Irish Jobs Market Stable Despite Tech Layoffs

The movement in professional job vacancies in Ireland in the first quarter of 2023 was relatively flat compared to the previous quarter, with a slight increase of 0.86%. However, the number of jobs on offer has almost doubled since December 2022, recovering from the cyclical decrease that the market experiences at the end of every year.

Compared to the same quarter in the previous year, there has been no significant change, with the number of professional jobs coming to market decreasing only marginally by 0.15%.

The Morgan McKinley Employment Monitor also recorded an overall increase of 13% in the number of professionals actively seeking new job opportunities between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023. More significantly, there are 38% more professionals actively seeking new opportunities than there was a year previously in Q1 2022.

The number of professional job seekers has reached the highest monthly level over the last 18 months in March 2023 representing a 16% sequential increase from February 2023, and a 40% increase from the same month of the prior year (March 2022).

The high number of professionals currently seeking employment can be attributed to a delay in those who received redundancy payments last year returning to the job market. Instead, some took time out to reset before putting themselves back on the employment market. Additionally, there is a pool of skilled professionals who have upgraded their skills to pursue better career opportunities in the market.

Salaries have remained stable from the previous quarter. They remain competitive, although employers are less flexible than before to go above the market rate. Employers are now putting more of a focus on retaining good talent, rather than attracting new candidates.

The Morgan McKinley employment monitor measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market by tracking the number of new job vacancies and new candidates in the Republic of Ireland each quarter. To reflect the changing dynamics of the current employment market, Morgan McKinley are including both permanent and contract jobs in the employment monitor.

Trayc Keevans, Global FDI Director, Morgan McKinley Ireland, said:

“The Irish job market has remained resilient despite recent layoffs in the technology sector. Although the number of professional job vacancies has remained relatively stable, we have seen an increase in demand for certain skills, particularly in the engineering, life sciences and construction sectors. The number of professionals actively seeking new job opportunities has increased significantly.

“Despite the cautionary approach to hiring in the technology sector, the number of jobs coming to market has grown. The biggest area of hiring has been in cyber security. This is not surprising considering the findings of a recent PWC report which found that 88% of Irish executives noted an increase in cyberattacks since 2020 – due to increased digital acceleration in their organisations as well as new risks around cloud adoption, third-party outsourcing and digitised supply chains.

These positions included cyber security engineers, cyber analysts, Infosec Analysts and SOC Managers who have most actively been hired in the banking and financial services sector. Programming languages such as Java and Python are the most in-demand languages.

“Talk of a tech recession has dominated headlines recently and, while certain areas have contracted and companies have acted accordingly by reducing their workforces, various industries continue to go from strength to strength. The engineering and life sciences sector has seen considerable growth. Ireland continues to be a pioneer as the sector leads the way in R&D and manufacturing.

Process Engineering is currently the most hired-for position in 2023, due to an increase in manufacturing activity, with a significant increase also in project management requirements for the engineering and life sciences sector. Automation positions continue to grow in volume due to the numbers moving into the data centre industry attracted by higher salaries and benefits.

“The biggest growth in opportunities quarter on quarter was in the construction sector. There has been an increase in demand for modular construction and associated talent in both accommodation and schools this quarter with a plan to build approximately 600 classrooms by the beginning of September of this year. This is a direct result of the mass migration that has occurred due to the war in Ukraine.

“Despite the conclusion of contracts, the anticipated return of construction talent from Europe has not occurred due to the challenges of obtaining affordable housing rentals. As a result, a significant amount of talent has diverted to Australia and Canada in the past three months. Additionally, the influx of new international talent in the construction sector has diminished due to the inability to secure affordable accommodation in the country.

“The level of new positions coming to market in supply chain and procurement has increased by more than 40% compared to Q4 2022. Salaries have remained steady although with more positions available this has not translated to enable employees to leverage capacity on salary levels. The market is slowly switching from an employee-led to an employer-driven market. Employers are starting to be more precise in the profiles they are seeking to hire, wishing them to possess all the necessary specific skills.

“Professional service firms, specifically for accountancy and finance talent have cooled their hiring of senior professional talent over the last quarter as they continue to navigate the potential knock-on effects from the layoffs in the tech sector. The most in demand this quarter includes financial business partners, commercial finance managers and finance managers. While there is still a demand for traditional transactional skills such as AP, there has been an increasing demand for IT skills as more companies are moving away from the standard transactional level and migrating to a more automated system.

