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Companies will increasingly look abroad for workers as skills gap bites - recruiter

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The Opposition has criticised Job Bridge repeatedly, with some TDs labelling it as "scambridge"

The Opposition has criticised Job Bridge repeatedly, with some TDs labelling it as "scambridge"

The Opposition has criticised Job Bridge repeatedly, with some TDs labelling it as "scambridge"

Companies are increasingly going to look abroad for workers in order to address a growing skills shortage, the managing director of one of Ireland's top recruiting firms believes.

Almost a fifth of businesses that responded to the Hays Ireland guide to salary and recruitment trends for next year said they would look abroad.

However, Richard Eardley, managing director of Hays, told the Irish Independent he expects that figure to rise.

"I thought the number would be higher than that, I thought it might be as much as half," Mr Eardley said at the report's launch yesterday.

"Somebody wants the job done, and if that's an Irish person returning or a New Zealander who is coming here for the first time - as long as they've got the right skills they're in line to get that job. Certainly when our consultants in Hays are talking to their customers, they are getting that sense of 'If you can't find one in Ireland, can you use your international network?'

"I think what this report brings out that perhaps isn't so well documented is that the skills gap is now happening in more commonplace jobs like accountants and electricians."

Almost three in five of the organisations that responded to the survey said they are experiencing skills shortages.

"What we've heard from the panel [of speakers at the launch] is that they're getting graduates coming into their role who maybe don't know how things work, and it takes them another year or two to get them job-ready," he added.

The Hays guide reveals that almost 60pc of Irish employees anticipate they will change jobs in the next year. It says that the main drivers of that figure are employees' concern over their pay, a perceived lack of opportunities or career progression, and the lack of challenge.

The guide shows that 71pc of employers have increased their headcount in the last year, while 76pc plan to increase it in 2015.

In the construction sector, 81pc of businesses increased their employee numbers.

Mr Eardley said that in an increasingly competitive employment market spurred on by economic growth, businesses must consider emphasising the overall "work-life package" over traditional benefits in order to attract candidates.

"The increased availability of jobs means employees now demand more than just a decent working environment and private health insurance from employers," he said.

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