Dubai: Job hopping is on the rise among finance professionals in the UAE that it has become a widespread concern across the UAE firms about retaining employees, according to the latest Professional Hiring Index from Robert Half UAE, a recruitment consultancy.
The study is based on more than 75 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UAE. A vast majority (91 per cent) of respondents concerned with 27 per cent very concerned and 64 per cent somewhat concerned about losing top financial performers to other job opportunities in the coming year.
Competition is becoming fierce for attracting top candidates that 57 per cent of senior finance executives across the UAE anticipate they will maintain employment levels by filling vacated positions in the remainder of 2015, and more than one in three (36 per cent) plan to create new roles.
Finding the best candidates is not getting any easier for businesses. The majority of senior finance executives including chief finance officers (CFO) surveyed report that talent shortages continue to affect hiring of all finance roles, with 94 per cent indicating that it is “very challenging” (39 per cent) or “somewhat challenging” (55 per cent) to find skilled finance employees today.
The primary reason for the challenge in finding skilled professionals, according to 48 per cent of respondents, is a lack of niche technical experts, followed by lack of commercial and business skills (27 per cent) and general demand outweighing supply (19 per cent).
“Senior executives are hiring to fill vacancies from departing employees as well as creating new jobs. Companies are focusing on hiring entry and mid-level finance professionals to help build their talent pipeline. With the financial skills shortage to continue, it poses significant challenges for UAE businesses as candidates have options, both within the UAE and abroad,” said Gareth Al Mettouri, Associate Director, Robert Half UAE.
Hiring in the UAE is being driven by the majority (85 per cent) of finance leaders who are optimistic about economic growth for the forthcoming year; this is reflected in company’s confidence in their own growth prospects.
Businesses are increasing headcount because more than two in five (44 per cent), of survey respondents said they would hire due to domestic business growth and expansion or as a result of new projects and initiatives (44 per cent). This was then followed by new market penetration and product or service expansion (both 37 per cent).
“Retention concerns will be high on the business agenda for the remainder of the year, especially as companies around the globe continue to increase hiring and struggle to find the requisite talent. Businesses across the region who are unable to recruit and retain highly skilled professionals could find themselves struggling to maintain their competitiveness in the market,” said Al Mettouri.