UAE accounting and finance salaries to rise 6.6 per cent

Author: Criselda Diala-McBride | Date: 18 Nov 2015

Robert Half UAE survey highlights organisations’ plans to retain talent by raising pay

Salaries of accounting and finance employees in permanent positions in the UAE are expected to increase by 6.6 per cent in the next 12 months, as chief financial officers (CFOs) attempt to retain top-performing staff in their organisations, Robert Half UAE’s 2016 Salary Guide has found.
 
The move comes as 93 per cent of CFOs surveyed said a shortage of skilled financial professionals in the country has made it “challenging” for them to fill important roles. Around 75 per cent of respondents attributed the talent gap to the lack of technical experts with commercial and business skills. The most difficult roles to fill are accounting; financial management and control; business and financial analysis; audit and compliance.
 
“As the international economy improves and [UAE] markets prepare for growth, it is becoming hugely important for organisations in the region to prioritise attracting skilled professionals with a comprehensive recruitment strategy,” says Ian Graves, senior managing director, continental Europe and Middle East at Robert Half International. “Competition for the best candidates is a heated race and will continue to rise alongside business confidence.”
 
HR directors who also took part in the survey underscored the difficulty in retaining quality employees, with 29 per cent saying that higher remuneration offered by the competition is a major contributing factor. Other reasons cited are career advancement (27 per cent), work-life balance (24 per cent), location (12 per cent) and corporate culture (seven per cent).
 
Compared with their remuneration plans three years ago, 84 per cent of the CFOs surveyed are looking to hike salaries, while 68 per cent are looking at increases in benefits and bonuses.
 
“As CFOs focus on retaining their top performers, they are being increasingly selective about who should be awarded pay rises and bonuses, choosing to reward individuals on the basis of the contribution and value that they deliver to the organisation,” said the report.
 
The respondents predicted that fraud detection and risk management, data analytics, compliance and regulation are sectors that will attract the most investment and create new job opportunities in the near future.