Shortage of specialist professionals a critical issue for 2016

man on tablet at night

Ireland’s recruitment market was exceptionally buoyant in 2015, with confidence among jobseekers and businesses growing rapidly across all sectors. We anticipate strong economic growth in 2016, leading to an increase in hiring levels. However, a shortage of specialist professionals will remain a critical issue.

We saw a resurgence of hiring across banking and financial services as global investment banks and domestic banks alike began to compete aggressively for the expertise needed for growth.

Hiring activity also increased rapidly across a variety of commercial sectors, such as ICT, pharmaceuticals and FMCG. There was a steep increase in demand for professionals across all areas of business, contrasting with the previous five years where sporadic recruitment was seen in niche areas only.

We expect this momentum to continue into 2016, with specific shortages occurring in financial, regulatory, compliance, risk, funds, digital marketing and data analytics. This may inflate salaries as employers compete to hire growing numbers of specialist professionals.

For example, qualified accountants with up to five years’ experience will be highly sought after as finance departments look to add depth to their teams. We expect to see salary increases of up to 10% as employers seek to retain their most valuable employees. Compliance expertise will continue to be sought after in line with regulatory demands.
With high levels of activity across the board, we anticipate candidate shortages will emerge in accounting, digital marketing and fund management in 2016. This may lead to salary inflation as employers compete to hire on a volume basis.

As the commercial importance of data analysis increases, companies will continue to seek individuals with specialist skills in data analysis and business intelligence (BI).

In 2016, we also expect to see an increase in counter-offers from companies faced with the need to retain key personnel. Organisations should look to highlight clear career progression, development and training programmes, as well as creating fast-track opportunities for high performers to improve retention levels.

Companies recruiting new employees should also be prepared for a very different hiring environment compared with recent years. In 2016 the market will be strongly candidate driven, with candidates receiving multiple offers when moving jobs. Hiring managers will need to act quickly to secure their preferred candidates.

As an increasing number of multinationals continue to choose Ireland as a destination for their European operations, hiring managers should consider initiatives that will help persuade Irish talent based overseas to return – widening the pool of available talent.

For more information, please contact:

Louise Campbell, Managing Director - Ireland
T: +353 1 633 4111
E: louise.campbell@robertwalters.com

red ceiling and lights

Career advice

Read more »