Workplace & Hiring Trends Survey 2019

View the insights from our recent research to get an in-depth view of the employment market today in Ireland and current hiring trends:

Methodology

For our 2019 Morgan McKinley Salary Guide, we reached out to a number of Irish based professionals and employers and have received a combined total of 3,723 respondents,  which have given us an insight into their various views on employment over the past year. Our respondents cover all bases, as they span over a range of seniority levels such as Entry Level, Senior, Manager, Director, C-suite, Partner and Owner. These professionals are all currently employed - either for permanent roles, on contracts or in temporary positions. 

In terms of areas of work, the main disciplines our respondents work in are Accounting & Finance, Compliance, Financial Services, Human Resources, Tax & Practice, IT, Legal, Marketing, Office Support, Project & Change Management, Customer Service, Risk Management, Sales, Supply Chain & Procurement and Science.

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Irish employment market set to become more attractive due to Brexit plans

With Brexit fast approaching on March 29th 2019, thoughts are turning to how the UK leaving the EU is going to impact the Irish employment market. It has been reported in the media that the upcoming Brexit is actually set to boost the Irish jobs market , but do Irish professionals actually feel the same? It would seem that they do, with 52% of employer respondents agreeing that they think the Irish employment market will be deemed ‘’ more attractive ’’ due to Brexit. Only a mere 3% felt that the Irish employment market would be seen as less attractive because of Brexit , with the rest expecting no difference or uncertainty on the matter. These figures have been formed from research conducted across a number of disciplines, so it will differ from sector to sector, but in general it seems the consensus among organisations is that Brexit will mean positive things for Irish employment rates. 

Workplace & Hiring Insights Survey 2019

In terms of hiring plans, a large majority of 81% feel that their plans have not changed at all since Brexit, with 10% actually admitting to hiring more employees in respons e to Brexit, particularly it would seem in the Financial Services sector. 

Growing Salary Expectations

At the moment, with the buoyant Irish jobs market we are experiencing, candidates know their worth and are demanding higher salaries. Across the board, professionals feel they should and deserve to be getting paid more. A large proportion of professionals ( 60% ) admit to feeling underpaid, while feel that they are paid around the correct amount. Just 2% feel that they are paid more than the standard market rate with the remaining 5% unaware of what professionals of a similar level earn. 

When asked if they expect a salary increase in 2019, 52% answered ‘’ Yes ’’ - they are expecting one. This means that for just over half of respondents, their desire to earn more money looks set to become an achievable one. 22%
of professionals said that they are not expecting an increase next year, while almost ¼ stated that they are unsure.

Workplace & Hiring Insights Survey 2019

For those expecting an increase, they cited the main reasons for receiving this would be personal performance followed by a regular annual increase. Less common reasons for expecting a pay rise included promotion and starting a new role.

Employers recognise this desire among professionals to earn more, with 45% of employers listing ’’ Paying Higher Salaries ’’ as one of the ways that their company could better retain staff. 35% of respondents felt that ‘’ Attractive Financial Remuneration ’’  is one of the most important reasons employees stay at their company. Likewise, 58% of respondents list being ‘’ Dissatisfied With Financial Remuneration ’’  as the main reason for leaving their company. Also, the main reason listed by companies as to why they didn't end up hiring their ideal candidate following the interview process was not being able to meet the job seeker’s remuner ation expectations.

Working more than your contracted hours is a given

There is a greater focus on work/life balance and flexibility in the workplace these days, but that hasn’t stopped working e xtra hours being the norm as well, with 46% of respondents typically working between 0-10 extra working hours a week, and over a quarter ( 26% ) typically working more than 10 extra hours a week. A mere 1% work less than their contracted hours per week, with the remaining 27% working exactly their contracted hours. 

While these figures demonstrate that extra hours are very much still commonplace, the desire to work fewer hours is consistently increasing, with 30% of candidates listing shorter working hours as a factor which would make their working lives easier, and 58% listing flexible working as the most important factor when it comes to this. A large percentage ( 61% ) of candidates said that the chance to work fewer hours would make a job opportunity more attractive. However, ¼ of surveyed professionals said that the hours in a given role aren’t important to them. Worryingly, another finding showed that 28% of professionals describe their stress levels as 'Too much stress', with another 4% being in a state of 'burn-out' on an average work day.

Hiring processes are improving but there is a need for more action

Sourcing suitable candidates continues to be a big issue for businesses, w ith 56% of employers listing the shortage of the right candidates on the market as being the biggest challenge when sourcing the correct professionals. As well as this 52% of employers think there is a skills shortage amongst talent in Ireland in general.  Meanwhile, less than 10% believe that they don’t have the necessary resources to find and hire the right candidates. There are still problems within the hiring processes at various organisations though, which is resulting in the loss of desired talent. ¼ of employer respondents admitted that the primary reason their company has failed to hire their ideal candidate following the interview process is because of delays in their hiring process. 

Workplace & Hiring Trends Survey 2019

As well as this, the majority of employers feel that their recruitment processes have not improved over the past two years. The main reason that those who do feel their processes have improved credit this to hiring dedicated resources. 16% feel that their processes have improved due to the use of technology helping to streamline the process while a further 13% list staff training as the main factor which has contributed to their processes progression. 

In terms of employee acquisition and retention, a large number of employer respondents ( 62% ) believe that overall, their talent acquisition processes are effective, as they claim that most applicants are successfully hired into the company. However, only 4% feel that they never lose applicants to their competitors, 16% say that quite often, candidates they interview choose competitors over them, with a further 18% actually admitting that they struggle to hire into their company. While 64% of respondents feel that their best employees stay with them, only a mere 11% say that they are consistently successful in retaining their top talent


If companies are looking to improve these retention rates, they must consider the core values which are important to professionals work-wise as mentioned previously,  such as a better work/life balance and career progression, as well as paying adequately of course. 

The right benefits package is clearly very important

Occasionally, benefits are overlooked as people’s ma in focus remains on salaries, however they are still a very important push/pull factor in regards to employment, with 94% of professionals saying that they would be persuaded to move jobs for the ideal benefits package. 43% of those surveyed also responded that benefit options are important to them when choosing to work for a company or not. This is interesting seeing as 67% of respondents feel that their employer does not offer a unique benefits package whatsoever. 

Workplace & Hiring Insights Survey 2019

The most sought after benefits were flexible working, private healthcare and dental care and company pension schemes. It appears that longevity is most important when it comes to benefit options, with choice coming in as the second most important factor among respondents. 
 

Gerald FitzGerald's picture
Chief Operations Officer Ireland
gfitzgerald@premiergp.com