GCC talent eyeing fresh career opportunities and better compensation

20 December 2023 Consultancy-me.com 4 min. read
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Nearly half of the GCC talent pool is currently looking for fresh opportunities and around 70% feel they should be compensated better. Some are actively considering complete career transitions.

A total of 43% of the talent pool surveyed in the GCC countries are actively looking for new job opportunities. That number was higher in the countries that are most popular for those willing to relocate, namely, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with 59% and 57% of talent (respectively) looking for new opportunities.

Those figures are according to a study on the GCC labor market from human capital consulting firm PROCAPITA, which sheds light on how talent view issues like compensation, desire to relocate, and whether artificial intelligence is a threat to their jobs in the future.

GCC talent eyeing fresh career opportunities and better compensation

Source: PROCAPITA, Talent Trends and Practices 2023

At 57%, Saudi Arabia has the talent pool with the highest percentage of people currently seeking new job opportunities when compared with the rest of the GCC countries.

Saudi Arabia currently boasts the fastest growing economy in the GCC, according to the IMF. Unemployment in the Kingdom dropped to 8% and employees there are the most likely to be considering a career change to further their professional development.

GCC talent eyeing fresh career opportunities and better compensation

Source: PROCAPITA, Talent Trends and Practices 2023

Just under half (49%) of the talent pool in the GCC told PROCAPITA that they were considering a complete career transition. Kuwait and Qatar are the countries with the lowest amount of talent that is seeking this kind of radical change.

Talent pools globally have been increasingly wary of the widespread adoption of AI, fearing its potential to replace jobs across various industries. The pervasive concern revolves around the need for proactive measures to address the impact of automation on employment and to foster a balance between technological advancement and job security.

That fear of AI does not seem to be so widespread in the GCC, however. Across the GCC countries, 68% said they were not concerned that their jobs would be displaced by AI. Only 30% said they envisioned AI displacing their jobs within the next three years, with 46% saying they could see it happening within the next six to ten years.

GCC talent eyeing fresh career opportunities and better compensation

Source: PROCAPITA, Talent Trends and Practices 2023

A higher pay cheque…

Compensation remains an important issue for most talent in the GCC, and indeed, the vast majority of those surveyed said that they are most driven by promising career opportunities and growth prospects.

There is a significant amount of dissatisfaction with compensation in GCC countries, with only 29% on average believing their efforts were fairly compensated. Qatar has the highest level of satisfaction at 35%, and Kuwait has the lowest at only 20%, according to the survey. Some of that dissatisfaction is linked to the rising cost of living and unrealistic workforce expectations.

A previous report from PROCAPITA found that 80% of GCC firms had increased the compensation and benefits offered to their employees. Most of those salary increases were in Saudi Arabia, though on the whole, they were only modest increases, which might be why talent across the GCC still appears to be dissatisfied.

GCC talent eyeing fresh career opportunities and better compensation

Source: PROCAPITA, Talent Trends and Practices 2023

HR insights

Commenting on the report, Mohammad Abu Al-Rob, the CEO of PROCAPITA and founder of ZENITHR, said that the report serves as a valuable resource for business leaders and HR professionals, providing insights into the methods employed by talents and job seekers throughout their job search journey, gauging their readiness for career transitions, and the factors influencing their job search, in addition to offering an analysis of talent preferences.

“Our flagship GCC Talent Report underscored PROCAPITA’s dedication to supporting clients and the community through cutting-edge HR insights,” he said.