Recruitment and Salary trends in GCC


Every year, GulfTalent publishes the report, Employment, and Salary Trends in the Gulf, to have a better look at the job sector in the Gulf region. GulfTalent is the only online recruitment portal which is focused exclusively on professionals in the Middle East. 

The recruitment portal provides local and expatriate talent to more than 8000 companies in the region and is used by over 6 million professionals looking for job opportunities.

This year has marked the 12th edition of the report – with each of its edition being downloaded all across the globe over 100,000 times. It is considered a source of comprehensive research on the labor market in Gulf.

This year’s report is based on a survey of 25,000 professionals and 700 executives and human managers in the GCC.  Interviews with 60 senior executives and data driven from World Bank, Economist Intelligence Unit, and International Monetary Fund have also played a significant role in the report.

Recruitment trends in the Gulf

Healthcare industry continues to have the highest recruiting employees – 68% of the surveyed firms reported an increase in the headcount during 2015. It might be because of the fast growing population, and regulatory changes which have made health provision necessary for employers.  Retail sector comes on the second number in recruitment.

In GCC, UAE remains the most attractive destination for expatriates as 63% of the professionals surveyed said they would like to move to UAE for work. It also enjoys the highest retention rate in the Middle East – 88% of the expats residing in UAE expressed their desire to remain there.

Saudi Arabia continues to be the last destination for expatriates because of its relentless efforts to meet Saudization targets in the private sector.

Salary trends in the Middle East

With the businesses tightening their grip on spending and recruitment markets cooling down, in 2015, average pay rises in the region slowed down to 5.7%.

According to the report, last year’s average pay increase was 6.7%. Based on the GulfTalent’s survey, salary increases slowed down even more in 2015 – falling to 5.2%. This has been the lowest average increase in pay rises for over a decade.

 Qatar and Oman witnessed the highest salary increases in 2015. In Qatar, average pay rise rate was recorded at 6.1% and in Oman at 6.1%.

 Bahrain observed the region’s lowest average pay rise, standing at 4.1%, because of the oil price collapse and political unrest in the country.

Retail, among all sectors, experienced the highest average pay rise of 6.6% in 2015. Construction (6.1%), Banking (6.0%), Oil & gas (5.9%), Telecoms & It (5.7%), Logistics (5.5%), Real Estate (5.4%), Healthcare (5.2%), Education (4.3%) and Hospitality (3.7%).

Among other job categories, HR professionals had the highest average pay rises at 7.0% while the lowest salary increases were those of IT professionals at merely 5.1%.

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