Despite a slow retail market across the Middle East, recruitment activity across marketing and retail recruitment remained high, with demand remaining constant for supply chain professionals and luxury retail specialists for malls.
In 2018, brands invested in their loyalty programs and e-commerce structures, resulting in a spike in demand for digital media specialists and CRM analysts. Candidates with a background in PR, communications and traditional marketing were also highly sought after.
The second major retail recruitment trend saw demand increase for sales and client advisors with an extensive client portfolio and customer service experience. Arabic and Mandarin speaking sales professionals were highly sought after in the luxury sector, in addition to candidates with excellent product and market knowledge.
In 2018, some of the larger luxury brands increased salaries and boosted commission schemes in order to remain competitive and attract top sales professionals from competitors.
However, generic retailers had a tough year due to the economic climate and as a result some salaries decreased.
In 2019, there will be an increasing demand for specific operational skills across all marketing roles; areas of growth will be within beauty cosmetics, FMCG and the food & beverage sector.
The e-commerce market will continue to go from strength to strength as online shopping becomes embedded in the local culture.
In 2019, salaries should remain the same with emphasis placed on attractive commission schemes for all sales roles.