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Living and working in Cork


Lisa Broderick - Director

Lisa has worked with a diverse portfolio of clients across Ireland, the Middle East and Australia. She returned to Ireland as a Director of our Cork business (Tech, Engineering, FS, Accounting, Office Support, Commercial) in 2017. Her role now includes leadership of our HR, Office Support and Marketing recruitment teams based in Dublin. With 18 years of recruitment experience and a previous business background, Lisa has a strong focus on culture, delivery and a customer-centric attitude. Lisa helps Cpl and our customers to attract and retain the best people.

Lisa Broderick - Director

Living and working in Cork

Cork is a small, peaceful, and family-friendly city. It has a vibrant nightlife, fantastic restaurants, and a thriving cultural scene. Nestled on the banks of the river Lee, in the southwest of Ireland, Cork is often touted as the food capital of Ireland. The city has an unmatched culinary scene supported by great restaurants and craft-beer pubs.

As home to some of the world's largest companies, Cork offers great opportunities to take your career to the next level. Historically a hub for leading industries and international trade, Cork is now home to some leading technology and pharmaceutical companies, including Apple, Dell, Pfizer, and Amazon. Several home-grown companies, including Musgraves, Voxpro, Abtran, and Laya Healthcare, also employ thousands of professionals in the region. Let’s take a deep dive into what makes Cork City a wonderful place to live and work.

Cork City's talent landscape

​Cork’s talent landscape has undergone a massive transformation in recent years, with some notable changes witnessed in just the past 12 months. In 2022, Cork won second place in FDI Intelligence European Cities and Regions of the Future in small European categories. It is the fastest city in Ireland, with a 100,000+ projected population increase by 2040.

The city’s robust economy has allowed it to sidestep the talent cutbacks impacting other European cities, with employment rates showing no signs of slowing down soon. The economy is making Cork a top destination for seasoned professionals and new graduates entering the talent market.

The talent market in Cork

Notably, Cork's pool of technology workers has been growing in recent times, with data showing the city is the leading destination for technology talent outside of Dublin. Today, Cork is home to over 10,000 employees possessing in-demand skills sought by technology companies

Salary: Ireland’s salary gaps have recently narrowed due to the increasing adoption of remote and hybrid work models. With no significant differences between salaries in Cork and Dublin. Cork is undeniably the more liveable city, owing to its lower cost of living.

Enterprise opportunities: With over 194 FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) investment companies, Cork is a clear alternative to Dublin when it comes to enterprise opportunities. Companies setting bases in the city vary from established pharmaceutical and technology giants to SMBs (Small and Medium-sized Businesses) and startups eager to be part of the thriving economy.

The city has a notable economic buzz, evidenced by bustling restaurants, full networking events, and constant news of growth and innovative projects. With so many people and companies spending and investing in Cork, there is no doubt this is the best place in Ireland to set up or expand your business.

Career advancement: The Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Cork Chamber of Commerce, and Enterprise Ireland are some of the FDI agencies offering pro bono support for companies. Moreover, 2022 was the city's record-breaking year in terms of foreign investment. The city attracted over 50% of international companies entering the Ireland market. There are several companies in growth mode here, which has triggered a real buzz around the city, opening loads of new job opportunities.

Quality of life: Many companies operating in Cork have adopted hybrid or Work-From-Home (WFH) policies. Wellness has become central to career discussions, and companies prioritize good work-life balance initiatives to attract and retain talent.

Everything in Cork is a short drive away, from beautiful beaches and landscapes to parks, fabulous food, and a thriving cultural scene. There is a great sporting culture in Cork that promotes a work-life balance and provides opportunities for newcomers to mix with the locals.

Cork is a family-friendly and inclusive city with great amenities and career opportunities.

Cost of living: The cost of living in Cork is 22% cheaper than in Dublin. The fact that Cork is only 2.5 hours away from Dublin makes it an excellent living destination for hybrid professionals working in Dublin.

What is unique about Cork City?

Cork city offers affordability, career opportunities and business growth. A stream of new companies across all industries is coming to Cork across all industries, with notable giants such as Apple, Jansen, Merck, NetApp, and Dell setting base here. Cork is an innovative city with a highly collaborative workforce.

The city's talent is sourced locally and internationally, depending on the special needs. Local universities such as University College Cork and Munster Technological University (MUIT) work closely with businesses to provide relevant courses that respond to market needs.

What are the challenges of working in Cork city?

Currently, housing is proving to be an issue across Europe and, thanks to a rapidly expanding population, Cork city is no exception. When moving here, you may need to seek the help of agencies to find the perfect home. If you are on a budget, Cork's expanding commuter towns offer cheaper rents and home prices outside the city's costlier epicentre.

What are the most critical business sectors in Cork?

Cork does not rely heavily on one sector with multiple FDI and indigenous companies choosing the city as a viable alternative to Dublin. In fact, it boasts a thriving technology sector and is a cyber-security hub for Europe, featuring a large, innovative, and collaborative tech community. As one of Europe's biggest manufacturing hubs for pharma, biopharma, and MedTech, Cork has 7 out of 10 global pharmaceutical companies based here. The city is also home to large BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) and several back-office functions for many international companies. Furthermore, the city boasts a thriving financial sector, offering a diverse portfolio for investors. Cork is a very diverse landscape. SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises), Start-ups and MNCs (Multinational Companies) all thrive in Cork.

Face the future of work with confidence

At Cpl, we are an award-winning talent solutions provider and one of Ireland's largest workspaces for six years in a row. Our Cpl Cork branch offers onsite recruitment solutions for finance, IT (Information Technology), sales, construction and many more industries. Contact us today to learn more.