Despite the challenges of working in a Covid-19 world, there is a renewed focus on recruitment and retention among Irish employers, according to Hays.

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, over three-quarters (78pc) of Irish employers expect to recruit staff over the next 12 months.

Over half (53pc) of Irish professionals anticipate they will change roles in the next 12 months, while 45pc indicate they are considering career changes completely.

“Our research suggests Ireland has a workforce which is open to and considering not only role changes, but alternative career paths completely”

Close to half (46pc) of employers are optimistic about the wider economic climate and employment opportunities over the next two-five years, while 65pc of employees are concerned;

“In an evolving recruitment environment brought about the pandemic, to attract and retain the talent they need Irish employers must refresh their hiring strategy,” recommended Hays Ireland director Maureen Lynch.

“Our research suggests Ireland has a workforce which is open to and considering not only role changes, but alternative career paths completely. Organisations must adapt now to avoid the loss of talent to competitors.”

The Hays research surveyed 2,171 Irish employers and employees in a range of industry sectors during October and November 2020.

Irish professionals expect to change roles in 2021

Proessional pondering career change.

Compared to the Hays Career Insights Surveys, conducted in July 2020, findings indicate that there has been an improvement in hiring intentions since the first stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, despite the longevity of the challenges brought about by the virus, the number of employers intending to recruit permanent and temporary staff in the next 12 months has more than doubled (24pc in July 2020 vs 56pc in Jan 2021) and almost quadrupled (9pc in July 2020 vs 34pc in Jan 2021), respectively.

As Irish professionals reflected on their current and future career prospects, 36pc say they are now more actively seeking to change roles. Over half (53pc) of professionals anticipate they will change roles in the next 12 months.

The main reasons professionals want to leave their current role are unsatisfactory pay or benefits packages (28pc), followed by a lack of future opportunities (21pc) and concerns about job security (17pc).

Covid-19 pandemic a trigger to change roles

45pc of professionals say they are considering career changes in the next 12 months as a result of the pandemic, whilst 17pc plan to find a completely new career path in the near future.

An indication of an unwillingness by the workforce to return to long commutes and office working, 57pc say they plan to find a new role which has a mix of hybrid working, whilst 15pc plan to secure a role which is entirely remote.

The Government’s National Remote Work Strategy has set a target of 20pc of public sector workers to be working remotely and has pledged to deliver its proposals by the end of 2021. The Strategy’s primary objective is to ensure that remote working is a permanent feature in the Irish workplace in a way that maximises economic, social, and environmental benefits.

As Irish professionals reflected on their current and future career prospects, 36pc say they are now more actively seeking to change roles. Over half (53pc) of professionals anticipate they will change roles in the next 12 months. The main reasons professionals want to leave their current role are unsatisfactory pay or benefits packages (28pc), followed by a lack of future opportunities (21pc) and concerns about job security (17pc).

 “Jobseekers’ priorities have shifted in recent months. In an evolving recruitment environment brought about by the pandemic, to attract and retain the talent they need, Irish employers must refresh their hiring strategy,” Lynch said. “Our research suggests a workforce which is considering not only role changes, but alternative career paths. Organisations must adapt now to avoid the loss of talent to competitors.

“For employees, of which almost half (45pc) are positive about their career prospects this year, there is a need to be ready for a competitive recruitment process if they are looking to change roles in 2021. Ensure that you can clearly demonstrate the value you can bring to a new role or a new organisation, especially in light of the current Covid-19 backdrop.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 4 February 2021

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