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13 April 2024

Top 3 reasons why UAE pros quit their jobs

By Shuchita Kapur

It pays to hop jobs, so believe a majority of employees in the UAE and the Mena region at large. The workforce in the region looks at greener pastures when their current job does not pay them well enough or what they believe they are really worth.

According to a new survey published by regional jobs portal Bayt.com, low salary is the most compelling factor that sees employees switch jobs. 

Not being paid enough is the primary main motivator for resigning. Almost half (45.2 per cent) of the respondents who participated in the survey cited financial insecurity, which derives out of low pay, as their primary reason for changing jobs.

Much on the lines of last year, employees in the Middle East can expect an average 5.4 per cent raise in pay for 2013. Those working in the UAE can see a 5 per cent rise in their personal incomes this year, according to the latest total remuneration survey conducted by Mercer.

The findings suggest that the pay rise will be more than inflation, which means real income for the workforce but does not mark any significant changes in pay hikes from last year.

The hikes have been constant over the past couple of years, indicating relative economic stability and mature business environment.

Hikes are always welcome news but the double-digit pay hikes for many in the UAE still remains a distant dream, putting many under pressure to look for better paying jobs.

“Job growth and salary increases tend to go hand-in-hand as demand outweighs supply and companies are forced to pay more for candidates with the requisite skills and industry experience,” a recruitment consultant told Emirates 24|7 while commenting on 2013 job market scenario in the UAE.

In terms of the driving forces behind changing jobs, the fear of being fired is also one of the biggest issues. A good 44.7 per cent of employees said that the fear of being fired guides their decision to change jobs to a large extent.

In addition, 46.1 per cent of respondents said that offering reasonable job security guarantees would improve employee retention to a large extent.

Only 5.7 per cent stated that they left their last job due to being made redundant or being fired.

The Bayt survey also reveals that a majority of employees stay no longer than five years in a job before moving on.

In fact, in a disturbing sign for employers, when asked about how long would employees like to stay in their current jobs, more than half (54.9 per cent) said they wanted to leave immediately. Gone are the days when employees stayed in the same job for decades.

Only 16.4 per cent of employees said they intend to stay in their current job until retirement – though 36.8 per cent of respondents have high hopes for career longevity and say that they never want to retire.

Employers agree that, compared to the previous generation, the staff turnover among the current generation is quite high. 75.9 per cent of the poll’s respondents believe that the turnover rate in their companies is ‘very high’ or ‘moderately high’ and 60.2 per cent state that retention today is lower than in previous generations.

As far as the employees are concerned, a majority of the respondents claim that the average amount of time they have spent in a job is no more than five years.

More than quarter (27.7 per cent) have stayed between two to five years, 20.5 per cent have stayed for no more than two years, while 22.2 per cent have stayed for an average of less than one year in a given job.

Of those who wish to quit, sales and marketing professionals are seen as changing their jobs the most. They have the highest turnover by 43.9 per cent of poll respondents, while 43.5 per cent believe that fresh graduates and entry level professionals are considered to be the easiest to retain. 

Respondents believe that giving a more competitive salary can go a long way in retaining employee (26.6 per cent), followed by performance recognition (17.7 per cent) and good manager-employee relationships (17.6 per cent). Nine out of 10 (86.1 per cent) also state that having higher levels of job security will improve retention rates.