Engineering and Construction Dominate Top 20 Hardest Jobs to Fill

Jobs for online moderators, ad reviewers, tax consultants, assorted engineers and construction specialists are among the top 20 hardest jobs to fill in Ireland, according to new data from Indeed.

The global job site’s latest “Hardest to Fill Jobs” analysis of Irish job posts shows engineers and specialist construction staff remain difficult to recruit with a number of roles in both sectors dominating the top 20.

Indeed’s analysis examined job postings from January 1st through to the end of November 2023 to determine which positions were most likely to remain open for over 60 days – an indicator of them being ‘hard to fill’.

Job postings for instrumentation engineers ranked in the No:1 position, with just under 63% of advertised roles remaining open for 60-plus days. These engineers are responsible for planning, installing, monitoring and maintaining control systems and machinery within manufacturing environments.

Other engineering disciplines feature throughout the top 20, with many involving construction-related roles. Jobs for resident engineers (5th) and design engineers (6th) feature in the top 10, with roles for senior structural engineers in the 11th position.

A shortage of construction workers in Ireland has been well-documented, and posts for mechanical and electrical project managers, civil supervisors, civil technicians, mechanical, electrical, plumbing managers, and ecologists all feature in the top 20. The latter are required to report on the likely impact of proposed construction works on the environment and surrounding habitats.

Jobs for lawyers rank 4th on the list, with 57% remaining open for more than 60 days, while 49% of job postings for tax consultants remain open after this time period.

In a sign of the increasing prevalence of online advertising and the rise of social media, jobs for ad reviewers rank in 2nd position at 61%, while posts for online moderators rank in 13th place at just under 50%.

Ad reviewers are in charge of checking ad content to ensure it is accurate and appropriate. Moderators tend to increasingly work for online companies, particularly those involved in social media, to review content and ensure it adheres to a platform’s rules and ways of working. They may also review complaints or material flagged as inappropriate by users or by AI systems.

The demand for certain workers in the technology sector is also confirmed by the top 20, with nearly 53% of roles for Python developers proving hard to fill and just under 52% of principal software engineer roles.

Jack Kennedy, senior economist at Indeed, said: “These results highlight the sectors in which employers are finding it difficult to recruit staff. The engineering and construction roles proving the hardest to fill are specialised and require either extensive education or training in addition to experience in many cases.

We know that there is great demand for housing in the country and that the construction of new homes is increasing year on year. We also know that engineers in certain disciplines are required to work on transformative projects, including large-scale infrastructure developments, that will help businesses, organisations and the country to meet carbon reduction targets.

At a time when the unemployment rate is low, many employers in these sectors are seeking to recruit overseas workers or to convince the Irish diaspora to return home. In certain cases, this is proving challenging in itself, given the pressure on housing supply and the relatively high cost of living in Ireland. With a limited talent pool, those employers who can offer flexibility and other benefits in addition to competitive salaries are more likely to win over recruits.

“Given the increased cost of living, employees in some hard-to-fill roles may have a degree of leverage when it comes to seeking pay raises and the option of potentially moving roles if the available ones offer better pay and conditions. Meanwhile, the list should make for interesting reading for policymakers and those in the education and training sectors already focussed on ways to increase the talent supply for crucial sectors, whether that is through more third-level places or apprenticeship opportunities.”    

Top 20 Hardest Jobs to Fill

Rank
Job Title
% of postings open 60+ days

1
Instrumentation Engineer

62.7

2
Ads Reviewer

61

3
Mechanical and Electrical Project Manager

58.8

4
Lawyer

57.4

5
Resident Engineer

54.4

6
Design Engineer

54.1

7
Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Manager

53.2

8
Python Developer

52.6

9
Principal Software Engineer

51.6

10
Civil Supervisor

51.5

11
Senior Structural Engineer

51.3

12
Civil Technician

51.2

13
Moderator

49.6

14
Senior Mechanical Designer

49.1

15
Tax Consultant

49

16
Junior Engineer

48.8

17
Senior Process Engineer

48.6

18
Electrical Project Engineer

48.4

19
Senior Engineer

47.6

20
Ecologist

47.4