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Niche roles in the UAE’s support staff sector are attracting record salaries in 2022 as business confidence and hiring activity return to pre-coronavirus levels, with some employers offering salaries up to 95% higher than a year ago, according to Tiger Recruitment.
Demand is particularly strong for office managers, who are offered up to 95% more and can earn between Dh12,000 and Dh35,000 per month depending on the sector, the recruitment specialist said in a report on Wednesday.
“At the start of the pandemic, we saw a large number of foreign workers returning to their countries of origin. They are starting to come back, but not fast enough to fill the growing number of available positions,” said Zahra Clark, Mena Division Manager at Tiger Recruitment.
“Forward-thinking employers are now recognizing that if they want to attract and retain high caliber candidates in such a competitive market, they must be prepared to pay a premium.
The job market in the United Arab Emirates, the second largest Arab economy, has recovered strongly from the coronavirus-induced slowdown thanks to government fiscal and monetary measures.
About 76% of employers in the UAE plan to increase their workforce in 2022, according to a survey conducted this week by the job portal Bayt.com and market research firm YouGov.
Experienced lifestyle managers, chiefs of staff and private chefs are among the most sought-after business support positions in the region, according to the Tiger Recruitment report.
At the top end, some private households are paying up to 40% more to get lifestyle managers, while family offices have increased salaries by 80%, he said.
About 43% of companies in the Emirates plan to increase salaries this year by an average of 3%, Cooper Fitch said in its 2022 salary guide in December.
Salary remains the most important factor for companies to attract talent and is the number one priority for job seekers looking for new positions, according to the Tiger Recruitment report.
Flexible working is the second-best perk for job seekers in the UAE, with many applicants turning down positions that require them to be in the office full-time, according to the report.
“I expect the current talent shortage to ease over the next 12 months, allowing the market to stabilize. But for now, the candidates have the upper hand,” according to Ms Clark.
According to the report, companies need to rethink their benefits package to attract top talent.
“There is a growing awareness that employers need to offer personalized benefits to attract top talent,” Ms. Clark said.
“We’ve seen employers step in and introduce mental health and wellbeing benefits, but it’s flexible working that’s most in demand.”
Some of the mental health benefits currently offered by UAE employers include access to counseling services and wellness initiatives. Other examples of innovative social benefits include paid childcare during lockdown and an annual work-from-home allowance, according to the report.
Updated: February 17, 2022, 06:21