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Deloitte survey: UAE insurers face tough battle for business graduates

Press release

11 January, 2015 - 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, according to the newly released Deloitte Middle East Talent in Insurance Survey 2014. 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. While this year’s results showed that insurance’s popularity as a career is low across all countries surveyed, in the UAE respondents show that career in insurance is even less popular than in any other market surveyed across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

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 percent of student votes for “ideal employers”), and auditing and accounting in sixth place, with 8.9 percent. In contrast the insurance sector represented 0.1 percent 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 less than the average business graduate (€29,000 compared to €33,400).

Rana Ghandour Salhab, Talent and Communications partner at Deloitte Middle East commented: “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.”

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Press contact
Nadine El Hassan
Middle East Public Relations
Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)
Tel: +961 (0) 1 748444
Fax: +961 (0) 1 748999

About the survey

The Deloitte Talent in Insurance Survey 2014 explores the intentions, aspirations and associations in relation to insurance careers, based on a global survey of 174,000 business students from 2,000 universities and institutes of higher education in 31 markets. This included 6,000 insurance-inclined students (students who put at least one insurer in their lists of the five employers they most want to work for). The research is based on a survey conducted by Universum, which polled 700,000 students and professionals from around 2,000 universities and institutions of higher education in 36 markets in 2013-14

About Deloitte:

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

Deloitte's professionals are unified by a collaborative culture that fosters integrity, outstanding value to markets and clients, commitment to each other, and strength from cultural diversity. They enjoy an environment of continuous learning, challenging experiences, and enriching career opportunities. Deloitte's professionals are dedicated to strengthening corporate responsibility, building public trust, and making a positive impact in their communities.

About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.):

Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is the first Arab professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926.

Deloitte is among the region’s leading professional services firms, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through 26 offices in 15 countries with around 3,000 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has received numerous awards in the last few years which include Best Employer in the Middle East, best consulting firm, and the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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