Now is the time to offer incentives

It's the ideal time for more contractors to offer employees benefits that would far outweigh the lure of an astronomical salary.

COMMENT, Human Resource

Reading about how a young site engineer has the potential to get a 50% hike in his salary every three months got me thinking that I may be in the wrong profession.

Not that I would really want to exchange the comfy confines of an office with a hazardous construction site, but the chance to be able to over-inflate the price of my own worth - even if it is just for the short-term - wouldn't be such a bad thing.

It would also help to embellish the stereotypical impression among family and friends back home that living in Dubai means my pockets are lined with petrodollars.

Stories about the local construction industry being short of staff are nothing new.

The skills crunch is a problem prevalent in the industry across the globe, and stems largely from the fact that fewer people want to work in it.

The news that poaching is rife across the industry is also something that most of you are no doubt already familiar with.

It's an intrinsic trait of most trades, and will only get worse the more competition intensifies.

And with the main incentive among the transient workforce in this market being the relatively short-term hit of saving money, forming an allegiance with one firm probably ranks low in the list of priorities.

But although the opportunity to earn more money within the contracting segment is an enticement for switching jobs, many are actually opting for a lower salary in search of greater flexibility and a better benefits package and lifestyle.

Why stress it out for six days a week with a contractor, when you can work fewer hours over five days with a consultancy or development firm?

Some contractors have started to operate a five-day working week, with the result being an actual increase in productivity and greater staff retention, although many others are reluctant to do so through fear of falling behind with projects, and will only make the move if the government makes it compulsory.

It seems like the ideal time for more contractors to make the bold move and offer benefits to their employees that would far outweigh the lure of an astronomical salary.

After all, a good company will always retain good staff.

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