Salary Guide for Ireland 2022
Many of the narratives that started last year will continue to dominate the world of work through 2022. We will see the positive experiences of last year become more ingrained and newer approaches developed to tackle its challenges. The anticipated 2021 recession lasted for two months and instead of a prolonged job drought, we are experiencing one of the strongest job markets in years. We are seeing growth across most sectors, with Technology, Life Sciences and Financial Services leading the way. This growth has led to an unprecedented talent shortage, giving qualified candidates a stronger position when negotiating contracts.
Hybrid working models, which were introduced across most industries, have become an expectation rather than a benefit. People have become more focused on their work-life balance, and expectations around flexible work, annual leave and other family-friendly benefits are dominating the ‘how we work’ discussion. The growth market and talent shortage will make winning the battle for the best talent a key focus as HR (Human Resources) & Talent managers vie to recruit and retain qualified staff.
Work from home has brought new challenges and companies will continue to experiment with their hybrid models. Once offices are fully open again, striking the right balance between manager and employee needs will become essential. Especially with the number of opportunities available to qualified talent.
Overall, we are looking forward to a healthy and competitive talent market in 2022.
Employment trends in Ireland 2022
2022 brings with it a newfound optimism, the ERSI is predicting GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth of 13.6% for the yearand the Department of Finance expects job growth to match at a similar 13%. The IDA reported a record number of new jobs created by multinationals based in Ireland, with a net gain of 17,000 jobs for the year.
This growth has impacted the country nationwide, with over 53% of the roles based outside of Dublin. In a similar vein, Enterprise Ireland supported companies added nearly 12,000 roles with 68% of them being created outside of Dublin. These welcome employment trends will see the Irish job numbers reach and surpass pre-pandemic levels by the middle of the year. It is a remarkable achievement, considering the current (Jan 2022) unemployment rate of 7.5%,is a decrease of 65% from December 2020, when the rate was 21.7%.
At Cpl, we have experienced the impact of the burgeoning job market throughout 2021. We are currently (Jan 2022) advertising four times as many roles as this time last year. This strong talent market is not without its creases. Globally, millions of people have stepped out of the job market over the past year. The reasons vary, but essential workers are either looking for better work-life balance, fair wages or returning to education.
In Ireland, the effect has been more of a reshuffling. Professionals are reassessing their prospects and work-life balance and looking to the market for roles which closer match their needs. This churn is fuelling what is now being called the Great Resignation / Great Reshuffle. The result has been a heating up of the job market, with employers finding themselves now offering more pay and benefits to lure, attract and retain qualified staff. We are now seeing a growth in candidate power to influence their terms of employment.
Key recruitment trends in 2022
Candidates are in the driving seat (Candidates Have the Power)
The ongoing battle for talent, which has been a feature of the Technology sector for some time has spread to most parts of the economy. The number of available roles has outstripped the qualified talent pool, meaning companies are finding it harder to entice people to take up job offers. Salaries are on the rise, and we are seeing average increases of 5.4% over last year. With inflation eating into the real-world value of pay increases, many companies are looking to augment packages with increased benefits rather than simply writing larger cheques.
To stand out from the crowd, savvy organisations are moving away from the one size package fits all approach over the past couple of years and are increasingly personalising remuneration and benefit packages coupled with adopting a more holistic view to creating greater total value to employees. This trend will continue to become more granular as applicants' needs are addressed and employers add more bespoke benefits.
Items that may once have been considered perks are now requirements - wellness programmes, flexibility and hybrid working models all fall into this category. Organisations have had to be creative with their offering to secure qualified talent. We are now seeing sectors, including Marketing, Legal and Office support offer increased annual leave. In fact, some multinationals have adopted unlimited annual leave.
An increasing number of Technology clients are allowing employees to work abroad for up to 2 months of the year. While this is more of a retention strategy now, it could become a norm of new contracts soon. Candidates applying for Executive and Engineering roles can expect to see better bonuses on offer. Fewer headline benefits such as work from home allowances, gyms and health insurance are becoming standard across the board. Ensuring flexible time and WFH (Working from Home) arrangements do not impact the ability to get recognition or promotion will be a big challenge going forward. Getting this wrong could see non-traditional workers churn at a higher rate than expected.
