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10 December 2023

Employees in UAE looking to switch jobs

More workloads and frozen compensation packages – that was what the past two years were all about. (GETTY IMAGES)

By Shuchita Kapur

The New Year may not bring good news for employers in the UAE after all. After not being in control for well over two years, things are finally changing for the employees in 2011 as an increasing number of workers in the country are looking at a new job this year, experts maintain.

According to recruitment experts in the country, employees are planning to look for a new position in 2011. That's definitely a break from last year when most were happy to have retained their jobs amidst a staff retrenchment drive.

But after two harsh years, many employees are finally planning to saying goodbye to their current employers, especially as new regulations open up the market further. Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.com, says the job site is receiving a "significantly higher" number of applications this year compared with the previous.

“We receive over 4,500 new jobseeker registrations a day, which is significantly higher than this time last year. Talented professionals are always on the hunt for better challenging opportunities. With 66 per cent of the UAE’s employers stating they have plans to hire in the year to come, their chances of landing a new job are looking brighter,” Zureikat told Emirates 24|7.

Cliff Single, Commercial Manager at BAC Middle East, a recruitment firm, agrees that the numbers are up this year with the economy showing improvement. “There will be a slight increase in the number of employees looking to move jobs this year for two main reasons: firstly, the recent changes in the UAE Labour Law have increased mobility in the labour market by reducing the restrictions on changing jobs; secondly, if the recovery stays on track, we may see less risk aversion from candidates,” he told this news site.

“More workloads and frozen compensation packages – that was what the past two years were all about. Many are looking out as levels of disappointment and frustrations run high,” said an executive at a local recruitment firm who did not wish to be named as he's not an authorised spokesperson of his firm.

Moreover, as the economy improves further, there will be a number of employees that will look for greener pastures. "Don't forget, the staff that was retained in the past years was among the best, and the best tend to switch faster than the rest," said the executive.

However, there are those that believe the time has not yet come to swing. “Many employees are actually seeking to stay with their existing employer as this shows loyalty and stability. Furthermore, there is a consensus that it is too risky [at the moment] to change employers,” said Matthew Carter, Managing Director at McArthur Murray.