Irish employers are beginning to notice how competitive the talent market is and companies are moving quickly to put the necessary internal resources in place to support and advance their recruitment and retention ambitions in 2022. This is according to the latest IrishJobs.ie Jobs Index, a dataset comprising of all corporate jobs advertised on IrishJobs.ie and Jobs.ie for 2021.
Overall, job vacancies in Ireland were +86% higher in the final quarter of 2021 than the same period in 2020 and 43% higher than pre-pandemic levels (Q4 2019 data). Of the 30 sectors analysed by the IrishJobs.ie, 25 posted quarterly increases in vacancy generation and 22 surpassed their pre-Covid rate. Some of the most pronounced growth is in the recruitment, retention and HR space, with job vacancies across Talent Acquisition and Human Resources (HR) showing 420% year-on-year increase in the final quarter of 2021.
In addition to the accelerated demand for talent acquisition and HR professionals, some of the sectors most negatively impacted by Covid-19 rebounded strongly in the fourth quarter, including Tourism, Travel and Airlines and Construction, Architecture and Property. Other sectors to experience strong growth include Sales, Environment, Health, and Safety, Legal Profession, Accountancy and Finance, and Medical Professionals & Healthcare.
All 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland recorded year-on-year growth in the final quarter, with Dublin (+97% YoY), Galway (+93%), Cork (+57%) and Limerick (+20%) all seeing strong double-digit growth, compared to the final quarter of 2021. Notably, Limerick was the only county with a large urban population to see quarter-on-quarter growth, increasing by 13% versus the third quarter of 2021.
Fully remote work vacancies increased by a modest +4% year-on-year. The plateau in the growth of ‘remote working’ roles suggests that employers believe the traditional office environment still has an important role to play in the workplace ecosystem.
Commenting on the trends for the year ahead, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie, Orla Moran said, "As we look towards 2022, the recruitment landscape is shaping up to be a strong, candidate led market; a trend that will continue to dominate the recruitment space in line with the continued lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and the progressive reopening of the economy. Underlying these new challenges and ways of working is the constant goal of maintaining organisational performance and keeping your best people. The increase in HR and talent acquisition roles that we’ve seen in recent months is a clear reflection of the strategic priorities shared by many Irish-based employers as we enter the New Year. In other words, there is a clear recognition on the part of employers that candidates are sitting firmly in the driving seat for 2022."
She added, "The war on talent is only set to intensify. For employers who are looking to maintain a competitive edge in the market for the year ahead, they must therefore ensure that they are meeting the evolving needs of existing employees and prospective candidates within their field."