Sales professionals will remain in demand as businesses expand their markets.- Alamy Image
Dubai - Sales and marketing executives and professionals from legal and finance sectors will likely be the most in demand this year.
Executives from sales and marketing and professionals from legal and finance sectors will likely be the most in demand in the UAE this year with the best salary hikes expected for the professionals in the latter sectors, a new report has said.
"Sales professionals will remain in demand as businesses expand their markets to overcome the local challenging economic conditions. Fintech and manufacturing will remain growth sectors, spurred by government incentives to diversify industries in the region," Jason Grundy, country head at Robert Walters Middle East, said in a report.
He said that professionals with local experience and GCC nationals with international experience will be the most in demand by employers. According to Robert Walters, job volumes remained stable with a slight increase at the end of 2017.
Grundy has projected that UAE employees will see an average salary increase of one per cent in 2018. Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn Middle East and North Africa, said new digital technologies are expected to disrupt many sectors across the GCC region such as infrastructure, health and professional services and public administration, forcing companies operating in these sectors to create more digital jobs.
"Digital jobs are more adaptable in the face of technological disruption, especially those related to emerging technologies in information technology, data analysis, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and biotechnology. Therefore, jobs in these sectors that involve production, distribution, implementation or servicing of ICT are expected to be in demand and therefore will also dictate the salaries they generate."
Matar said that the next wave of jobs growth will mainly come from blockchain, 3D printing, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, robotics and artificial intelligence.
He revealed that statistical analysis and data mining, public policy and international relations and algorithm design, top the list in terms of demand for skills.
Jason Grundy stated that nationalisation programmes will continue to dominate across the GCC with further legislation expected to limit more sectors and specific roles for local hires.
"Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman have a real focus on this within the oil and gas sector and non-petroleum fields. Job creation is the top priority so we expect the public sector to continue to be buoyant along with manufacturing and the services industry."
He said the ongoing impact of the Emiratisation strategy, which rewards banks based on their ability to provide opportunities for UAE nationals, will help to drive demand for local talent as well as UAE nationals currently based overseas to return home.
Diversity in hiring
Ali Matar of LinkedIn says 80 per cent of talent acquisition leaders and hiring managers revealed in a survey that diversity is the top trend affecting how they hire, with companies prioritising diversity - gender, race, ethnicity, age and education - to improve culture and boost financial performance, as they are increasingly realising that diverse teams are more productive, more innovative and more engaged.
More findings from the report stated that a new age interview process is emerging in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) to solve the problems with traditional job interviews, as the talent leaders who were surveyed noted the bias problem in traditional style of interviewing. More than half (58 per cent) of hiring managers feel that interviewing innovations are 'very' or 'extremely' important to the future of hiring. Innovations such as job auditions, soft skills tests, meeting candidates in casual settings, virtual reality assessments and video interviews are gaining traction.
This new era of talent intelligence is a big step forward as it's allowing recruiting professionals to use data to influence the strategic direction of their companies and elevate their own careers. About 48 per cent of respondents said that they see data analytics as critical to the future of hiring, with 48 per cent identifying it as a top trend affecting how they hire.
Hiring managers in Mena are also seeing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and how it can help them work faster by automating administrative tasks, and how smarter it can be by generating insights they wouldn't think of alone. According to the report, 36 per cent of professionals feel that AI is a top trend affecting how they go about hiring employees, Matar said.