94% of businesses in Ireland are struggling to find IT staff, despite recent layoffs from some of the largest tech companies.
Irish businesses are struggling to find IT talent and 83% of business leaders on the island are struggling to meet the rising salary expectations of tech talent, according to a study by Expleo.
Despite the recent surge in tech layoffs, skilled tech talent is still at a premium.
“Despite some very high-profile layoff announcements in recent months, businesses are continuing to struggle to find and retain the IT talent that will be pivotal to their – and the economy’s – future”
The research found that business leaders believe that the issue is widespread, with nearly three-quarters (74%) saying that Ireland is struggling to attract top technology talent.
Automation and the AI future of business
Expleo carried out independent research of 141 business leaders on the island of Ireland and found that organisations face internal and external challenges when it comes to tech talent.
Most (86%) business leaders believe their organisations have under-invested in the skills base of their employees. A further 74% believe that automation must be part of their organisation’s solution, as there simply won’t be enough skilled people to get the necessary work done.
As they struggle to recruit and retain talent, the vast majority (83%) of business leaders are finding themselves under pressure to meet rising salary expectations amid ongoing inflation. More than one-third (38%) said that candidates are receiving salary offers that are 20% higher, or more, elsewhere.
The ease at which employees can change jobs to take on a more senior role or receive a higher salary is a key challenge for business leaders, along with their ability to meet employee expectations regarding modern workstyles. The research found that the top challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining tech talent are: offering a better work/life balance and reduced workload (47%), offering competitive promotion and career advancement opportunities (36%), and meeting expectations relating to flexible or remote working arrangements (35%).
As they continue to be challenged by IT skills shortages, 70% of business leaders on the island of Ireland say these shortages are impacting their business and transformation plans, with one in five saying they are having a significant impact.
To address the issue, more than one-third (38%) of businesses are now outsourcing more functions to third parties or consultants. Internal measures, meanwhile, include investing in external training for staff (42%), hiring more for remote roles (39%) and adopting hyperautomation principles to automate as many business processes as possible (39%).
“Our research highlights that business leaders in Ireland are acutely aware of the role that technology talent plays in their growth and success,” said Paul O’Malley, chief operating officer at Expleo Ireland.
“With this in mind, and despite some very high-profile layoff announcements in recent months, businesses are continuing to struggle to find and retain the IT talent that will be pivotal to their – and the economy’s – future.
“While organisations can only do so much when it comes to external pressures such as inflation and salary competition, our research shows that businesses who are suffering from IT talent issues must take a bolder approach and tackle this issue head-on. We can see that business leaders in Ireland are open to this, with almost three-quarters saying that part of the solution lies in automation, while others are outsourcing more functions.
“At Expleo, we are helping businesses with the successful blending of internal and external expertise. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, business leaders are under increasing pressure to keep their organisations ahead of the curve to remain competitive. By providing them with the best technology solutions, teams and talent – such as highly-skilled software teams or agile pods – we are ensuring that businesses are equipped with the right resources to work on the right projects, at the right time.
“With such an overwhelming majority of business leaders admitting that their company has under-invested in the skills base of their employees, now is the time to pave the way to a successful, sustainable future by investing in employees, their potential and their wellbeing.”
Main image at top: Paul O’Malley, chief operating officer at Expleo Ireland