The Morgan McKinley Irish Salary Guide - a comprehensive analysis of pay across a range of professions and sectors, anticipates that salaries are likely to remain flat throughout 2021 on average, with some salary increases of up to 5% for in demand and emerging niche skill sets.
Overall, in 2020, the market for professional talent was split 45% permanent and 55% temporary and this mix is expected to continue throughout the first half of 2021. The permanent market continues to hold strong with consistent demand in the Banking, Financial Services, eCommerce, retail and FMCG sectors. Contract hiring in the technology space is anticipated to be most prevalent in large scale tech businesses and government bodies.
There is still a very strong demand for talent in niche and emerging disciplines. Companies remain under pressure to attract qualified professionals with skills from outside of Ireland. This is most prevalent in the IT, Data Analytics, Science, Financial Services, and Engineering disciplines.
The pandemic has also accelerated plans of the Irish diaspora to return home to be close to family and friends bringing with them valuable international experience to the local market. In light of these changing circumstances, the guide shows employers are scrambling to adapt their policies on working location. HR and business leaders are now considering whether they will adjust pay of employees in line with their lower cost of living locations or maintain the current payrates, which could have a knock-on inflationary effect on regional salaries for related positions. But the relationship between pay and location is complex. As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt and more companies decide to allow long-term remote work, this approach may become more common.
Fifty one percent of companies believe that they will need to hire for new skill sets throughout 2021, in order to appropriately react to market changes. Most professionals appear eager to increase their employment value, with 77% planning to upskill in their area of expertise. In order to adapt and be agile in the current markets, companies and professionals alike know that new skills and upskilling will be key to staying competitive.
Almost half (49%) of global businesses are confident that their organisation will return to normal levels of hiring in 2021. Professionals seem to be less optimistic about the resurgence of the recruitment market, with 32% believing that hiring will return to pre-COVID-19 levels in the coming 12 months.
Despite the pandemic, almost half of businesses are planning on returning to normal hiring levels in 2021. Companies have adapted to current market circumstances with changes like remote working, as well as the need to continue with their business plans despite the turbulent market. Although only a third of employees felt the same way, there will clearly be job opportunities in 2021.
Over half of employers (51%) feel confident that they will be in a position to offer pay rises in 2021. Only 28% of employees are optimistic about being offered an increased salary. Morgan McKinley say it will be important for companies to retain their talent in 2021 in order to have the capability to adapt to the current market and stay competitive. While employees may feel differently about the prospects of a pay rise, the stats show that there will be that opportunity from the employers’ perspective.
Commenting on the survey, Global FDI Director, Morgan McKinley Ireland, Trayc Keevans said, "Brexit combined with Covid-19 has created a perfect storm in the demand for talent in the supply chain and procurement disciplines. Covid-19 created a sharp shock to global supply chains resulting in complete restructures to mitigate against over-reliance on a limited number of suppliers and countries of origin. As a result, the life sciences sectors as well as the food sector continued to hire extensively in this space and this is expected to continue through 2021, particularly for senior supply chain talent with global experience. There are also expectations of continued growth in demand for contingent labour particularly in pharma manufacturing, food production and warehousing."
She added, "The reaching of a Brexit agreement has also seen the activation of many financial services companies plans to hire here. From January 1, 2021, UK-based firms have lost the so-called passporting rights which allowed them to freely trade across the bloc. Many UK firms have set up operations in the EU to carry on serving customers in the single market, in the absence of equivalence rulings that would allow cross-border trade. Such companies in Ireland are required by the Central Bank to have onsite risk and compliance designated roles, therefore demand is now strong for talent in this area, specifically for Operational Risk and Enterprise Risk Managers."