2016 Salary Survey and Benefits Guide


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The Irish economy is projected to continue its strong expansion in 2016 having delivered GDP growth of 5% over the past 12 months. Growth will provide continued momentum to job creation and reduce the still high rate of unemployment. 

Morgan McKinley has compiled this guide with the support of data gathered by our Inward Investment team from a sample of more than 40,000 professional placements in Ireland, using internal data gathered in 2015. Additionally, trends, market intelligence and market sentiment were obtained from a large cross-section of employers. This research, combined with the publication of our monthly employment monitor, has allowed us to predict current and future skills and talent requirements and to obtain benchmarking analysis for professionals seeking new roles and hiring companies alike. Evidence points to a stronger employment market in 2016 across a wide range of industries, sectors and locations in both the permanent and contract recruitment market. 

We anticipate that talent most in-demand will continue to be the strongest in Life Sciences, Engineering, ICT and Financial Services - Risk, Tax and Funds. In addition, support services such as Accounting, Human Resources and Customer Services & Sales with multilingual experience will continue to be sought after. 

The pace, level of growth and competition for talent is creating challenges as companies feel the pressure to fill roles, often in a short time frame. Remote hiring has and will continue to become an increasingly common feature of the market this year as employers strive to reach desirable candidates as quickly as possible. Talent attraction strategies and employer brand propositions remain a key focus for companies as they develop attraction and retention strategies to meet their workforce planning needs.  A concerted focus on attracting women back to work must be a priority for 2016 with appropriate supports and skills transfers programmes put in place. 


The outlook is positive for Ireland to renew its number one global position for the fourth consecutive year in attracting high-value FDI projects by quality and value of investments (IBM 2015 Global Locations Trend Report). This is supported by the ambitious strategy of IDA Ireland “Winning FDI: 2015 – 2019” outlining the intent to win 900 individual projects creating 80,000 new jobs over this period, from new and existing client companies.  Key to the success of this strategy will be ensuring a quality supply of talent and continued innovation and collaboration on identifying and realising new Forms of Investment projects for Ireland.  The purpose of the recent #HomeToWork initiative was to encourage emigrants arriving home to Ireland for Christmas to return and work here permanently and meet the current and future talent demands that the existing FDI strategy is designed to achieve. 

The year past saw a record number of positions created by the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. Where demand for talent is high we continue to trend a much lower salary differential between Dublin and the regions, particularly in the areas of Life Science, Pharma, Engineering and ICT. Candidates with strong technical skills across all disciplines are becoming the norm as technology infiltrates all sectors.  Morgan McKinley is seeing a narrowing of gender gaps, especially in the area of HR, where more males are entering the profession and in the Life Science and Engineering areas as more females are qualifying and securing roles. We expect to see the continued return of expatriates as professionals who left return with young families and are more confident of securing employment. 

We are seeing on average a 10% increase in salary levels which on one hand is welcome but would caution restraint in this area, Ireland’s ability to attract inward investment is dependent on the ability to attract top talent and to be cost effective. 


Within our annual salary guide, we have provided an average outline of benefits by sector. There is a wide range of benefits offered by employers across sectors varying from basic statutory offerings through to a comprehensive suite. Our continued findings are that businesses with a strong employer brand, offering comprehensive training and career development opportunities in addition to more holistic benefits are successful in retaining and sourcing the most in-demand talent. Employers have become more consistent in examining their current reward structures with many re-aligning them to attract and retain employees. The development of a compelling employer value proposition is of crucial importance for successful ongoing talent attraction. 

Morgan McKinley is optimistic for 2016 with all indicators suggesting it will be another strong year for job creation and growth. 

Finally, we would like to thank you for your continued support throughout our years in business. We welcome any feedback or questions on our guide. 

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Inward Investment team for more detail.

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