Sixty-seven percent of employees in Saudi Arabia, who responded to a recent survey in the Kingdom, believe that their current salary is lower than that of other companies in their industry, with only 4 percent stating a high level of satisfaction with their current remuneration.
Eight in 10 believe that the cost of living will continue to increase.
The 2013 Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey, conducted by Bayt.com, a leading regional job site, and YouGov, a research and consulting organization, has revealed that 67 percent of KSA respondents believe that their current salary is lower than that of other companies in their industry, with only 4 percent stating a high level of satisfaction with their current remuneration.
A press release from Bayt.com said respondents in Saudi Arabia also believe that they enjoy a standard of life that is mostly either on par with or above the standard of other residents in the same generation; 40 percent state that their standard of living is “about average,” 28 percent claim to be “somewhat better off,” and 14 percent are “much better off.”
It said a quarter of the survey’s KSA respondents (25 percent) had been in their current career path for up to three years.
A third (32 percent) have spent up to one year with their current employer, while 25 percent have been with them for four to seven years.
Four in 10 (40 percent) have one to five people currently reporting to them, and 38 percent oversee six or more employees.
The majority of survey respondents are either midway (37 percent) or fairly senior (32 percent) in their position.
Most respondents in Saudi Arabia have held either one (25 percent) or two (38 percent) jobs in the past five years. The majority claim that they spend on average between one to three years in a job, though 29 percent held a position for at least six years.
The preferred pay structure in the Kingdom is 100 percent fixed-pay, according to 51 percent, with the more preferable incentives being those that are performance-based (61 percent), or professional training and development courses (46 percent).
Commission for business or revenue generated (27 percent) and holiday allowances or foreign trips (24 percent) are also popular.
In terms of their current salary, a quarter of KSA respondents (25 percent) receive their basic salary only, while 62 percent receive their basic salary plus benefits. A third (33 percent) state that 51-75 percent of their salary package is their basic monthly salary.
Additional benefits received from KSA companies include personal medical insurance (60 percent), housing allowance (49 percent), and personal annual air ticket (46 percent).
The majority (56 percent) of KSA professionals state medium satisfaction with their current salary, with only 4 percent claiming high satisfaction.
The overwhelming sentiment in the Kingdom is that the salaries received by respondents in their current companies are lower than other companies in their industry (according to 67 percent), with 40 percent claiming that they did not receive a raise in 2012.
The majority of those who did receive a pay increment were given 1 to 5 percent (20 percent), but 48 percent are unhappy with the amount received.
In 2013, respondents in Saudi Arabia are torn on the issue of receiving a raise: 36 percent expect to receive up to 15 percent and 17 percent expect to receive more than 15 percent, while 26 percent do not expect anything.
Half (53 percent) of respondents in Saudi Arabia state that their cost of living increased by more than 15 percent in 2012. They believe this is mostly due to rising food and beverage costs (82 percent), increased rents (77 percent), and education (42 percent).
Eight out of 10 (79 percent) believe that the cost of living will continue to rise in 2013.
A third (31 percent) of KSA respondents save up to 15 percent of their monthly personal income; a third (33 percent) repatriate 15 percent or more.
“The results of the 2013 Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey suggest that salaries are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living in Saudi Arabia,” said Suhail Masri, VP of sales, Bayt.com.
“This is a general trend across the Middle East that companies must begin to address; in doing so, they will be able to contribute to building employee loyalty and satisfaction, and will have the opportunity to reduce the number of employees looking to change jobs within the next year,” said Masri.
Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov, said: “The Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey is an annual study that reveals the levels of satisfaction and factors effecting as much across the Middle East and North African region. This information is vital for employers and job seekers in the region, in order to gauge individual country situations and make informed, empowered career and life decisions.”
He said: “Drivers of loyalty in particular are areas that employers in the region should consider, in order to slow what would seem to be a very transient workforce. Employees across the MENA region seem overall dissatisfied with their current packages and the rising cost of living; if the two do not draw closer, then there could be potential economic difficulties in the coming years.”
When asked whether salaries are increasing or decreasing in their country of residence, 33 percent of KSA respondents said they are “increasing marginally,” with an additional 23 percent stating they are ‘increasing moderately,’ and 17 percent state they are staying the same.
Factors causing salaries in Saudi Arabia to increase are considered to be inflation and the rising cost of living (61 percent), growth in opportunities and economic growth (34 percent), pay rises in the public sector (18 percent), and economic growth and rising salaries in other countries (18 percent).
Reasons for salaries not increasing are seen to be employer-friendly laws (41 percent), poor corporate performance (24 percent), and the poor economy (23 percent).
Half (56 percent) of respondents in Saudi Arabia intend to look for a better job in the same industry in the next 12 months, while 33 percent will look for a better job in a different industry and 30 percent will look to other Middle Eastern countries for better jobs. This is likely because 16 percent of respondents believe that there is an excess supply of talent in Saudi Arabia.
Loyalty to their current company is mostly driven by the salary Saudi respondents receive — 48 percent believe that their loyalty is 70-100 percent linked to their remuneration.
Other variables that strongly drive loyalty in Saudi Arabia are the respondent’s line manager (39 percent), opportunities for long-term career progression (36 percent), and senior management (35 percent).
Data for the Bayt.com MENA Salary Survey, May 2013, was collected online from April 28-May 5.
Results are reported on a base of 15,247 respondents.
Countries that participated are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.