Discover more: How to attract top talent to your business
The tale of two economies
Last year’s income tax take of €26.6 billion is a sure-fire sign that the economy and job market are on the up. Multinationals are hiring more and contributing more tax than ever before. €1 in every €4.50 collected in 2021 was corporate tax. The growth coming from multinationals, which mostly operate in the Technology, Financial Services and Life Sciences manufacturing sectors, is expected to continue into 2022 as FDI figures reach pre-pandemic levels.
IBEC reported 63% of manufacturersidentify attracting and retaining a quality workforce as one of their biggest challenges for the year. And as previously mentioned, the Technology sector saw strong talent acquisition last year. On the other side of the coin, sectors most affected by the pandemic, including Hospitality and Tourism, were still suffering until the pandemic restrictions were lifted on the 22nd of January. The restaurant industry expects a boom for the rest of 2022. The question now is, how will the Tourism and Hospitality industries be affected by the talent shortage?
Construction, which was also completely shut down due to lockdowns in 2020/2021, is looking forward to a strong year. The CIF state, ‘The economic outlook for 2022 and the medium-term is largely positive – provided that the re-opening of labour-intensive sectors of the economy continues and that no further containment measures in the face of new Covid variants are introduced’. However, work from home has had an unforeseen consequence. Questions about the expected need for office space mean some projects may be paused or halted.
Discover more: The Impact of the Great Resignation
The talent pool has broadened
Many Dublin-centric industries, such as Tech, Financial Services and Marketing which switched to work from home models and are in the process of adapting hybrid working as standard can now look further afield for qualified talent. The new ways of working mean organizations are no longer geographically bound to a talent pool within commuting distance of the office. Conversely, job seekers outside of the Dublin region can compete for roles that were previously based too far from home. A knock-on effect of this decentralisation is an increase in salaries outside of Dublin, as regional employers now find themselves competing with far more companies to secure talent. For example, a Social Media Executive can now expect pay parity across the country. Last year the expected rate varied by around 10% between Dublin and other regions.
Discover more: How to build employee trust working remotely
Expect the unexpected
While the market looks good and should remain so for the near future, there are a few points to keep in mind. The uncertainty surrounding the Covid pandemic will continue to impact the most exposed sectors of the economy. The fallout from any reopened Brexit negotiations could play a role in the fortunes of Financial Services and related fields. Start-ups may be impacted by the talent shortage, especially those looking to scale quickly. And funding may be harder won if interest rate increases impact the amount of venture capital available in the market. But overall, 2022 looks to be a momentous year for economic and job growth.
Winning the battle for talent
As employees take the steering wheel in 2022 companies will need to adapt to recruit and retain talent. As Ireland’s largest talent solutions provider, we have learned how essential it is for employers to take an overarching view of what they are bringing to the negotiation table, including their PVP (People Value Proposition). A PVP (People Value Proposition) is a total design of the value that people receive when they join and stay in a business. It is the essence, the experiences, the culture, and the story of an organisation all rolled into one. How a company positions itself, its people value proposition, and the amount of focus it puts into recruitment marketing will define success in 2022.
2022 is going to be an exciting year for the talent sector. While salaries are going up, in some sectors by at least 5%, the big focus this year is on benefits. Employees are seeking more than just a good salary. Work-life balance, meaningful work, learning & development opportunities, more annual leave days and hybrid working are just some of the areas dominating the new ‘how we work’ discussion. 2022 will be a good year for people seeking to change roles or move upwards within their current company, with qualified staff having more power at the negotiation table. Employees will be looking towards companies that can offer them a great package with personalised perks and benefits.
For employers, it’s going to be challenging to recruit and retain, in-demand, qualified staff that will help their businesses thrive and grow. Getting ahead of the curve and winning the battle for talent is going to require innovative thinking that goes beyond salary increases and extra benefits. A company’s reputation, sustainability credentials and prospects will all feature heavily in candidates' minds.
Our salary guide gives an in-depth look at 15 different sectors and some insights into several of the services beyond recruitment which Cpl offers.