7% salary hike for accounting, finance execs in Dubai: survey

60% of Dubai-based finance leaders plan to expand their teams in H2 2012

Around 60 per cent of Dubai-based finance leaders intend to hire more staff in the second half of this year nearly half of them expect salaries of accounting and finance employees to rise by about seven per cent, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

According to the latest Robert Half Financial Hiring Index, eight per cent of finance executive projected decline in recruitment in the second half.

The net 52 per cent increase is lower than the forecast for the first half of the year, but represents the second strongest estimate worldwide behind Brazil (57 per cent).

Dubai’s figure is 29 points higher than the global net average (24 per cent), according to an international survey of 2,179 finance executives.

Finance leaders are understandably upbeat with eight in 10 remaining confident in their company’s and country’s growth prospects, respectfully, compared with last year, according to the index.

The index, which is the first bi-annual recruitment survey of its size and scope to focus exclusively on finance hiring in Dubai, showed that the biggest drivers for increased hiring levels are rising workloads (64 per cent) and eight in 10 (81 per cent) finance leaders find it challenging to source out skilled financial professionals today.

James Sayer, Director, Robert Half UAE, said: “While some of the larger multinationals are delaying adding to their headcount due to the ongoing uncertainty in the Eurozone, many local companies are hiring in response to strong growth and demand in the region.

Regardless of their immediate plans to hire, companies want to meet top candidates for fear that they may miss out, with some creating roles in order to secure the best and brightest.”

Challenged in finding the requisite staff to manage potential growth opportunities, executives are increasingly worried about finding and retaining talented staff with 85 per cent citing concerns over losing top performers to other job opportunities in 2012.

“The large majority of finance leaders report difficulties when recruiting skilled finance professionals, particularly in the areas of audit, risk, financial planning and analysis and IT finance.

"Companies looking to attract and retain the most sought-after candidates should review their remuneration structures, with tools like the 2012 Robert Half Salary Guide providing guidance and benchmarking information against other companies in the region,” Sayer said.

Prospects for remuneration are also on the rise with half (49 per cent) of finance executives surveyed expecting salaries for existing accounting and finance employees, increasing by an average of 6.97 per cent.

Looking at bonuses, 35 per cent expect increases, by an average of 6.35 per cent overall.

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