Vast majority of finance executives will maintain or increase current staff levels over next six months

21 January 2014

Dubai, 21 January 2014 – Senior executives plan to increase or maintain current staff levels over the next six months finds new research from Robert Half UAE. Professionals across both the accounting and finance profession as well as the financial services industry will see strong job prospects as senior executives in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are confident about the job market.

Accounting and finance hiring

Hiring within accounting and finance will remain buoyant in the first half of 2014, with nearly four in 10 (37%) CFOs expecting hiring increases and over half (56%) filling vacated positions.  The key driver for hiring for accounting and finance professionals will be new projects / initiatives (57%), followed by product or service expansion (54%) and domestic business growth (43%).

Optimism in the business climate is varied, with more than seven in 10 (72%) executives confident in the UAE’s domestic growth prospects when compared to last year, and 28% who are uncertain or not confident. Looking at their own company’s projections, three in four (76%) are confident – suggesting a firm’s own combination of strategies, leadership and procedures can offset other macroeconomic factors.

Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director, Robert Half UAE said,“The UAE has enjoyed a period of substantial business growth with higher oil prices and increased government spending into regional infrastructure fuelling expansion efforts. While some business leaders are entering 2014 with an air of caution, it is not taking away from the strong hiring prospects we are seeing across the region as companies continue to be challenged in finding skilled professionals and look to expatriate talent to fill the gap.”

Financial services hiring

Looking at hiring within financial services, one in three (33%) senior leaders plan to recruit new permanent staff in the first half of 2014, with a further 60% maintaining current levels.  With a mere 7% planning to freeze staffing levels by not filling vacated positions and not creating new ones, there are no companies looking to make redundancies.

When asked for the top three reasons behind planned increases in the number of permanent financial services professionals, more than seven in 10 (72%) selected new projects / initiatives as their top priority for hiring.  This was followed by product or service expansion (56%) and new market penetration (48%).

El Mettouri continues: “Many firms have found it challenging to maintain a consistent recruitment process. Demand outweighs supply, and additional job creation has resulted in many firms looking to attract top talent from competing businesses or overseas. The most sought-after candidates are attending numerous interviews and, in some cases, receiving multiple offers. There has been a re-emergence of individuals accepting last-minute counteroffers in a bid to retain talent.”


Notes to editors

The bi-annual study was developed by Robert Half UAE and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 150 interviews with senior executives from companies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with the results segmented by size and sector.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 345 offices worldwide, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha providing recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, human resources and legal professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and recruitment related resources, available at

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