The latest Hays Salary Survey shows that more than three-quarters (76%) of Irish employers expect to be challenged by a shortage of suitable candidates, as competition for talented professionals becomes intense.
The survey shows that the economic outlook is positive with 79% of employers expecting their levels of business activity to increase over the next twelve months, while 84% plan on recruiting additional staff. However, this is exacerbating an already stretched labour market.
In direct response to this shortage of skilled professionals, a quarter of employers are increasing their training and recruitment budgets and one in five are putting more effort into marketing. Many are looking abroad to fill talent gaps. This is a particularly prevalent trend in the construction sector which is making an ongoing effort to attract emigrant engineers, architects and other professionals back to Ireland
Almost half (47%) of employees are not happy with their salaries despite increases. Sixty five per cent of employers have given salary increases in the last 12 months, while more than half, 54%, expect to give salary increases in the next 12 months. This is becoming a problem as 44% say that unrealistic salary expectations are a major issue when hiring.
Furthermore, nearly half (49%) of all employees said they planned to change jobs in the next year, while 24% said they were considering a move one to two years from now.
Commenting on the findings, Hays Ireland Managing Director, Richard Eardley said, "It's no longer accurate to frame Ireland's economy through the lens of ‘recovery’. We have entered a new economic cycle, and from our own findings, the problems facing businesses now are much more in line with what they faced ten years ago, pre-crash."
He added, "The demand for labour, particularly in technical fields, is so high that candidates can essentially pick and choose who they work for and push for higher salaries. This in stark contrast to just four years ago where for many it was a matter of taking what was offered. Employers need to adapt to this changing landscape."