Not just about the coin anymore

Barry Bowen 17.07.2019

Not so long ago when I decided to make the move down to Cork I gave my Cork friend Johnny a call telling him I’d be taking up a new post with Morgan McKinley. In true Johnny fashion his first question was “What’s the coin like”? These days as engineering professionals explore opportunities around them it’s becoming more and more apparent that it's not just about the coin anymore.

As a result, quite a few of our clients have been recently enquiring about some of the “extras” that their competitors are offering. With the economy continuing to strengthen and as the unemployment rate approaches 4% (down from 15.6% in July 2012) engineering employers are beginning to really compete with one another when it comes to offering their employees some extra incentives and benefits enticing them to join or indeed stay with their company. 

It’s fair to say that as employees become more and more cognisant of the “Work to Life Balance”, basic salary is falling further down the pecking order when it comes to people's motivation for finding a new role. First and foremost is the role itself: be it a motivating position, the level the role is at and indeed the responsibilities included in the role. The core requirements and experience needed for that position to be successfully carried out are also paramount, that old cliche of choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life comes to mind here. 

Obstacles such as the M50 in Dublin, the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork and the notorious congestion problems in Galway are also playing a key factor in people's decision when applying for roles. Not just the employees but hiring managers too. Quite often we have experienced hiring managers refusing to consider anyone who may have to spend time on the M50, their HR partners have been working hard to counteract this by adding incentives aimed at alleviating these issues. 

Factors playing a role in people's decision making process include the commute,  obviously the remuneration package but so too the level of flexibility offered surrounding family commitments (the school drop/pick up, dental appointments, even creche graduation) as both parents strive to earn an income and run a home at the same time. Since late May one company we are working with now cater for their engineering team to come in early on a Friday so that they are free to go at 14.00. This has not only boosted staff morale but also increased general applications as word spreads throughout the industry. 

Other changes (some big,  some small) that the engineering desk have been notified about in recent weeks include:

  • €350 All4One voucher upgraded to 53rd week bonus
  • Healthcare for individual now includes any dependents
  • Dental & Vision Care added to Healthcare package
  • Structured hours moved to Flexi-Time (core hours 10.00 - 15.30)
  • Dress code changed from formal to “dress for your day”
  • Subsidised Pilates, Tag Rugby & 5 a side soccer
  • No sick days bonus (extra day a year for the first 2 years)
  • Annual Leave extended from 21 days to 23 days
  • Pension starting immediately rather than after 6/12 months
  • Continuous Professional Development funding & time off for study leave

The amendments that companies are making is very much a proactive approach, it’s necessary because it's an employee’s market and some of our really strong candidates now have the luxury of choosing from 2 or 3 really attractive offers. 

Traditionally July can be a quiet month in the engineering industry however if anything we have experienced a noticeable increase in new roles across our various disciplines. This is in line with a number of new plants and facilities beginning their manufacturing ahead of schedule as demand for their product grows. 

If any of these engineering roles catch your attention please feel free to contact the relevant consultant for a confidential conversation. 

Barry Bowen's picture
Senior Consultant | Manufacturing, Automation, Process & Project Engineering | Dublin & South East.
bbowen@morganmckinley.ie