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ALAMY

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here are plenty of surveys and studies that promise to tell you what’s really happening when it comes to recruitment and remuneration. But you’ll only hear the unvarnished truth if you hit the shop floor. And on the streets of Dubai, among both multinationals and local businesses, there is for the first time in living memory a barely disguised nervousness over pay. At a senior level, bonuses and salary increases are quietly reigned in. Recruitment is slowing and contractors are finding jobs harder to come by. It isn’t a crisis – most Gulf economies are too well-calibrated to suffer the sudden shocks that have sporadically blighted other parts of the world – and it hasn’t made a significant dent in the

mainstream media yet. But it’s summed up by one entrepreneur in the travel sector, who says: “No one is hiring… on the contrary, some people are taking a 30 per cent pay cut. The real investors are nervously waiting to see what happens.” The statistics tell their own story. Robert Mosley, founder and CEO of Lemon Pip – an HR consultancy specialising in the Middle East and Asia – has 25 years’ experience in global reward strategy. He

says that, as a broad measure, pay is likely to increase at around 3 per cent for employees in the GCC during 2016 – a dramatic reversal from the 4-5 per cent most reward experts were forecasting in the first part of 2015. Companies that budgeted at the higher rate, which includes many large multinationals, risk overspending compared to their competitors. In many sectors, and at various levels, pay freezes are likely – for the first time People Management Middle East

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People Management Middle East: Issue 2  

The CIPD magazine for the Middle East