Rise in public sector recruitment of HR professionals

Fearga Walsh 20.08.2018

The main focus for summer-time hiring across the HR market was in recruitment based positions:

In larger companies, Multinationals in particular, employers have been on the lookout for experienced recruitment specialists, with many targeting recruitment agencies in order to attract the best talent in-house. With regard to SMEs, we saw a common occurence of companies opting for recruitment coordinators / facilitators rather than targeting a more experienced professional. This is most likely due to budgetary constraints as the smaller businesses are opting for professionals who take on recruitment as a responsibility, but not as a core focus in their role.

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The future of public sector employment is looking highly optimistic as the government have recently announced their intentions to modernise the sector with their ‘Future Jobs Programme’. This positive sentiment is also reflected in the high level of hiring activity in HR positions across sector, which we anticipate to continue to year end. The Public Sector, along with NGO (Not for Profit) and Technology sectors engaged in the highest level of hiring activity across HR roles for the summer period.

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The demand for IR (Industry Relations) and ER (Employee Relations) professionals has continued to grow over the summer months, and the necessity for skilled professionals in this field is highlighted most prominently by the ongoing dispute between Ryanair and their employees. IR specialists fill the critical void that can emerge between worker and employer and many industry-based businesses have taken heed of their importance. We have been involved with organisations across many industries who are heavily in pursuit of the best talent in this line of work.

On outlook, the employment market is at the strongest point it has been since pre-recessionary times. Companies under the IDA, Enterprise Ireland & Udarás na Gaeltachta umbrella have announced their highest levels of employment to date, and recent job announcements have further fueled the optimistic market sentiment. Most notably, the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Innovation initiative is set to on-board up to 1,000 new employees with a HR function being a core element of this recruitment drive. 

Most in demand roles nationally:

  • Experienced recruiters with specific industry knowledge, for example - manufacturing or technology
  • HR managers were requested more so than HR Business Partners
  • HR professionals with Employee Relations  experience continues to be a key skill 


Highest Paying Roles - our teams have placed

  • Head of HR | Telecoms |100K
  • HR Manager | Utilities | 90K
  • Recruitment Manager | Utilities | 75K


Skills and Qualifications:

Clients in need of HR professionals prefer those with industry knowledge and experience within a similar sector. Employee Relations experience alongside recruitment strategy is also in high demand. This is especially important with the recent challenges, opportunities and trends in employment in Ireland at the moment; these include the gender pay gap, sexual harassment in the workplace,  and zero-hours contracts among others. These issues are still present and are also increasing in frequency so HR professionals need to be comfortable and familiar with best practice for when these situations arise. Cultural fit and professional chemistry continue to be key decision making factors in the hiring process. 

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Fearga Walsh's picture
Team Lead | HR
fwalsh@morganmckinley.ie