“Salaries of accountancy and financing professionals have remained stable in the last 3 months levelling off after a period of incremental and sustained growth over the last 18 months. Salary inflation was becoming unsustainable where the significant inflation in salaries had been largely attributable to the demand for A&F professionals by Big Tech companies at above market salaries. We are still seeing a significant number of newly qualified accountants emigrating for other countries Australia, and Canada primarily, that offer higher salaries or a lower cost of living leading to stronger demand for these positions.

“In comparison to the previous quarter, the financial services sector has experienced a decline in job vacancies. Global financial institutions that are more exposed to international influences have slowed down hiring compared to the previous quarter. The dynamics of the international economic situation, the events of Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse etc, have created uncertainty, forcing financial institutions to be more cautious with their hiring activities.

“While positions in retail banking and investment banking continue to increase across areas of digital transformation, risk, and compliance, growth in retail has been more measured following unusually high levels of hiring activity last year due to the announcement of institution withdrawals from the market. Risk and Governance have also been active areas. Regulatory positions continue to be in demand.

“There has also been a significant uplift in hiring for pensions professionals in advance of the government’s introduction of a new auto-enrolment workplace pension scheme due to come into effect in 2024. The most in-demand positions have been for pensions administrators, pensions consultants, and pensions advisors. There has also been a demand for generalist skills in some positions, particularly in relationship management which covers areas such as sustainability. Additionally, there has been a growth in requirements for mortgage arrears executives, case managers and mortgage litigation experts.

“There has been a reduction in reliability amongst employees interviewing with one in four no-shows for interviews and an increase in “quick quitting” of positions within a couple of hours. To compensate for and avoid such situations, over-recruiting has been required.”

Current most in-demand positions by discipline:

Technology: Security Analyst, Full Stack Developer, Data Analyst, Product Manager, Software Engineer, C++ and Go, Developers, Network Developers, Programming Test Analyst, Mainframe Developers and Siebel Developers.

Projects, Transformation and Change: Business Analyst, Project Manager, PMO Analyst, Project Coordinator, Programme Manager, Head of PMO, Head of Governance, Insurance Programme Manager.

Engineering and Life Sciences: Process Engineer, Automation Engineer, Project Engineer (CSV Consultant), Automation Engineer, Maintenance (Validation Consultant), Health and Safety (CQV Engineer), Electrical Engineer and Chemical Engineer.

Financial Services: Relationship Manager, AML Analyst, Investment Manager, Portfolio Manager, Head of Operations, Head of Derivatives Trading, Credit Advisor, Accredited Product Advisor (APA), Customer Service Advisor, Technical Delivery Manager, Regulatory Reporting Analyst and Manager, Cybersecurity operations analyst, Mortgage Team Leader, Mortgage Advisor, Mortgage Specialist, Case Manager, Pensions Administrator, Branch staff, Compliance Administrator.

Accountancy and Finance: Audit Seniors (Big 4/Top 10) with 2-3 post-qualified experience, Tax (all levels: Senior – Director), Qualified Accountants with insurance experience, Payroll, Accounts Payable, Credit Control, Account Assistants, Audit Seniors/Managers.

Legal: Corporate Lawyer, Data Protection Lawyer, Commercial Property Lawyer, Employment Lawyer, Company Secretary, and Investment Funds Lawyer.

Marketing: Sales Development Representative, Business Development Representative, Customer Support and Operations/Administrative positions.

Sales: Sales Executive, Sales Manager, Business Development Manager, Sales Representative, Sales Director, and Technical Sales.

Supply Chain & Procurement: Production staff (Operator to Supervisor level), Supply Chain Manager, Planner, and Logistics Specialist (Import-Export).

Multilingual: Sales Development Representative, Business Development Representative, Customer Support, Operations and Administration.

Construction: Site Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, Construction Manager, Project Manager, Structural Engineer, Scheduler, Mechanical/Electrical Engineer.

Business Support: Executive Assistant, Administrator, Receptionist (temporary), Office Manager/ Operations Coordinator, Facilities Administration, Sales Administration, Legal Secretary Conveyancing.

Statistical methodology

Monthly new jobs and new candidates:

Monthly new jobs and new candidate figures are based on Morgan McKinley’s monthly records of new permanent and contract job vacancies and new candidates registering with the firm for employment. Statistics for the full market are derived using Morgan McKinley’s market share.

Job classification:

Job vacancies are professional-level positions within the following sectors and functions: Legal, Funds, Technology, Admin/ Office Support, Sales, Supply Chain & Procurement, Life Sciences, Executive Search, HR, Multilingual, Contract, Marketing, Banking & Insurance, Accounting & Finance, and Projects/ Transformation/ Consulting.

Geography:

The data is based on new job vacancies and new candidates registered with Morgan McKinley’s network of Irish offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.