War for talent ensures 2019 is a candidate's market
Eleven years on from the recession, the recruitment market in Ireland is going from strength to strength, driven in part by companies establishing a European base in Dublin as a result of Brexit.
According to the Robert Walters 2019 European Salary Survey, this has had a positive impact on the demand for a number of skill sets within financial services, namely across risk, finance, legal, compliance and technology.
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The accounting and finance sector saw increased demand for qualified accountants, in particular for those from a 'Big Four' background, with experience dealing with the Central Bank of Ireland from a regulatory standpoint.
As management companies began to establish themselves in Dublin, there was a rise in opportunities for compliance, governance, investment and portfolio risk professionals. As the regulator continued to increase requirements for more robust risk frameworks and deeper regulatory expertise, firms saw an increased need to hire more risk management professionals.
The banking sector saw an increase in hiring across front office positions in equity finance, securities lending and borrowing, data management and trade support and capital markets. Within compliance, focus on anti-money laundering, financial crime, GDPR, information security and MiFID II resulted in volume hiring across all industries.
Increased importance was placed on cyber security; however, hiring managers found themselves having to contend with a European-wide skills shortage within information security monitoring and vulnerability management.
Within the legal market, the influx of international law firms setting up European headquarters in Dublin, along with UK law firms making Brexit-related moves to Ireland, resulted in an extremely strong market.
The outcome of Brexit will play a key role in determining hiring levels in 2019.
Ireland has become the choice location for UK-based companies to have a base in a European country, resulting in numerous vacancies for specialist professionals across a variety of sectors. High levels of candidate confidence, coupled with a variety of job opportunities, has seen companies competing to attract and retain top talent. This has ultimately put candidates in a strong position and 2019 will see salaries increase as competition for securing top professionals intensifies.
The changing demographic has seen a shift in the needs and wants of professionals, which will become more apparent in 2019. Candidates will begin to look at a holistic view of the company by focusing on things such as flexibility, work/life balance and career progression.
Professionals will pay particular importance to diversity in the workplace, and we expect to see this as a main focus in legal, financial services and tech sector companies, as they aim to increase the percentage of senior females in leadership roles.
Companies will also need to adapt to offering flexible working to employees, as jobseekers in all industries, from junior level upwards, will pursue this benefit when moving roles. With technology improving at such a rapid pace, the way we hire, the people we hire and the time spent on hiring will all continue to improve the recruitment market in 2019.
With the rising war between companies to retain professionals, businesses will need to make sure to focus on speeding up and streamlining recruitment processes in order to secure their preferred candidates, as many jobseekers will be involved in multiple processes at the same time.
In 2018, companies who failed to have efficient recruitment processes lost out to those who could expedite the decision-making process. With the candidate shortage remaining a prominent hiring problem, employers will need to look at hiring from international talent pools.
As companies look to fill positions quickly and inject necessary skills into their workforce, more temporary roles will become available in 2019. Many of these roles will pay premiums, given the time sensitivities of projects and the flexibility of labour this option presents to employers.
In addition to candidates now being able to choose where they want to work, companies will need to recognise that the importance of employer value proposition is now greater than ever.
Employers will need to make sure to not only highlight compensation and bonuses but all other benefits of the organisation, including company culture, the work environment, holidays and progression opportunities.
Louise Campbell is managing director of Robert Walters Ireland