Ireland experiences a shortage of candidates as job volumes rise

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In Ireland, job advertisements in the final quarter of 2015 were up by 9% year-on-year, continuing the upward trend experienced throughout 2015. Whilst the momentum of demand eased off slightly compared to previous quarters, the latest Robert Walters European Job Index shows that as we start the New Year, business and candidate confidence remains strong across the majority of the country’s core sectors.

Accounting and finance professionals were in particularly high demand during the final three months of the year. Compared to Q4 2014, there was a 15% uplift in advert volumes for accounting and finance candidates across the country. Job volumes outside of Dublin increased by 32%, while Dublin increased by 5%.
Job seeker confidence is high across the majority of sectors, with more permanent roles available and better salaries on offer.
Demand for accountants came from both commercial and financial services organisations with an increased number of permanent roles available. Companies sought newly-qualified accountants as they looked to build depth to their organisations, specifically those from the ‘Big 4’ accounting firms. Those in particular demand were management and financial accountants, as well as finance business partners, all with the ability to add commercial value to organisations.

Suzanne Feeney, Managing Director Robert Walters Ireland, said: “Throughout 2015 the jobs market remained very active. The results show job seeker confidence is high across the majority of sectors, with more permanent roles available and better salaries on offer. This is particularly prominent among accounting and finance professionals. The notable increase in demand across the regions outside of Dublin is a very reassuring sign that business growth and job opportunities are not confined to the Capital.”

In banking and financial services there was a 6% fall in year-on-year job advertisements. This is not indicative of a slowdown in the sector but follows a period of aggressive hiring and a natural and seasonal tailing off of job volumes.

Across the whole financial services market, the risk functions of banks and asset management firms have become increasingly important. There was a 5% year-on-year rise in advertisements for risk and quant professionals and we have noticed a particular rise in demand for mid-level operational risk professionals. Another area of demand is within the retail finance sector, where product development specialists were sought to help bring new products to market.
The past year has been one of recovery and growth and this trend is expected to continue in 2016.
Corresponding to the increase in demand for risk professionals, there was a 15% year-on-year rise in adverts for compliance experts. This follows a surge in business growth and on-going regulatory developments. The growing need for robust data protection is also pushing up demand and therefore salaries.

IT remains a candidate-short market and there was a 5% year-on-year rise in advertisements. Project managers and data and business intelligence analysts were the most sought after as they were needed to help businesses achieve increased efficiencies. Demand is expected to continue to grow in 2016, which will result in the need for talent to be brought in from overseas to fill the expected candidate shortage.

Over the course of 2015 the legal sector gradually recovered and the latest findings show a modest 3% year-on-year increase in advertisements. Within private practice there was increased demand for corporate skills in banking and property, particularly those with 1-5 years’ post-qualification experience. There was also continued demand for in-house lawyers, particularly those with commercial law and data privacy experience.

Suzanne Feeney, continues: “Looking ahead to 2016, we expect sustained demand across finance, IT, sales and marketing. There will be particularly high demand for those with data analytics experience, which is relevant to all major industries in Ireland, from FMCG to banks. At entry level, graduates with mathematical and statistical qualifications will be eagerly sought after. The past year has been one of recovery and growth and the trend is expected to continue in 2016, although this will be steady and cautious in light of wider macro-economic uncertainty.”

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