What does a competitive remuneration package look like?

By Robert Half on 13th February 2018

It’s no secret that in this candidate-driven hiring landscape, your top choice talent is receiving multiple job offers. In order to attract the best talent and hold onto your existing top performers, your company will need to have an attractive remuneration package within its staff retention and hiring plan.

Why is it important to have a good remuneration package?

Sometimes referred to as a salary package, an employee remuneration package refers to the total offering your company gives to employees, including salary/wages and benefits or rewards. Falling out of touch with what makes a strong employee remuneration package can cost your business badly.

The current hiring landscape is moving fast, no matter which industry you operate in. Skilled, top quality talent is in high demand and many companies are in competition with one another. A strong remuneration package adds to your employer branding and is one of the factors that can make a business more attractive to those skilled candidates.

Despite this, only 24% of UAE businesses say they leverage their remuneration package as a means of enticing top performing talent to their ranks. This is an oversight when you consider how many professionals factor it into their decision-making process.

But what does a ‘competitive remuneration package’ look like to an employee?

Competitive remuneration package examples

The first step to ensuring that your current salary and benefit offering is on-point is to gauge it against other remuneration packages in the UAE to see how it compares.
This provides a simple starting point to build on. Here are some of the things that candidates are telling us they’re looking for:

•    Competitive salary
The salary for your most in-demand positions should meet or exceed the market standard, as a general rule. This is especially important when you consider that bonuses are less frequently awarded in the current climate, so your initial base offering should be high enough to cover this. It’s also important to review your salary and benefits structure regularly so you continue to offer competitive wages and attractive benefits for new and existing employees. 
•    Flexible working hours
Demands on UAE professionals are tough, so it’s crucial they find a good work-life balance in order to remain happy at work. In the UAE, 30% of businesses say they’re implementing flexible or remote working to attract new talent and retain top performers.
•    Relocation packages
If your goal is to attract talent from overseas, you might like to consider adding a relocation package to your offering. Covering the cost of flights and arranging initial accommodation and basic relocation assistance can make the transition far easier for the candidate and boost your employer branding in the process.

•    Subsidised childcare
Paying for education may come as a culture shock to some expats, so they will be drawn to remuneration packages which help them support their families. Over the last few years there has been an increase in business spending on subsidised childcare as a benefit for employees. In 2016 it was reported to be growing steadily 5% year-on-year, starting from Dh25,000 per child—we suggest familiarising yourself with the average offering and either matching or exceeding it. 

•    Unique benefits
These remuneration package examples are by no means exhaustive, and aside from meeting the industry standard, your package should aim to include some unique benefits that make your role stand out. Wellbeing and employee health initiative are being highlighted by 21% of businesses in the UAE and others are offering housing allowances, which have been rising at an average of 4% each year.

Common remuneration package misconceptions

The modern professional’s idea of a comprehensive remuneration package is built on much more than just bonuses and salaries. Here are some of the lesser-known elements that make a package more attractive:

Training and career progression

Today’s professionals come into a new role with a career plan mapped out before them. In fact, 83% of them claimed that they would leave their company if another offered better training benefits. 

Just under half (44%) of UAE business leaders say they’re planning to invest in employee training and development in the coming year, and 28% said they were putting more effort into booking regular performance reviews with their teams. In total, 34% of businesses said that this was a benefit they relied on to attract top performers.

Small perks can go a long way

According to research by Robert Half, feeling appreciated is one of the main drivers of happiness at work. Small gestures of appreciation can go a long way to making your team feel valued and rewarded for the effort they’ve put in. Appreciation initiatives are going to be prioritised by 43% of UAE business leaders in the coming months.

Working out a remuneration package should feature highly on your hiring plan to-do list. Now that you know what candidates are looking for, re-assess your offering and make sure you’re not only in-line with other companies in your industry, but that you’re also bringing something unique to the table too. 

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