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Workers to get pay hikes of 20pc in ‘bidding wars’ for talent as skill shortage grows

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Salary growth of up to 40pc is predicted for quantity surveyors in the construction industry. Photo: Ben Birchall

Salary growth of up to 40pc is predicted for quantity surveyors in the construction industry. Photo: Ben Birchall

Salary growth of up to 40pc is predicted for quantity surveyors in the construction industry. Photo: Ben Birchall

Workers will be offered pay hikes of up to 20pc as employers become locked in bidding wars to attract talent.

A shortage of skilled staff in some high-demand sectors means salaries are set to surge, according to recruitment agency Morgan McKinley.

Many employees can expect pay increases of as much as 5pc to 10pc, which will be welcome news amid the soaring cost of living due to inflation.

Bigger increases of 15pc to 20pc above normal market rates will be offered for niche skills.

A lack of competition from international talent due to pandemic restrictions will play a big part in the upward pressure on wages, according to the Morgan McKinley Irish Salary Guide 2022.

The recruiter says the Irish employment market has “overheated” due to a lack of external candidates.

It also believes a “great resignation” is under way and more than 80pc of people will consider a career move in the next six to 12 months.

The top salaries on offer will exceed the pay claims of up to 4.5pc to be demanded by unions for workers this year.

Increases for new hires will run well ahead of inflation for several roles.

Although seen as an outlier, salary growth of up to 40pc is predicted for quantity surveyors in the construction industry, taking their pay from €50,000 to €70,000 a year.

Electrical engineers, talent acquisition specialists and DevOps software engineers are among the positions in which wages are expected to rise 20pc or more.

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Morgan McKinley believes normal wage inflation of 2pc to 5pc will return in the post-pandemic world as countries open up.

“We’re currently seeing the most demanding employment markets of our time,” said Trayc Keevans, global FDI director at Morgan Mc-
Kinley Ireland, who added that a “great resignation” has taken place.

The experience of the sustained public health emergency has prompted countless workers to re-evaluate their work options, fine-tuning a better work-life balance and making deliberate choices as to where their careers are heading next.

“They’re looking for opportunities that give them the right pay, benefits and work arrangements in the longer term,” Ms Keevans said.

She added that employers were making counter-offers because of the strong demand for some skills.

The report says the fact the same pool of workers from eastern Europe no longer exists in construction means we need to grow the domestic talent pool, including apprenticeships.

In IT, the most in-demand positions are data analysts, data engineers and cyber-security professionals. The recruiter also says the crypto currencies sector has begun to create more jobs.

The pandemic has seen a growth in pharmaceutical companies manufacturing anti-viral tablets in Ireland, sparking demand for process engineers, maintenance engineers, continuous improvement specialists and mechanical engineers.

Remote working has meant some lawyers can be hired from other cities. This is beneficial for Dublin firms because they can get access to cheaper talent.

There has been an increasing demand for office support staff, particularly in the medical sector, with increased demand for vaccine administrators and testing centre staff.

The report says it is no surprise HR professionals are in demand, bringing significant salary increases up to 20pc.


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