The majority of professionals working across the business world in Ireland in areas from finance to IT expect a pay rise in 2020, according to Recruiters.ie.

According to the Recruiters.ie 2020 Business Outlook Survey of 1,000 professionals, only 6pc of respondents believe there will be no salary increases in their business in 2020. At a department level, 89pc of IT respondents expect salary increases within their department, while almost two-thirds (65pc) of accounting and finance professionals expect an increase on their base.

Software engineering professionals could enjoy salary increases as high as 12pc in 2020, not only due to the ever-increasing demand, but also due to the growing trend of software engineers moving into the contracting space, leaving an even larger talent gap in the permanent market.

“Sure, living in sought-after areas in Dublin is expensive, but every candidate we bring into the country from overseas finds accommodation. Not one has had to leave because they couldn’t”

In fact, in America, there is a software development and programming jobs shortfall of 472,000 and in Ireland, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is predicted to need more than 70,000 new workers in the next five years.

Meanwhile, despite Brexit potentially having a major impact on the financial sector, accounting and finance professionals could be looking at an average base salary increase of 6.5pc.

Recruiters.ie’s client services director Brian McFadden said that despite Brexit demand for talent remains strong and is driven by growth within Ireland’s export-led economy.”

He said that Britain’s departure from the EU will lead to an extremely high demand, not just for workers in banking and financial institutions, but also for regulatory professionals as risk and compliance continue to be of paramount importance.

Professional trends 2020

We spoke to McFadden about the trends that Recruiters.ie is seeing in the marketplace.

While it is great news that salaries are increasing in these sectors, how severe is the talent shortage now that Ireland is at full employment?

This depends on the arena but the hot areas we see are inside sales, high tech and software engineering where there is huge demand for experienced candidates and very little supply.

What can we do as an society to ensure more people gravitate towards these careers in the long term?

These roles need to be promoted more at a school level and through career guidance counselling. Giving younger people information and awareness about these careers is key.

Is it time for Ireland to start being more creative and transformative when it comes to visas and enabling more overseas workers to fill positions?

We are already ahead of the game if we compare to other EU countries, as we are an island and well used to importing and exporting people in response to economic conditions but we could always make it smoother. Currently, it takes six weeks for high-priority roles and only €1,000 to process. Recent changes to Stamp 1 visas, which allow students to work for up to two years full time is a great step in the right direction.

The irony of our time is that now so many people are working but few can afford to really and truly live in terms of accommodation costs and other infrastructural issues such as transport. From a policy perspective, do higher wages necessarily cut it or do we need to do more as a country to allow people to earn but also live better?

Higher wages will result in higher inflation and hence not solve the problem. Ireland is a new country really, since our independence – we still retain high tax rates to build our infrastructure out. The average salary in Ireland is now more than €38,000, which is good. Sure, living in sought-after areas in Dublin is expensive, but every candidate we bring into the country from overseas finds accommodation. Not one has had to leave because they couldn’t.

However, the government’s approach to the price of land and re-zoning is a key blocker to keep prices artificially high. Dublin land is priced comparatively to other major cities in the Eurozone, the big difference, however, is that when you fly into those other cities, there is no vast tracts of empty land available. The next time you fly into or out of Dublin, look out the window.

Celebrating office workers image: nd3000/Shutterstock

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 26 November, 2019

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