Published in association with Oxford Economics, the Hays Global Skills Index measures how easy or difficult it is for firms to attract and retain the most talented workers in 33 countries.

For the UAE, the overall index score has reduced marginally from 4.8 in 2016 to 4.7 in 2017, suggesting easing pressures overall, helped by a strong and ever increasing supply of talent in the market.

Reasons for this can be explained by overall net migration, with the UAE having one of the highest rates in the world; and the growing working age population, counterbalancing the issue many other countries face of an ageing population.

“As a region, the UAE has always embraced skilled labour migration, with expats making up over 90 per cent of the working population. Candidates are typically attracted here by the tax free salaries but also as a region, the decline in the energy sectors in recent years has forced increasing diversification of the economy. This has opened up many attractive opportunities for candidates across all industry sectors,” says Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays Gulf Region.

When looking at wage pressures, Oxford Economics have forecast real wage growth to be at 2.9 per cent for year-end 2017, down from 3.6 per cent in 2016, which is further good news for organisations based in the UAE. What’s more, the report revealed that easing wage pressures in the Middle East means employers may find it slightly easier to attract and retain top talent relative to last year.

Nevertheless, organisations should not become complacent warns Chris:

“An organisation is only as good as the people in it. While demand for roles remains strong from skilled candidates and salary increases slightly subdued year-on-year, high employee turnover does remain a challenge for employers in the UAE.

To continue attracting top talent and instilling a sense of loyalty from it, businesses need to benchmark their offerings against that of the competition – both locally and globally.

These favourable employment conditions offer an opportune time for organisations to boost their learning and development programmes to secure their talent pipeline for the future.”



Hays Global Skills Index 2017