High expectations for remuneration impacting overseas recruitment

Professionals expectations for remuneration are having a wider impact in businesses hiring plans making it harder to recruit international talent

  • Four in 10 overseas candidates have expectations that exceed market conditions
  • Executives find that remuneration prospects are the key driver for increases and/or decreases in overseas recruitment

Dubai, 12 September 2012 – Four in 10 (39%) overseas candidates have expectations for remuneration that exceed market conditions, finds new research from Robert Half UAE. The survey indicates that while nearly half (49%) of respondents believed the number of overseas candidates moving to the UAE has remained the same, many of these individuals have raised their hopes for higher salary and benefits than what the market prescribes.

The survey includes responses from 75 Dubai-based Human Resources Directors and was conducted by an independent research firm in June 2012.

75 Dubai-based HRDs were asked, Thinking about the recruitment of overseas candidates, are expectations for total package remuneration in line with local market conditions?’ Their responses:



No – Expectations are higher


No – Expectations are lower


James Sayer, director, Robert Half UAE said: ‘While the Dubai job market is showing strong signs of momentum, with increased salary and bonuses for existing employees, it is important for overseas candidates to develop a thorough understanding of prevailing market conditions before orchestrating such a significant move. Conducting research, including consulting local salary surveys and speaking with global recruiters with operations in both the home and target countries will not only allow candidates the ability to understand the local conditions but also gain valuable connections, helping ensure that expectations meet reality.’

Executives indicate that financial reward may be the driver for both decreases and increases to overseas recruitment. While nearly half (49%) of HRDs believe that the number of overseas candidates has remained the same, one third (34%) feel that the number of expatriates have decreased, citing lower compensation (62%) and tougher immigration regulations (12%) as the primary drivers. In contrast, 16% of respondents indicate that the number of expatriates have increased over the past three years, also citing monetary factors as a leading cause, although in this case, ‘higher overall remuneration’ (25%). The Eurozone crisis (25%), lifestyle (17%) and local talent shortage (17%) are additional reasons executives feel have led to increased overseas recruitment.

Sayer continues: ‘While opinions differ on the prevalence of overseas recruitment, what remains is the fact that Dubai is a major international city and we are competing on a global stage for the world’s most talented professionals. It is important for companies to provide attractive compensation and benefits packages that will not only entice candidates to consider Dubai as a great place to advance one’s career but also showcase the opportunities and lifestyle that make it a great place to call home.