Business students in the UAE are more inclined to look for a career in transport and logistics, fast moving consumer goods or software and computer services than in insurance, a report said.
A career in insurance in the UAE is even less popular than in any other market across Europe and the EMEA (Middle East and Africa), added the new Talent in Insurance Survey 2014 released by Deloitte Middle East, a leading provider of audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services.
The survey is based on Deloitte’s analysis of research undertaken by Universum, which has been researching students’ career intentions across the world since 1988.
In the UAE the differences in popularity between the top six sectors cited by university business students as ideal employers are relatively small: there are just five percentage points between transport and logistics at number one (with 14.1 per cent of student votes for “ideal employers”), and auditing and accounting in sixth place, with 8.9 per cent. In contrast the insurance sector represented 0.1 per cent of responses.
“Although this shows how much competition to attract talents insurers in the UAE face when it comes to university graduates, the survey results also provide insight on how insurers can turn this around,” said Joe El Fadl, Financial Services Industry (FSI) leader at Deloitte Middle East.
“For example, more than half of all insurance-inclined students chose ‘to have work-life balance’ in their top three career goals, out of a list of nine options. This is one area that insurers may consider developing along with an attractive career path if they want to beat the tough competition and attract talented business graduates.”
When it comes to pay, insurance-inclined students demonstrated their foresight by ranking “high future earnings” fifth in their most preferred job attributes. In contrast, more immediate pay considerations, such as “performance related bonuses” and “competitive base salary” ranked 15th and 34th respectively.
One noteworthy indicator, which contradicts the trend in most other markets, is that insurance-inclined students in the UAE expect to earn €4,400 ($5,208) less than the average business graduate (€29,000 ($34,330) compared to €33,400 ($39,540)).
Rana Ghandour Salhab, Talent and Communications partner at Deloitte Middle East said: “Today more than ever employers need to be aware that the key to attracting and retaining talent goes far beyond financial incentives into issues such as work-life balance and opportunities for growth.”
“Insurance-inclined students in the UAE, for example, see ‘professional training and development’ as the most important attribute out of 40 to attract them to a job with a first employer. The fact that 52.8 per cent of them chose it, compared to just 43.5 per cent of all business students, should send a signal to insurers as to the importance of providing this if they want to attract real talent,” Salhab added.