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72 Percent of Dubai Businesses Expect to Hire in 2011

Dubai : 29 March 2011

Almost 85 percent of those surveyed expect more activity within the region’s recruitment market this year.

Based on the findings of BAC Middle East’s corporate survey the majority of firms in Dubai are expecting a busy job market for 2011. Responses concerning the business climate of 2010 were also positive as 86 percent of respondents said that their expectations were met or surpassed last year.

Optimism is the general consensus for the coming year as 95 percent of respondents say they land somewhere from fairly optimistic to very optimistic. The remaining 5 percent were listed as “fairly pessimistic” concerning the climate of business this year.

This trend continued concerning recruitment as a massive majority, around 85 percent, is expecting the region’s recruitment market to be more active this year and 72 percent are definitely going to see hiring action in 2011. Those respondents who do not expect to see any hiring in the coming year came in at only 3 percent, which is much lower than the 11 percent who responded in that way last year. Also, just 2 percent of the surveyed firms are expecting a reduction in staff levels for 2011 and a full 47 percent expect the local staffing numbers to swell.

Salary levels were harder to pin down and forecasts for increases ranged. There was a median forecast for a 5 percent increase in salary. BAC Middle East’s recruitment manager Siobhan O’Reilly stated that overall there are no major changes forecasted for salaries in 2011. The companies are still extremely conscious of their operating costs and the cost of living levels are still uncertain.

Even though there is no expectation for large salary increases this year, 73 percent of those surveyed see a stronger position for skilled workers looking to negotiate in 2011. O’Reilly says that there is a unique condition in the market that finds companies trying to control costs and maintain the level of salaries on one hand, while also realizing that their skilled workers are gaining strength in the realm of negotiation. O’Reilly noted that the workers who found themselves made redundant over the last couple of years have mostly been reestablished or relocated.

As fewer redundancies occur in the job market and there are less job seekers coming in from abroad the pool of those seeking employment has shrunk, especially in the executive and professional realm.

All responses for this survey were brought together in the opening quarter for this year and came from nearly 200 businesses in Dubai covering all of the major sectors including blue chip multinational firms, more local SMEs and businesses. The survey was aimed at those who work within or are involved in the recruitment and HR processes of their business.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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