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Job market seeing effects of seasonal slowdown, says Morgan McKinley Ireland

There was a 7% rise in professional opportunities compared to the previous month, October 2015 and a 6% increase in the number of professionals entering the jobs market, compared to November 2014, but 10% less job seekers compared to the previous month, reflecting the seasonal slowdown. 

The report confirmed the number of professionals seeking new roles peaked in July 2015 (9,425) while the highest number of professional opportunities was recorded in May 2015 (13,445).

Supply chain roles increased by 12% this month and productions supervisors and supply chain managers across medical device, food and pharmaceutical sectors were in demand. 

Regionally, job flow within IT was up 8%, but availability of candidates was down 18% on the previous month, again influenced by seasonal factors.

The Employment Monitor found skilled IT professionals currently have on average three to four job opportunities available to them and that counter offers are now a feature of the IT market as companies endeavour to keep top talent.

Within finance, demand for consultancy and project management professionals increased, driven by significant projects being pushed through by expanding businesses. Candidates with financial software implementation and business process re-engineering experience were most in demand.

The Employment Monitor also found demand for HR contractors was high in November, primarily due to end of year HR projects. It added that companies are becoming mindful of candidates needs and are offering flexible working environments to secure them

Morgan McKinley Ireland, operations director, Bryan Hyland, commented, “Overall 2015 has been an exceptional year for jobs growth, with a steady flow of professional opportunities across the country and across the year to date. The pace and level of growth is however creating challenges as companies feel the pressure to fill roles, often in a short time frame. 

“Remote hiring has become an increasingly common feature of the market this year as employers strive to reach desirable candidates as quickly as possible. Developing attraction strategies and talent pools from which to draw a wide breadth and depth of candidates was a clear priority of many HR departments in 2015, particularly among the Multinational sector who are often hiring large teams, with specialist skills in tight timeframes. The digital skills gap remains an issue.

“Although costs are still being managed, we are seeing evidence across the year of upward pressure on salaries in specific sectors, IT and Finance for example, with a return to a more bonus orientated culture, while counter offers are becoming more common. Rent increases and a shortage of office space are other factors that have the potential to impede the current growth trajectory. 

“Worryingly recent data from the CSO indicated that despite the overall buoyancy of the jobs market the number of unemployed women has increased. A concerted focus on attracting women back to work must be a priority for 2016 with appropriate supports and skills transfers programmes put in place. Many of the jobs created this year are high value and high skilled.

“There is much to be positive about as we face into 2016. The Government’s FDI strategy is delivering results nationwide, many multinational and FDI companies are either winning new business or moving business to their sites in Ireland. The SME and retail sector are also back hiring.

“We would not however be complacent in outlook. The challenges involved in sustaining growth are significant.”

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