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Ireland – Confidence returning to the job market

12 February 2014

The healthy state of the professional jobs market in Ireland is reflected in the January 2014 Morgan McKinley Employment Monitor, which shows a +10% increase in professional job vacancies compared with January 2013.

The Monitor also registered a +57% increase in the number of professional job opportunities in January 2014 compared with December 2013; however, while positive, this large increase can primarily be attributed to the fact that December is typically a quieter month for job activity and candidate availability. 

The number of professionals seeking new job opportunities increased by +49% from 5,658 in December 2013 to 8,430 in January 2013. The number of job seekers, however declined by -13% from 9,735 in January 2013 to 8,430 for January 2014. The month-on-month upsurge in professionals seeking new job opportunities is a result of the seasonal differences in the market between December and January. 

Karen O’Flaherty, Chief Operations Officer, Morgan McKinley commented: “Since the beginning of the year there are signs that employer confidence is returning. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the competitive nature of sourcing talent and hiring criteria has softened across many industries.”

 “Overall January shows an increased flow in new positions across a range of sectors and industries which we expect will be maintained through 2014. We have also seen the expected increase of candidates looking for new roles which can be explained as part of their ‘New Year New Job’ promise and is reflective of the general positivity in the market,” Ms O’Flaherty concluded.

The positive sentiment was echoed in a separate analysis by Robert Walters. Demand for specialist professionals increased across the majority of industries during 2013, according to the Robert Walters Global Salary Survey.

In 2013 companies sought candidates with specialist skillsets specifically within compliance, risk and IT. Professionals with international experience were also sought after while Qualified Financial Advisors (QFAs) and those with mortgage arrears and restructuring experience were in constant demand within the banks.

Robert Walters suggests these trends are likely to continue in 2014, with a number of areas experiencing severe skills shortages. Risk and compliance skills will remain in high demand as companies continue to restructure in line with increased regulation. While remuneration played a part in attracting top talent in 2013, candidates generally placed greater emphasis on career progression opportunities, training and organisational stability. The company expects that these factors will continue to define employers of choice in Ireland during 2014.

Louise Campbell, Managing Director at Robert Walters Ireland, commented: “We witnessed a mix of replacement hiring and new job creation in 2013. Candidate confidence increased, which created greater movement within the market, and staff retention became priority for employers looking to retain their key individuals. Highly-skilled professionals received modest pay increases when moving jobs.”

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