Is there a price tag for attracting and retaining the best talent for 2015?

Trayc Keevans 27.01.2015

While Jesse J said “It’s not about the money, money, money”, it would seem that the professional talent market in 2015 would agree. Employers are increasingly aware that all things being equal, it is not an increased salary alone that will secure them the best talent on the market place.

Launching the Annual Salary and Benefits Guide for 2015, Morgan McKinley’s Inward Investment team analysed 30,000 placements made by the business and took counsel from employers and employees alike to gauge the sentiment for the coming year. The over-riding opinion is that after seven years of stagnation in salaries across a range of sectors, we are going to see salaries rise, primarily for specialist roles in ICT, Life Sciences, Engineering, Digital Marketing and Financial Services, in the region of a 5%-10% range. There will also be salary pressure for employers of conventional professional skill-sets as the positive market sentiment is giving way to a mood of expectation amongst this work-force and we expect to see the average professional salary increase by 2-3%.

Is it all about the salary?

The indications are it’s not all about the salary, basic salary that is. Achieving the optimum Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is increasingly becoming the target strategy to attract and retain the best available talent in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market-place. Professionals are telling us they want career development opportunities, training, flexible working conditions and exposure to interesting projects in tandem with an attractive total compensation offering to retain their loyalty to their current employer.

Key Trends for Recruitment in 2015

Skills Shortages

Information Security professionals will be the most in demand skill-set for ICT professionals in 2015. The deficit in cyber security skills has been reported globally since 2013 and we expect it to become more pronounced this year as the advent of recent cyber attacks and data breaches in the US raises awareness of the impact of companies ‘not being ready or informed’.

Learning and Development

L&D functions are fast becoming one of the most important elements in a company’s strategy to retain their best talent in the wake of anticipated salary increases and movement in the market

Foreign Direct Investment

FDI is expected, in spite of an increasingly competitive landscape, to sustain its’ success of a record year in 2014 which saw 15,012 new jobs and 174,488 professionals employed in their client firms. The focus in 2015 will be to start bringing the regional employment for new jobs created from 30% to 50% over a five year period

Benchmarking Activity

This has become more widespread in the employer community as Total Rewards and Benefit Plans are re-evaluated to reflect changes and movements that are happening in the market-place and ensure that companies remain competitive

Revival of most adversely affected sectors

With property, construction and conveyancing sectors leading the way and having a knock-on positive effect on growth within the mid-tier and small legal firms. New business is the focus of the banks who are turning their efforts to growth rather than stabilisation for the first time since 2007.

Multilingual skills are driving multinational growth

As we see an increase in the number of native languages spoken here and companies responding by expanding the remit of markets serviced from EMEA to global

Biggest growth sectors and functions for 2015

This includes:

  • Aircraft Leasing,
  • Data Analytics,
  • Risk Management,
  • Regulatory Reporting,
  • Digital Acquisition
  • Relationship Management


We expect to see a continuing trend of hybrid professionals with a core qualification in one discipline combined with a complimentary skill-set e.g. Sales Specialists and Product Development Specialists in Financial Services, HR professionals with ERP implementation expertise, Engineers with Sales skills etc.         

With market sentiment at its most positive in many years, employers are also mindful of maintaining their cost competiveness and containing salaries to a controllable level. Recognising that remuneration is not the only driver in attracting and retaining the best employees, is also important when holding their cost base. This is why we expect the focus for employers to be on developing a strategic Employer Brand which contains an effective succession planning framework that will enable talent to be retained, promoted while keeping costs constant. We see Ireland in 2015 with a more diverse and robust professional work-force than we have ever had and most importantly a positive attitude for their employment future here in Ireland. 

Click here to view the Morgan McKinley | Salary & Benefits Guide | 2015

Trayc Keevans's picture
Global FDI Director