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Audit, HR likely to see most salary hikes

|By TAP Staff| Starting salaries for professional occupations are expected to see modest rises over the next 12 months, according to the Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide.

Across professional occupations including finance and accounting, financial services, information technology, legal, and human resources and administration, salaries are expected to see an average rise of 1.7%. The roles that are the most difficult to fill are predicted to see salaries rising the most quickly in 2016, including internal auditors (8.9%) and learning and development managers (7.6%).

The Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide enables employers and employees to benchmark salaries for nearly 200 different permanent professional roles in the UAE.

“Businesses are actively seeking skilled professionals for new roles and to fill open vacancies which is driving salaries rises well above average for in-demand roles, despite the region’s outlook facing some uncertainty. Hard-to-fill roles are experiencing higher than average pay rises due to the increased competition for these candidates,” said Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director, Robert Half UAE.

Starting salaries for accountancy and finance roles in large companies (>250 employees) are predicted to rise at a faster rate than SME companies. There are higher rises on offer for roles within compliance and audit, reflecting the ongoing importance being placed on meeting regulatory and reporting changes. Overall, roles within accounting and finance can expect an average salary increase of 2.3%.

With increased spend on revenue generation being balanced against the need to remain compliant, skilled financial services professionals are in high demand. As such, the vast majority (93%) of finance directors reported that they are challenged in finding skilled financial services professionals. Average salary increases for financial services professionals are predicted to rise by 1.5%, while roles within compliance, and private equity and asset management are expected to receive salary increase above 3% on average.

Systems architecture and networking are expected to see higher than average salary increases within the technology functions. Roles expected to receive the highest raises include network architects (2.6%) and highly experienced enterprise architects (2.1%). Overall, technology roles are set to receive a modest average increase of 1.1% in this year’s Salary Guide.

Businesses are enhancing their talent pipeline by investing in the development of existing staff to support their medium to long-term growth goals. Senior learning and development professionals who are able to drive the programmes required for staff are in short supply. Average starting salaries for these roles are seeing higher than average rises, included learning and development managers (7.6%) and heads of learning and development (5%). Roles across HR and administrations are expected to see an average rise of 2.4%.

With increased construction activity taking place in the UAE, firms are increasing their in-house legal teams. Businesses are actively strengthening their legal teams with paralegals who have local market knowledge and are able to assist with the review of contracts and legal documents in Arabic, resulting in professionals with these skills receiving above average salary increases. Roles within the legal function, both in-house and private practice are predicted to receive an average starting salary increase of 1.4%.