Companies hiring new employees now offer 15 to 20% less salary than they did during the pre-Covid-19 period.
The consultants also confirm that the temporary wage cuts and the 4-day work week are the new standard for some companies as they look for tighter control over their costs.
They said that market dynamics are dictated by the fact that expatriate job seekers want to settle quickly in the UAE even with a lower salary to avoid returning to their homeland. At this point, it is an employer market with job losses in key sectors in the UAE.
"The good news is that the new hiring is slowly increasing as we see more institutions are actually returning to work and starting to fill the primary roles that have been disrupted and the temporary drop in basic wages for 3 to 4 months for current employers," said Vijay Gandhi, regional manager of Korn Ferry, " Expires by August / September in most companies.
He said that the nature of work is also changing, and employers do not need to replace similar roles. Employers are now looking for super-adaptable skill and talent, fueling the digital change that companies want to make to move forward.
LinkedIn's professional networking website confirmed last week that employment in the UAE is recovering from a sharp decline due to a coronavirus pandemic.
Gandhi noted that the UAE, like the wider GCC region, continues to offer a competitive, if not higher, overall remuneration than jobs of a similar nature in other parts of the world.
He added, "It will take some time for the salaries of new entrants to grow as businesses reinvent the new business and improve it with a better technology and choose what they need to start, stop and continue working."
There is no doubt that the global epidemic will affect pay levels in the short term, but the UAE has a proven track record of bouncing back from global events, said Jason Grundy, Middle East and Africa CEO at Robert Walters. "I expect a decrease in the number of new roles available, rather than significant and permanent salary cuts until 2021," he added.
Grundy added that many companies resort to a 4-day work week and salary sacrifices are temporary, in some cases on a voluntary basis.
"Some establishments reduce their employees' working hours to reflect the market, which in turn leads to a reduction in fixed costs. Others are a simple reduction in wages. The 4-day work week is common across professional services companies, but those who are in the likes of hospitality and added that travel has undergone For much tougher discounts, the key to sticking to important staff will be when these cost saving mechanisms are turned off. "
He added, "Wage contraction occurs in parts of the market, but the most basic skills are scarce in some cases. Competition for these talents helps maintain pre-Covid-19 salary levels."