RIYADH – More than half of employees in Saudi Arabia believe that salaries are increasing, the latest MENA Salary Survey conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, a research and consulting organization, showed.
A third of survey respondents (27 percent) in the Kingdom have spent 4-6 years in their current industry, with a quarter (25 percent) having worked for their current employer for 4-7 years. Four out of 10 have between one and five people reporting directly to them, with a collective 68 percent stating that they are midway in terms of seniority (36 percent), or at a fairly senior level, but not yet at the top (32 percent). Over the past five years, 39 percent of respondents have held two jobs; 24 percent have held one job, while the remainder have held three (22 percent) or more (12 percent). On average, most people will stay in a job for 2 to 3 years (34 percent), or six or more years (29 percent).
In Saudi arabia, the preferred pay structure is entirely fixed-pay (50 percent), with popular incentives including those that are performance-based (57 percent), and professional training and development courses (40 percent).
Salary packages primarily (63 percent) consist of basic salary plus benefits, and six out of ten of respondents are currently moderately satisfied with their salary.
The most popular salary benefits in the Kingdom include personal medical insurance (62 percent), housing allowance (54 percent) and personal annual air ticket (49 percent).
Six out of 10 respondents in the Kingdom that their current compensation is lower than that offered by other companies in the same industry. More than a third claim not to have received a raise in the last 12 months. Those who did receive a raise are predominantly unhappy with what they received; collectively, 45 percent claim to have been "unhappy" or "very unhappy". The majority of respondents (68 percent) expect to receive a raise in the coming year, 22 percent of which are looking at an additional 15 percent or more.
According to 86 percent of survey respondents, the cost of living in Saudi Arabia has increased in the last 12 months (between December 2010 - December 2011), of these 45 percent believe that it has increased by 15 percent or more. Rent is believed to have increased the most, according to four out of 10 respondents, followed by food and beverage costs (37 percent). A majority 81 percent believe that the cost of living will continue to rise in the coming year. On average, respondents claim that they received a 7.87 percent raise in the past year - while stating that their cost of living increased by an average of 20 percent.
Four out of 10 (44 percent) are able to save more than 15 percent of their monthly salary, though 23 percent have been unable to save anything at all. Four out of 10 (37 percent) manage to repatriate more than 15 percent of their salary, however 36 percent are unable to send any money home.
Six out of 10 survey respondents (a collaborative 63 percent) believe that salaries in the Kingdom are increasing either "marginally" (36 percent of respondents) or "moderately" (27 percent of respondents). The most popular reason for this is perceived to be inflation and the rising cost of living (59 percent), followed by growth in opportunities and economic growth in the respondent’s country of residence (36 percent). Respondents meanwhile blame employer-friendly laws (33 percent) and the poor economy (22 percent) for the lack of salary raises, though 22 percent are unsure why there have been none.
When comparing themselves to other people of a similar generation in the Kingdom, 37 percent of respondents believe that their quality of life is about average, while 33 percent believe that they are somewhat better off. Only 16 percent of professionals believe that there is an excess of talent.
To improve their situation, 57 percent will look for a better job in the same industry, while another 28 percent will look for a better job in a different industry.
"The survey respondents belief that there is an increase, however small, in salaries is a positive sign for the future. However, the fact that they also consider there to be an excess of talent suggests that unemployment levels are currently relatively high, and that competition for existing jobs is fierce," said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.
Loyalty to employers is directly linked to salary package, according to 28 percent of respondents. However, a larger group of 40 percent base their loyalty on their line manager.
Opportunities for long-term career progression, senior management, colleagues and working environment, daily responsibilities, and training and development opportunities also factor highly. – SG