How the UAE became a hotspot for cross-border remote jobs

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the world works, sparking a booming remote jobs sector that has led companies to expand their talent search globally – giving employees flexibility and the ability to work. increase their salaries, according to a new hiring report.

The United Arab Emirates is a country that is emerging as a hotspot for cross-border remote hiring, with companies in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel tapping into a “pool of applicants high-quality jobs” looking for full-time remote positions, payroll and remote onboarding company Deel said in its Global Recruitment Status Report 2022.

Remote hires from the UAE in the first half of this year doubled compared to the same period in 2021, the Deel report said without giving exact figures.

“The UAE has rapidly become a global business hub, and having a large pool of skilled human capital is seen as the foundation for economic growth and international competitiveness,” said Tarek Salam, Head of Deel in the United Arab Emirates. United Arab Emirates and responsible for expansion in the Middle East and North Africa.

“The information in the report…is a testament to the caliber of talent in the Emirates, as international markets increasingly look to the country for mid-to-senior level talent.”

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, employees have been quitting their jobs at much higher rates than normal, in what has been called “the great quitting”, as they seek better work-life balance and more flexibility in their work.

In March, a survey by financial services firm Prudential found that 42% of remote workers would seek new employment if their company did not continue to offer long-term work-from-home options.

This signals that a “war for talent” could be looming if companies fail to meet the needs of workers, according to the Prudential survey.

“By providing access to remote work, companies are seeing an increase in employee well-being, productivity, innovation and inclusion; it’s proof that a happy team is a productive team, says Salam.

“We will continue to see an acceleration in the adoption of remote working. Leaders need to rethink their workplace culture to be more inclusive of remote and hybrid working – this is the new normal. »

Meanwhile, 70% of professionals in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have considered quitting or have quit their jobs due to a lack of flexibility amid growing disconnect between employers and employees regarding returning to the office after the pandemic, according to a LinkedIn survey in May.

“The impact of the pandemic on the way we work has been transformative, and research globally indicates an increased urgency for greater flexibility and empowerment in the workplace,” Ali Matar said at the time. , Head of LinkedIn Mena and EMEA Markets.

In recent years, the United Arab Emirates, the second largest economy in the Arab world, has undertaken several economic, legal and social reforms to strengthen its business environment, increase foreign direct investment, attract skilled workers and encourage companies to create or expand their activities. .

The government’s overhaul of a number of visa programs has also boosted opportunities for employees looking to work remotely, as international employers increasingly look to the UAE for talent.

In 2019, changes were made to the Golden Residence Scheme to simplify eligibility criteria and expand beneficiary categories.

The 10-year visa is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, qualified professionals who earn a monthly salary above Dh30,000 ($8,167), outstanding talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, real estate investors, humanitarian pioneers and first line. hero.

A green visa provides five-year residency to qualified employees without the need for a sponsor or employer. The minimum level of education must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and the salary must not be less than 15,000 Dh.

The UAE also introduced a one-year digital nomad visa in March 2021 that allows people to live in the Emirates while continuing to work for employers in their home country.

In April, Dubai was ranked the third-best city in the world for digital nomads, according to research by property consultancy Savills.

“Companies see the benefits [of cross border hiring]. Businesses no longer have to think about location or other overhead. This has huge downstream impacts, ranging from business acquisition strategies to supporting local economies, to empowering the global workforce like never before,” says Salam.

“Remote and hybrid working is the future and it’s here to stay. Over the past few years there has been a fundamental shift in the way people work and a full-scale return to the office now seems very unrealistic. »,

Deel’s research – which was compiled from more than 100,000 employment contracts – indicates that global hiring rates increased by 145% or more across all regions in the first half of 2022, companies in Latin America and Asia-Pacific leading the way.

Latin America topped the list of regions hiring internationally with a 161% increase, followed by Asia-Pacific with a 159% increase in the number of companies employing workers globally and Europe, Middle East and Africa ranked third with a 159% increase.

Besides the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, the Philippines, India, the United Kingdom and the United States are the most attractive countries to hire, the report adds.

Salaries are also up for remote support, finance and content roles, with Italy, Brazil and India seeing the fastest growing salary increases, the report said.

“Given the high demand for talent and the dearth of available candidates, companies are looking outside of higher cost countries to find quality talent,” Deel says in the report.

“As a result, wages are rising around the world, especially in Italy, Brazil and India.”

Interest in part-time remote work is also on the rise, particularly in the United States, according to FlexJobs, a subscription service for employees seeking flexible, remote jobs.

Searches for “remote and part-time jobs” jumped 105% in the first half of this year, according to FlexJobs, which analyzed 50 career categories in its database from January 1 to June 30.

Demand for product and design roles is shifting from the United States to countries like Argentina and India

Tarek Salam, Head of UAE and Head of Mena Expansion at Deel

“Remote work and flexible hours are top priorities for workers, so it’s no surprise that in today’s rapidly changing work landscape, remote and part-time jobs are gaining traction,” says Sara Sutton , founder and CEO of FlexJobs.

“A part-time career can help you fill employment gaps, earn extra income, tap into new skills – and especially when away – lead to greater freedom and flexibility at work. “

Popular career categories for part-time remote work include customer service, education and training, administration, writing, accounting and finance, among others, explains FlexJobs.

Meanwhile, employers are looking for a wide range of skills and experience when it comes to hiring remote workers from other countries, according to Salam de Deel.

However, skilled technology professionals continue to be the most in demand globally, including software engineers, product designers, and user interface and user experience designers.

“Demand for product and design roles is shifting from the United States to countries like Argentina and India,” says Salam.

“Finding high-quality people often means broadening the pool you hire from; if you want great talent that won’t eat into your profits, think more globally,” he says.

“For employees and contractors, finding the best job may mean working for companies that are not based in your home country. This change is helping people find better opportunities, with rising wages in many developing economies.

Top 5 Remote Tech Roles

  1. Software engineers and developers
  2. Product designers
  3. Product Managers
  4. Graphic designers
  5. UI/UX designers

Source: Deel

Updated: 05 August 2022, 18:02

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