Over the course of this blog Finance Recruitment Consultant, Kassem Zaiter is going to be talking about finance and accounting recruitment and how it has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the dust starts to settle on what was a difficult couple of years he will give his insight into what industries to watch out for in 2022 in terms of hiring trends.


The Pandemic

The region struggled when the pandemic hit, companies were forced to let good employees go, salaries were reduced and recruitment activity frozen. Due to these changes that were made there were noticeable gaps within organisations finance function, so when the economy started to pick back up those companies were in a position to rehire candidates in positions that had been empty for quite some time. 


2020 saw many junior- mid-level professionals noticing the difficulties in the market which prompted them to work on themselves and become fully qualified in multiple areas including, ACCA, CPA, and CMA in order to find better opportunities in 2021. Unfortunately, when it comes to the senior end of the market there were some significant impacts from the pandemic that affected recruitment and employment.  The best way to describe it is to picture a pyramid, the higher you go, the more narrow it gets. As companies were trying to cut costs due to a struggling economy, a lot of individuals in senior finance positions were asked to leave and replacements were made with more junior individuals. The good news, however, is that things have been changing and those companies that survived the pandemic have regained confidence in hiring senior candidates again. Despite the challenges and turbulence brought by Covid-19 in 2020, the UAE and KSA remained the busiest areas in the GCC for hiring.

What does 2022 hold for us

I think 2022 will be a year of fulfillment, which has been seen through a survey where senior finance leadership professionals were contacted in the market and they found that over 50% of the companies in the GCC expect to recruit additional headcount over the next 12 months.


The busiest areas for hiring in 2022  I expect to be are, technology, pharmaceutical, e-commerce, hospitality and FMCG sectors, all of which were relatively resilient during the pandemic, if not positively impacted in terms of business activity. Companies’ top priority is to increase the quality of hire over the next 12 months. The jobs market in the UAE and KSA has made a strong recovery, and salaries will remain stable in 2022, driven by Expo 2020 Dubai and Saudi’s vision 2030.


If you would like to give feedback on this blog or require my expertise please contact me at kzaiter@cooperfitch.ae