Salaries: Building professionals saw 15% wage hike

Rebounding industry caused wage inflation in 2014; further 10% increase expected by employees in 2015

The difference between employee and employer salary expectations could create a market driven by job seekers in 2015.
The difference between employee and employer salary expectations could create a market driven by job seekers in 2015.

The more bouyant construction market in the GCC resulted in a 15% average salary increase for architecture, property and construction professionals in 2014, according to a new report.

Despite this, around 50% of construction and property employees are expecting a pay increase of at least another 10% this year, according to the Hays GCC 2015 Salary & Employment Report 

Within this group. those working in the property sector were expecting the largest increase. In engineering, there was a 50/50 split between those in engineering who saw a pay rise in 2014 and those who didn’t, but this year over 80% are expecting to see some change to their monthly income.

When it comes to accepting a new job offer, a high salary and career development are the most important contributing factors for those in facilities and property, but those in construction and architecture are more likely to seek challenging roles.

Overall, the report says that in 2015, the majority of businesses expect to increase salaries by a maximum of 5%, whereas working professionals believe their monthly salaries will jump by over 10% this year.

This difference in expectations between employers and their workforce could motivate employees to look elsewhere for opportunities.

The report gained responses from over 2,000 working professionals and over 200 hiring managers across the GCC, and found that 79% of employees are expecting their salaries to increase by a minimum of 5% - a fact which is only mirrored by 35% of employers.

“This difference between employee and employer salary expectations, coupled with the increased number of vacancies we’ve seen, will create a market driven by job seekers” says Chris Greaves, managing director of Hays UAE.

“As the economy in the Middle East continues to strengthen, professionals are more confident about changing jobs in order to realise their salary expectations. In 2015 this means that businesses are at real risk of losing key staff members.”

The report found that a startlingly high 78% of surveyed employees will consider looking for a new role in 2015, and with high salary being the main motivator to accepting a job offer, companies will soon need to address salary expectations of their workforce.

Positively, this report found the recruitment market in the GCC to be optimistic. 76% of surveyed hiring managers expect to increase the headcount of their organisation in 2015, and 38% (the majority) aren’t experiencing any skill shortage. But with the emerging struggle between salary expectations, employers’ positive outlook could be disrupted.

CWQ's salary survey found that the Qatari employees on the other hand, were relatively satisfied. The ever increasing drive by companies to attract the right skills set continues to see salaries rise and the survey shows that 51.72% of respondents in the country received a hike within the last 12 months.

“Once new employees are signed up, companies in Qatar tend to offer on-boarding support through financial and logistical relocation support, furniture allowances and the like,” Harish Bhatia, regional nanager of Hays Group commented.

“A larger salary shouldn’t be the primary driving factor in seeking new employment but there’s no doubt that it plays a part in securing the interest of a new hire” says Greaves when offering advice to employers. “The message in here is that employers need to be particularly mindful of the financial welfare and career development of their key staff in 2015 or risk losing them.”

Mark Rudman, Faithful+Gould’s country director, Qatar outlined some of the challenges companies in Qatar face around recruiting the right people, given the challenges around relocating staff/schools/rents etc.

“While the challenge to recruit the right people is the same worldwide, it is magnified in Qatar because of the intensity of development. We try to ensure we are competitive in the workplace but not driven by inflationary pressures.

"We consider a professional planned approach to recruiting an intelligent professional will put us in good stead to attract people for advanced career opportunities for a forward thinking and progressive company."

The Hays GCC 2015 Salary & Employment Report looked at the recruitment market for the GCC across 10 specialisms, including Accounting & Finance, Construction & Property, HR, IT, Marketing, Office Support and Supply Chain & Logistics.

The report took a detailed look at the market in 2014, and what real employees and employers expect to happen in 2015.

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