December Employment Monitor | 21% month-on-month drop in job seekers as Ireland enters a period of skills shortages

Trayc Keevans 20.01.2016

The Monitor recorded a 24% month-on-month decline in vacancies in December 2015, with a 5% decline year-on-year


  • The Monitor recorded a 24% month-on-month decline in vacancies in December 2015, with a 5% decline year-on-year
  • Although the proportion of job seekers weakened by 21% month-on-month, the overall figure was up 5% for the year
  • The finance sector has witnessed a return of the bonus culture with mid to senior level professionals receiving up to 25% annual bonus.
  • Regionally, finance firms are beginning to expand their senior management teams post-recession, with more emphasis on Financial Controller and Finance Director roles 
  • Risk professionals are highly sought after currently as the risk and compliance market continues to grow.
  • The recent positive sentiment around the Irish economy has resulted in emigrants looking to return home, particularly from London, Australia and Canada
  • Although there is a significant supply of QFA experienced banking candidates, the industry remains stagnant
  • Within multilingual, there continues to be strong demand for German speakers as well as increased demand for candidates with fluent Hebrew and Turkish


Wednesday 20 January 2016: The number of professional job vacancies in December 2016 was down 24% nationally compared to the previous month according to the December 2016 Morgan McKinley Ireland Employment Monitor. There was a 21% month-on-month decrease in the number of professionals active in the job market.


Morgan McKinley Ireland Inward Investment Director, Trayc Keevans, commented:

“Companies are currently planning their hiring for the year ahead. In order to attract top talent, companies are placing more focus and attention to ensure a more efficient recruitment process, whether through HR or assigning line management specifically to the task.

“The 24% month-on-month decline in vacancies in December 2015 is seasonal and expected, as most hiring occurs between September and November,.  Additionally, firms are typically more focused on seasonal events at this time of year when many budgets for hiring have been spent.

“The 21% month-on-month drop in job seekers is evidence we are entering a period of skills shortages. Professional services firms attempting to hire senior level professionals face stiff competition.

“The latest figures from the IDA show over 187,000 people are employed by foreign multinationals – the highest level on record. This has knock-on effects and there is now a significant number of employers searching for the same talent.

“There is a return of the bonus culture, particularly within the finance sector. Bonuses of up to 25% reflect the necessity for firms to retain talent with critical skills, especially those with technical and project management experience.

“However, this is not indicative of a general standard. We are still seeing a cautious approach to bonuses, with rewards of between 5% and 10% the norm.

“Within multilingual, there continues to be strong demand for German, Dutch and Nordic languages. But as employers grow internationally, they are responding to the under-supply of native speakers by looking to build blended teams of native and fluent speakers which is proving successful.

“Although companies tend to be selective on educational qualifications when recruiting, in particular for German and French speakers, they are relaxing their requirements for candidates with languages that are more difficult to source. In these instances, firms are placing more emphasis on skills than qualifications and experience.

“As the market becomes more buoyant, we are seeing companies split roles that had been consolidated during the recession. In the finance sector, firms are once again hiring Finance Directors after previously combining the role with that of the Financial Controller. Within office support, PA and receptionist roles are now being hired as separate positions where previously the dual role was combined into a single hire. 

“Overall, the market remains positive. Certain segments of the market are candidate led and must plan appropriately to attract the best talent.”


Professional Jobs

Professional Jobs

Professionals seeking new roles

Professionals seeking new roles

About the Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor

The Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor (previously known as the Premier Group Irish Employment Monitor) measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market by tracking the number of new job vacancies and new candidates within the Republic of Ireland each month. See for details. 

Statistical methodology

Monthly new jobs and new candidates:

Monthly new jobs and new candidate figures are based on Morgan McKinley’s own monthly records of new permanent job vacancies and new candidates registering with the firm for permanent employment. Statistics for the full market are derived using Morgan McKinley’s own market share.

Job classification:

Job vacancies are professional level roles within the following sectors and functions: banking & financial services, commerce & industry finance, insurance, public practice & tax, legal, HR, IT, life sciences, engineering, process & manufacturing, professional services, sales & marketing, customer service, secretarial & office support.


The data is based on new job vacancies and new candidates registered with Morgan McKinley’s network of Irish offices in Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford.

About Morgan McKinley in Ireland

Irish owned Morgan McKinley is a global professional recruitment consultancy connecting specialist talent with leading employers across multiple industries and disciplines.

With offices across Ireland, the UK, EMEA, Asia and Australia, its professional recruitment expertise spans the accounting & finance, financial services, technical and IT sectors. Morgan McKinley is a preferred supplier to many of the major employers in its specialist sectors and thousands of smaller local firms.

 In 2015, Morgan McKinley was recognised as one of the top 5 Best Workplaces in Ireland in the Great Place to Work Awards. The company was also a Ruban d’Honneur recipient in the 2014/5 European Business Awards.

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