With 20 years recruitment experience, Libby leads a large team of specialist recruiters across contract, permanent and interim positions in the technology, project management, and fintech space. Libby's focus is to foster and enhance her team’s capabilities while driving a culture of high performance through candidate and client focus and accountability.
Technology Contract sector assessment
Contract work in the Technology sector has experienced a huge boom as the industry deals with the surge in needs born from post-lockdown economic growth. Overall, we are seeing demand spread across the country with 45% of roles located outside of Dublin. Technology multinationals make up 50% of the demand with Financial Services & Banking companies taking 20%. The most in-demand roles are Java Developer, DevOps and Project manager. Our Technology Recruitment consultant team has broken down the state of play for each major sub sector.
Demand for Data Analytics & Data Science Contractors, particularly with experience working on Cloud platforms, continued to grow throughout the year. Contractors with experience in designing Data solutions and real business insights look to have another busy year ahead of them, with continued growth expected in the BI space in 2022. Like the job market in general, the Data space was very much candidate-driven in 2021 and looks to remain so in 2022. From a contractor perspective, this means the opportunity to explore roles which allow them to work with the most advanced technologies in the space. For companies looking to attract the best talent, this means a focus on evolving from old practices and exploring new, innovative technology and methods will be as important as ever. The most in-demand positions are – BI/Data Analysts, Data Scientists & Engineers, Cloud – AWS, Azure
The contracting space is attractive now given the high volume of interesting roles and projects available. This can be very lucrative for contractors or candidates considering a move from a permanent position into the contract field. With the adoption of remote working across the industry, we expect to see this continue post pandemic. Work from home and remote options are something most candidates take into consideration when changing roles. The benefits of this from hiring perspective is access to a larger talent pool across a wider geographical area. We expect the high demand to continue right through 2022 which positions contractors in an ideal space to capitalise financially as well as gain good experience across a range of different projects. With the high demand for contract work and limited resources available on the market this could have a knock-on effect in terms of cost for companies hiring. Most in-demand skillsets include Java Engineer, C#/ .Net Developer, Full Stack, Cloud and DevOps Engineers.
In the SAP Market last year, we experienced significant growth with most large organisations moving forward with S4 Hana Implementations. This has led to huge demand for Functional, Technical and Delivery resources to help drive these implementations over the next few years. Some of the key industries which we saw growth in this sector were in Consultancy, Pharma and Manufacturing. With remote working now becoming the status quo we are finding that companies are more receptive to considering candidates outside of their geographic which has opened opportunities for candidates to work on projects that previously would have required extensive travel. It has also helped clients ensure they get the best candidate for the role irrespective of their location. As more companies transition to S4 Hana, candidates will have the opportunity to work on the latest and greatest SAP Technologies. Remote working allows clients to hire outside of their geographic location, which helps to alleviate any candidate shortages that may have occurred in previous years. Clients who are slow to move to S4 Hana face the prospect of losing employees to competitors who have implementation plans in place. The most in-demand positions include SAP EWM Consultants, SAP FICO Consultants, SAP SD/MM Consultant
In 2021, we have seen the economy recover with projects in full flight again. Companies have embraced the working from home policy which is now here to stay for many organisations. The growing trends remain around Agile and Digital Transformation as well as Process improvement and Change management. As a result, we are seeing a high demand for Agile Project/Programme Managers, Business Analysts, Change Managers and Lean Six Sigma Process Specialists. We are also seeing a lift in Product Owners, Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches as companies adopt a more agile approach. As major international investment continues to arrive in Ireland, we envisage a busy and buoyant market ahead for 2022. However, there remains to be a skills shortage in the Irish market within the PMO space as passive candidates remain reluctant to move roles. There is also a shift in the contingent market as some contractors have opted for permanent positions during the pandemic as their preferences have changed with a focus on an enhanced work-life balance and stability. As more projects commence, candidates have multiple opportunities which is driving up daily rates across all disciplines in the PMO sectors as clients compete to secure top project talent. The most in-demand roles right now are the mid-level Project Managers and Business Analysts. Due to the high demand, we are seeing rates increase within this space and a skills shortage due to supply and demand issues.
The Infrastructure Sector in Ireland continues to be extremely buoyant throughout 2021. With the onset of Covid, there was a significant increase in-demand in the areas of Systems Administration and IT Support as organisations struggled to facilitate the safe and successful transition to remote working. As we approach the end of the year, trends have been emerging which suggest that we have come ‘full circle’. Many of the same skills are in-demand as organisations seek to prepare office spaces, which have long stood empty, for the return of workers. Office spaces are being overhauled with companies going through large-scale technology transformations to promote blended and hybrid working models. Information & Cyber Security has been headline news for much of 2021 and it is no surprise that skills in this area are in huge demand. This is a trend that we anticipate will continue well into 2022. However, the skill shortage in this sector may prove to be a challenge within the coming year as we see an increase in client requests to secure niche InfoSec and Cyber Security skills outside Ireland. The shift to the Cloud has continued at a blistering pace and the demand for talent in Cloud Engineering, DevOps and Cloud Architecture is extremely high. Many of our Dublin based clients have looked to wider Ireland to staff their programs with remote workers. This has proved extremely attractive to many IT workers now living across Ireland and providing services remotely.
QA & Test
After a relatively busy start to 2021, the effects of Covid's lack of hiring over the previous 12 months took hold in a positive way at the end of Quarter 1, and the market was remarkably busy. There was an obvious uplift in investment as companies shifted their focus to improving their online presence due to the massive increase in online activity over the last 12 months. Into 2021, we have seen the economy recover with projects in full flight again. Companies have embraced the working from home policy which is now here to stay for many organisations. The growing and most popular trend in the QA & Test space is still Automation and with Cypress seeming to be a technology becoming more in-demand. As a result, we are seeing a high demand for QA Automation Engineers with experience in Selenium, Postman, Cucumber, Cypress, GIT, Jenkins and Test Rail. As major international investment continues to arrive in Ireland, we envisage a busy market ahead for 2022. However, there remains to be a skills shortage in the Irish market within the QA space as passive candidates remain reluctant to move roles. There is also a shift in the contingent market as some contractors have opted for permanent positions during the pandemic as their preferences have changed with a focus on an enhanced work-life balance and stability. As more projects commence, candidates have multiple opportunities which is driving up daily rates across all disciplines in the PMO sectors as clients compete to secure top project talent. The most in-demand roles right now are Mid-Senior Level QA Automation Engineers with Java and Selenium or similar with experience in UI Automation. Due to the high demand, we are seeing rates increase within this space and a skills shortage due to supply and demand issues.
Product & Design
Product & Design continues to see huge demand for skills particularly in the Design & Research area. The industry continues to grow at pace and Product & Design teams are growing alongside it. Due to the pandemic, many companies prioritised their online strategies resulting in a surge in-demand for Designers, Researchers, and Writers. Last year's estimate that companies would grow their design function by 20-25 % proved accurate, and those working in UX and Product in particular, have been in high demand. Permanent demand has been slightly higher than contract, but the biggest challenge has been availability for skillsets with many companies looking further afield to fulfil their design requirements. Both contract and permanent salaries have remained strong with a definite increase seen across both sectors of up to 20% on base salaries and daily contract rates. Most if not all companies would expect to see an up-to-date portfolio as part of the overall interview process and those without are unlikely to be considered. As with many sectors, the opportunity to work remotely remains one of the biggest drivers for candidates and companies not offering the option to work either remote or hybrid are being left behind. Looking ahead, the demand for experienced and talented designers does not show any sign of stopping and if you just starting your career or college, then this is a fantastic growth area to be part of.