The Hotelier Middle East Salary Survey revealed that on a scale of one to 10, respondents rated an average of seven for job satisfaction. However, 30% of the survey’s respondents said they are actively seeking new opportunities within the market.

TRI Consulting director Christopher Hewett says that based on the pipeline data from TopHotelProjects, hotels are expected to add 300,000 jobs in the region in just direct employment. 26% of respondents said they’re not looking for jobs, but would not mind changing jobs if the right opportunity came along.

While 25% of respondents said they’re not particularly looking for jobs, but would move within the company if the right opportunity came along. 18%, however, expressed complete satisfaction in their current roles.

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Crowne Plaza Dubai general manager Mrad El Khoury says he’s not surprised that people are looking for new opportunities.

“I am not surprised by this feedback. The UAE and the Middle East region continues to be one of the most dynamic and exciting markets in the world, with many new hotels coming online across all tiers. There are great opportunities for personal development for hoteliers across the board, from entry level to senior positions. In addition, millennials now dominate the work force within the hospitality industry in this region,” El Khoury explains.

El Khoury’s point on millennials dominating the market is backed up by the fact that 20-somethings, whether hoteliers or professionals in another industry, widely accept job hopping as a norm. In a study conducted by global staffing firm Robert Half, 75% of employees between the ages of 18-34 said they viewed job hopping as beneficial, while only 59% of workers between the ages 35-54 and 51% of those 55 and older saw switching jobs as beneficial.

The Hays GCC 2018 Salary and Employment Report highlights the attrition rate of 28-29%, a rather high one compared to global standards. The report further stated that the two biggest challenges for HR teams are employee engagement and staff retention in 2018.

Despite high attrition rates, when asked how inclined they were to recommend their employer to others, out of a scale of 10, 22.34% of the respondents on the survey rated their employers a full 10, while 23.39% of the respondents rated their employers between one to five.

Hoteliers responding to the survey revealed that besides a salary, they are compensated with a pay package that includes additional benefits. 87.36% of the respondents revealed that accommodation or additional allowance for it was part of their compensation, 85.06% received annual air tickets to visit home, 80.46% got medical insurance, 67.82% received food & beverage discounts or allowances as hospitality professionals and 43.68% received commissions or bonuses, on top of salaries.

Other incentives include company car or allowance for one, allowance for school fees for hoteliers’ children, gym membership, tips, moving allowance and reimbursement of phone bills. However, while a high percentage of the respondents are clearly loyal to their employers, the same numbers don’t translate when it comes to job security. 24.47% of the respondents said they felt “less secure than they did 12 months ago” in their jobs while 14.89% felt anxious about keeping their jobs and 5.32% of the respondents confided that they were already informed that they were at risk of redundancy at the company.

A substantial number of respondents also expressed dismay at stagnant salaries, which didn’t correspond to rising living costs in the Middle East. Among the respondents, a majority of them earn between US $1,000 to $3,000, with 24.14% revealing a pay raise in the last six months, and 19.54% had received a raise between one to two years ago. On the contrary, 39.08% respondents stated that they had never received a pay raise.

Fortunately, 90.8% of the respondents had also not received a pay cut in the last 12 months at the time of the survey.