Majority of UAE employees consider changing jobs in 2023

Higher salaries and flexibility among key drivers for employees seeking new roles, LinkedIn survey finds

About 74 per cent of UAE employees have the confidence to demand promotions and new opportunities within their existing company, according to a new survey by LinkedIn. Getty
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About 75 per cent of employees in the UAE are considering changing jobs in 2023, with many confident that they will secure a new role that offers flexibility and a higher salary, a survey by LinkedIn has found.

Only 10 per cent of workers in the Emirates said they lacked the confidence to find a new job this year, according to LinkedIn, which polled 22,985 workers from countries including the US, UK, Germany, India, Singapore, the UAE and Saudi Arabia between December 9 and 19.

Seventy-four per cent of respondents in the UAE said they had the confidence to ask for promotions and new opportunities within their existing companies, while about 70 per cent are confident about seeking a pay raise, the world's largest professional network said.

Watch: Some of the stats behind the UA's hiring boom

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, FEB 24, 2016. Jason Leavy, MD of Edelman Dabo. Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National (Reporter: Frank Kane /Section: BZ) Job ID: 27616 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20160224_JASONLEAVY_004.JPG

“Despite economic uncertainty and the slump in global hiring that’s trickled its way into the region, we’re still seeing a significant number of professionals looking to either grow within their organisations or switch jobs in 2023, many driven by the desire for bigger salaries as the global cost of living goes up,” Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn Mena and EMEA, said.

“Workforces clearly know their value within the job market and are taking charge of their careers by investing in new skills. It’s clear that since the pandemic, professionals have built up a bank of resilience and we’re seeing this in their confidence to tackle the year ahead.”

The UAE jobs market has made a strong recovery from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, boosted by the government’s fiscal and monetary measures.

The Arab world’s second-largest economy has undertaken a number of economic, legal and social reforms to strengthen its business environment, increase foreign direct investment, attract skilled workers with new visas and provide incentives to companies to set up or expand their operations.

It has also introduced an unemployment insurance programme, which came into effect on January 1.

The jobs market in the UAE is expected to continue to strengthen in 2023, driven by strong market confidence and foreign direct investment as companies expand their international presence in the Emirates, recruitment specialist Michael Page said in a report in November.

Citing the top reasons for considering a job change, 37 per cent of UAE employees picked higher pay, 34 per cent highlighted a better work-life balance and 31 per cent referred to feeling confident in their abilities to land better roles, the LinkedIn research found.

Flexible working — a legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic — remains a top priority for employees.

Top 15 companies to work for in the UAE, according to LinkedIn — in pictures

If offered a new job or promotion that requires them to be in an office full-time, 72 per cent of workers said they would decline the opportunity in favour of a hybrid or remote work policy, the survey found.

Meanwhile, millennial employees in the UAE are showing a higher drive towards career advancement than Generation Z, as the younger cohort is worried about economic uncertainty, LinkedIn said.

Millennials in the Emirates are showing 15 per cent more confidence in job searches, interviewing and in their abilities to secure new and better roles in 2023 than their younger colleagues, the research found.

This could be because 81 per cent of millennials feel that their employer is not invested in them, which is almost 25 per cent greater than that expressed by Gen Z employees.

Additionally, 46 per cent of millennial respondents said they felt undervalued at work, 65 per cent were unmotivated and 71 per cent said their salaries do not require them to show higher levels of commitment, LinkedIn said.

Gen Z employees are 7 per cent more concerned than millennials that their employers have not dealt with the current economic uncertainty very well, leading to greater concerns about job security, the survey found.

This could be a contributing factor in them feeling 6 per cent less committed to their current jobs than millennials, with external commitments taking priority over work, LinkedIn said.

Updated: January 31, 2023, 10:18 AM