than in 2015, according to a report by recruitment firm Hays
The GCC 2016 Salary & Employment Report, published on Sunday, 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 ten per cent of their annual pay - a contrast of outcomes that is expected to continue into 2016, a Hays statement said on Sunday.
"There are many mixed messages around salary and expectations in the GCC hiring market," said 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.”
Greaves added, "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."
Hays 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.