Persistent skills shortages pushing Irish salaries up

Persistent skills shortages pushing Irish salaries up

Skills shortages, more creative recruitment plans and mounting salary demands are among the top issues currently on employers’ agendas for next year, according to the new Hays Ireland Salary & Recruiting Trends 2019 guide. The survey interviewed nearly 2,500 employers and employees across Ireland.

The report indicates that while the long-term impact of Brexit remains the great unknown, skills shortages are the most acute challenge for employers, one that cannot be overcome by salary increases alone.

According to the report, 97% of employers have experienced some form of skills shortage within the past 12 months and 61% cite a ‘shortage of suitable candidates’ as their biggest challenge when recruiting.

Half of businesses say these shortages are impacting upon their ability to deliver important projects, 42% suggest it is hurting employee morale and 37% claim it is impacting on overall business productivity.  By extension, 22% of employers believe they do not have the talent to achieve their business objectives. 

In response to these shortages, 77% of employers plan to increase salaries in the year ahead. Employee movement remains high but stagnant as 53% of Irish professionals intend to look for a new role, the same as the year prior.

Interestingly, salary rises alone are not enough to encourage employees to look for new opportunities. Nearly a third (32%) of employees state that work-life balance is the most important factor aside from salary when considering changing jobs. Thirty seven percent of those surveyed cite a lack of scope for progression within their current organisation and a further 21% referenced a lack of future opportunities with their current employer.

Commenting on the report, Managing Director Hays Ireland, Mike McDonagh said, "This year’s findings suggest employers have strong intentions to recruit both permanent and temporary staff in 2019. However, in an already skills-short market, this is set to further exacerbate the competition for talent."

He added, "The challenge for employers is escalated by organisations having to adapt ever-more quickly to the world around them. With political, economic, social and technological changes taking place more rapidly than ever before, employers are under pressure to move fast to capitalise on new opportunities. Of course, to do this they need ready access to a skilled workforce."