Hiring picks up in finance, IT, project management

Hiring picks up in finance, IT, project management. (FILE)

Most experienced professionals who kept on hold their plans to change jobs over the past two years due to the market instability, have started to seek newer opportunities in the Gulf, signaling a change in the overall business sentiment, according to a salary survey released on Wednesday.

Recruitment in the region continues to be guardedly optimistic with hiring in specific functions such as Finance and IT, having gradually picked up over the period, Dubai-based Advantage Consulting said in its report titled Salary Trends – The Changing Landscape.

With the economy starting to turn around, organizations again face the prospect of a tussle for top talent at a time they most need the expertise and the experience. Organisations are recognising the importance of their pay strategies in attracting and retaining this talent, the report said.

Organizations are looking at ramping up operations in areas that offer long term potential growth, such as asset management and project finance. As private equity firms undergo a focus change in target sectors from real estate and financial institutions, to healthcare, education and utilities, hiring is expected to eventually emerge in this area.

"Organizations are now reengineering their workforce and talent strategies, to take advantage of the recovery to better adapt to the new business normal that the financial crisis has resulted in,” Safa Al Hashem, Chairman & Managing Director of Advantage Consulting Company, said in the report published by the Markets Insights Division (MID).

“Going forward, the dynamics of a new business environment would result in an organization's compensation strategy being a key differentiator in its 'War for Talent',” she said.

The report analyses the trends witnessed in salary increases across the GCC, with 2010 witnessing a relatively stable and moderate increase at 7.7 per cent, far from the highs experienced in the pre-recession period. It has also been noted that far fewer organizations in the GCC opted for salary freezes in 2010, as against 2009, when salary freezes and cuts were the order of the day.

On the increasing adoption of Performance linked Pay across the region, Safa said: "Performance linked incentive schemes provide the perfect tool for organizations to align employees with its long term and short term objectives. By linking incentive payouts to performance, organizations will be able to elevate the sustainability of their overall compensation strategies, and will help tie employee performance to the organization's bottom line, thereby ensuring a greater focus on return on investment."

The report said firms will have to implement innovative compensation strategies to attract, develop, motivate, and retain its human capital.