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Morgan McKinley Ireland anticipate average salary increases of 10%

Professional talent will be most in-demand in life science, engineering, ICT and financial services sectors - risk, tax and funds, anticipates the Morgan McKinley 2016 Irish Salary & Benefits Guide.


In addition, supporting services such as accounting, human resources and customer service & sales with multilingual experience will continue to be sought after in 2016.


Salary increases this year are likely to be in the region of 10% on average, rising to 15-20% for specialist positions where there are skills shortages. The annual salary guide published today also provides an average outline of benefits by sector.


Chief operations officer with Morgan McKinley, Karen O’Flaherty, said, “We are anticipating on average a 10% increase in salary levels this year and would caution restraint in this area.  Inward investment is dependent on the ability to attract top talent and to be cost competitive.


“Where demand for talent is high we continue to trend a much lower salary differential between Dublin and the regions, particularly in the areas of life science, pharmaceutical, engineering and ICT.


“More generally, candidates with strong technical skills across all disciplines are becoming the norm as technology infiltrates all sectors. 


“We are also seeing a narrowing of gender gaps, especially in the area of HR, where more males are entering the profession and in the life science and engineering areas as more females are qualifying and securing roles.


“We expect to see the continued return of ex-patriots this year as professionals who left return with young families and are more confident of securing employment.


“We are optimistic for 2016 with all indicators suggesting it will be another strong year for job creation and growth.”


Morgan McKinley has provided the following breakdown of the sectors, expanding on what is expected in 2016:


Of strategic importance to the Irish economy and accounting for €65billion in exports, the life science sector remains on track for continued growth and expansion in 2016. In 2015, the sector was responsible for attracting a growing number of returning Irish nationals, along with European scientists to Ireland and the company expect this trend to continue in 2016. As a key target for investment under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, the sector is helping to drive balanced growth outside of the major urban centres. Professionals are in demand across R&D; quality assurance; manufacturing and regulatory affairs.


Accounting and finance professionals experienced a buoyant jobs market in 2015 as the economy moved from stability to growth. The company say there will be high demand for newly qualified accountants nationally this year. It is expected that in 2016 there will be marginal increases in base salaries, balanced with higher bonus payments and improvements in benefits.


Morgan McKinley say that international regulatory changes have put a spotlight on risk management. A scarcity of talent in this area has put upward pressure on salaries, with increases in the range of 15-30%. A moderate uplift in salary at senior levels is expected this year, while there has been the return of bonuses and greater opportunities for internal progression.


40% of the world’s hedge funds are administered in Ireland, making it Europe’s leading centre of excellence for the funds industry. Regulatory changes have driven increases in staff levels in recent years and will continue to do so. During the downturn, funds recruitment shifted to contract and temporary positions but this trend has since reversed. Annual increases for candidates staying in their current roles will be in the region of 5%. Generous pension benefits and a high level of job security also add to the attractiveness of these roles.


Recruitment across the insurance industry in 2015 was primarily in the areas of claims, anti-fraud, investigations, risk and compliance. A rise in activity over the last 12 months within the sector generally has led to an under supply of talent in some specialist areas, including marine and environmental risk. The company say that significant salary increases are unlikely in 2016.


Tax and practice will remain a highly candidate driven market in 2016. Professionals with expertise in global mobility, personal tax, employment tax, capital taxes and corporate tax will be most sought after this year. Technology, pharmaceutical and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sectors are increasingly hiring internal tax experts adding to retention issues in traditional practices. Corporate finance and transactional services functions will be growth areas in 2016 and professionals with expertise in these areas will be in demand. The requirement for candidates in the areas of insolvency and corporate recovery has lessened for the second year in a row. Practices will be paying salary increases in the range of 5-10%.


In IT, big data and data analytics will remain areas of major growth as companies seek to exploit their information assets. Professionals with more than five years’ experience are primarily sourced internationally. The increase in high profile cyber-attacks continues to drive demand for security specialists. There will be continued demand for web and mobile developers in 2016. C#, Java and Python were the most in demand programming languages in 2015. Upward pressure on salaries was a feature of the IT sector in 2015 and is expected to continue this year.


The multilingual market was, Morgan McKinley says, extremely buoyant in 2015, driven by the needs of companies that run their European or global operations out of Ireland. The high demand for German, Dutch and Nordic speakers will continue in 2016 across a number of sectors, including technology, online retail, outsourcing, social media and management consultancy. Salaries have increased over the last 12 months for the in-demand languages.


Ireland is now seen as an established centre of excellence for global supply chain operations with many corporate procurement and planning functions based here. Mid-level managers remain the most in demand in this sector. Salary increases in the range of 10% are anticipated in 2016.


Blended skill sets combining creativity and analytical competence were in high demand in 2015 and will continue to be so in 2016 for the sales and marketing sector. Brand management, channel marketing, communications and advertising, in particular digital and on-line advertising will experience continued growth this year, Morgan McKinley say. The majority of marketing roles remain Dublin centric. There is no significant growth in salaries forecast for 2016.


Data protection, intellectual property and corporate transactions are anticipated to be the key areas driving growth in the legal sector in 2015. Litigation related to enforcement and debt collection has reduced. Salaries are expected to increase by 8-10% in 2016.


Demand for customer service professionals was high in 2015 and is set to continue this year, with salaries for senior roles expected to rise by 10% this year.

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