IT salaries rising steadily, says Robert Half
UAE survey from recruitment specialists Robert Half shows CRM, project management skills in demand
Salaries for senior IT executives rose steadily in the UAE in 2013, according to a survey from recruitment specialists Robert Half.
The company's bi-annual study, based on interviews with 150 executives across leading roles, showed pay increases of between 3.4% to 5.8% for different IT positions. CIOs can command annual salaries of between $310,000 and $430,000 in 2014.
The roles that saw the greatest increase in salary included application product managers, with a rise of 5.8% to an average range of $120-180,000; business intelligence specialists, with salaries of $85-120,000 or $120-170,000 for a senior specialist; PMO analysts, with average salaries of $120-180,000; and solutions and enterprise architects, with salaries ranging from $90-250,000 for enterprise architects and $90-240,000 for solutions architects, depending on experience.
The survey showed the most in demand skills include project management functional skills, CRM and software experience, security data centre experience and smart phone digital technology expertise.
Gareth El Mettouri, associate director, Robert Half UAE, said that there is generally an adequate supply of talent within the region for these roles, although some companies are looking abroad for more senior people, as well as those that can offer a specific skillset such as within CRM.
The survey also found that efforts to increase the employment of Emirati nationals are having limited success, with only one in three HR directors claiming that the number of nationals employed at their companies has increased as a result of Emiratisation efforts.
There are shortages of skills in some areas, El Mettouri noted, with roles including PMO, BI specialists, enterprise & solutions architect, applications product manager, network manager, and database developers attracting larger pay increases, but salary is not the main motivator in trying to attract talent to these roles
"There appears to be a lack of quality and a shortage of expertise in these areas," he said. "In our opinion, there isn't a big change in salary from this year and last year, but clients are more specific in what they are looking for. It is fair to say that the days of unrealistic salaries are long gone. The UAE is offering exciting opportunities at the moment and attracting people looking for new challenges so salary is not been used to entice candidates.
"Payrises and bonuses are being used to attract the best the industry has to offer but this is not the driving factor. Job fulfilment is an important aspect of an employee's requirements and those organisations allowing candidates to make tangible changes to the business will attract and retain the best," he added.
The survey noted that as the role of IT is becoming more strategic to businesses, IT personnel are taking on a more high profile role.
"As IT departments become more strategic, so does the profile of team members within - whether through additional training or additional external recruitment, with commercial, business and communication skills a necessity for many roles. IT transformation underlines all initiatives, and the concept of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) is driving many agendas as companies look to maximise their business offerings," El Mettouri added.
"Businesses generally do value employees who can add value from a business side as well as from an IT side. Information technology personnel now carry out a range of activities in collaboration with different parts of the business, such as optimising the performance of the business through IT initiatives, providing support for better business decision making, and helping to improve sales through applications."