Skills Shortage impacting Technology Growth in Ireland

New findings from Morgan McKinley, the Irish global talent services company, reveal that 25% of hiring managers have identified a lack of skilled candidates as their main challenge in 2024.

Research conducted as part of Morgan McKinley’s 2024 Salary Guide indicates that the recruitment landscape in Ireland’s technology sector remained tight in 2023, with 76% of hiring managers experiencing tough competition in making new hires.

The guide identified key challenges for 2024, with 25% of hiring managers citing a shortage of skilled candidates as their primary obstacle. Other challenges included difficulties in competing on pay and benefits (22%) and a lack of organisational approval for new headcount (19%).

For 2024, the outlook is more optimistic, with 50% of technology hiring managers planning to expand their teams in the first six months. Additionally, 46% of tech workers are considering new opportunities during this period, with another 31% contemplating a job change.

In terms of career moves, tech professionals prioritise a higher salary (40%), followed by opportunities for career advancement (14%) and the option to work remotely (13%).

The value placed on flexibility, such as working from home and flexible hours, remains high among tech workers, ranking as the most and third most important benefits respectively, along with bonuses, health insurance, and pension plans. Notably, the tech sector has the highest percentage of individuals who consider remote work as a top benefit (71%).

When it comes to workplace preferences, 4-in-10 tech professionals would like to work in the office 1-2 days per week, while only 8% prefer being on-site full-time. Over half (53%) would forgo a salary increase for more flexibility. In response to the competitive hiring environment, 69% of employers anticipate raising salaries for hard-to-fill tech roles, with an additional 20% planning to increase salaries across all tech teams.

Eoin Connolly, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Ireland, commented: “While the technology market as a whole definitely softened during 2023, we also saw several areas such as Cybersecurity and Data Science experience strong growth. This was coupled with growth in contract opportunities, across multiple facets of technology. Throughout Q3 and Q4, we saw a marginal increase in both permanent and contract jobs available, which bodes well for positive levels of hiring activity in 2024.”

“Technology salaries in Ireland increased slightly in 2023, partially due to the impact of inflation, but also due to the shortage of talent. This has also increased the prominence of counteroffers, with employers offering their top performers 15-20% increases to stay on board.”

“The sentiment from organisations is generally positive for 2024; there is still some cautious decision making when it comes to hiring budgets for the year, but by and large, the fight for top talent is still a real issue for most companies. January started slowly as it always does but it has been a very busy month for us, which is an indicator of a strong quarter, and hopefully year ahead.”