Shared Service Centres in Ireland - the Past, the Present and the Future of Ireland's Workforce?

Paul Molloy 10.12.2015

For the past number of years Ireland has been promoting the advantages of setting up Shared Service Centres (SSCs) in Ireland and we have seen a large increase in large MNC's choosing Ireland over multiple other (and cheaper) countries.

In more recent years, this number has grown substantially and SSCs in Ireland now amount to well over 100. This aggressive and successful growth can be attributed to an incredibly active development agency in the IDA, a highly skilled workforce and an ability to attract multilingual specialists.

When this concept was first introduced into Ireland it usually meant a very singular, one dimensional function - usually a Finance team. Fast forward a decade and companies are now creating multi-dimensional specialist teams across IT, Finance, HR, Supply Chain and Customer Service to name only a few. A recent study by Deloitte found that since 2013, single function SSC's had declined by over 30% and SSC's with 3 or more functions had increased significantly. These functions coupled with an ongoing requirement for multilingual skills means that SSCs will continue to be an area for demand for recruitment teams.

The same study revealed that ‘cost’ remains to be the driving factor for SSC set ups or expansion in Ireland. On average, companies can drive a 15% saving on headcount by centralising functions into one location. Morgan McKinley has seen a steady increase in project focused roles where process improvements or re-engineering is the focus. This will further reduce cost, increase productivity and speed of delivery for a number of functions.

So where to now for SSCs?

The growth of SSC or ‘Centres of excellence’ will continue to grow substantially - 71% of respondents to Deloitte’s survey stated they plan on growing the amount of functions in their SSC's in the near future.  With SSCs growing into a multi-disciplined, multicultural, and technology driven environments it's plain to see that IT systems and analysis will play a bigger part in the growth of SSC's. The use of cloud based systems, data analysis and specialist process improvement teams will continue to drive value and cost reductions for each company.

From an employee point of view, SSC's can be challenging places to work, mainly down to its high paced environments, tight deadlines and multiple time zones involved. The modern workforce has become increasingly mobile and flexibility in the workplace is now a key component in creating a happier workplace. This ‘flexibility’ will need to be governed by clear and transparent parameters but we should expect more improvements around flexible working hours, better work environments and facilities. A large number of our SSC clients are in the process of making facility upgrades or in some cases complete relocation to more modern and employee friendly environments.

Without doubt, SSCs can offer fantastic experience and excellent career paths. We’re currently working with a number of leading multinational companies with excellent opportunities. If you're looking to find out more please feel free to give me a call on 01 4321 555.

Paul Molloy's picture
Senior Consultant | Accounting & Finance Recruitment
pmolloy@morganmckinley.ie