Irish ICT employers planning new hires and bonuses
A survey by recruiter Abrivia and Trinity College Dublin has found that the vast majority of Irish employers (87%) in the ICT sector intend to hire new people in 2017, with half planning to pay bonuses. Furthermore, more than two thirds (69%) have said they will give pay rises, in the region of 3% or more.
The annual survey now garners responses from more than 7,400 companies and 40,000 employees across multiple industry sectors.
Eight of 10 employers said that ICT roles were among the most difficult to fill, while two thirds said they would be willing to provide sponsorship for difficult to fill roles, up from 52% in 2016.
On a most topical issue, more than a third (36%) of ICT employers said the current visa regulations were making it difficult for them to recruit overseas talent, with Indian candidates the most affected, followed by the USA and China. However, similarly topical, employers are still relatively unconcerned as yet about the impact of Brexit on salary prospects and firm profitability in Ireland.
More than a third of employers said they will require more office space to accommodate new hires in 2017.
From the employee perspective, 80% expect a salary rise in 2017, while 41% expect to change job. Almost half (48%) would accept a salary decrease of up to 3% to move outside Dublin. However, almost half of ICT employees based outside the capital said they would need a salary increase in excess of 20% to move to Dublin for work. One in 10 ICT employees said they would not consider moving outside Dublin for work at all.
In terms of work motivation, job security was less important than job satisfaction, team dynamics, income and benefits and positive impact of their work on others. However, more than a fifth of tech workers are either unhappy or very unhappy at how their current employer has fulfilled promises made upon hiring.
ICT workers were the most likely to see gender imbalance as the biggest diversity challenge in their workplace.
More than three quarters (78%) were in favour of trialling the six-hour work day, as introduced in Sweden, with the overwhelming majority of those stating that productivity would increase as a result.
Skills in demand
Skill demand was found to be following prevailing trends, with cloud and distributed computing skills topping the list.
“The relatively new field of data science continues to perform very well here in Ireland,” said Fiona Donegan, director, technology division, Abrivia, “with clients across the board looking to take strategic advantage of effective statistical analysis and data mining around typically consumer sentiment and buying habits.”
Front and back end development roles continued to be a distinct difficulty, with more than half (55%) of the recruiter’s clients having at least one open development role. Abrivia said the Central Bank of Ireland’s directive on IT Security has led to a number of financial institutions increasing their internal IT security capabilities.
“We have witnessed significant headcount growth for mainly hands on technical security analysts across chiefly the banking and insurance sectors,” said Donegan.
Abrivia said in 2017 the ICT sector would increase staff numbers aggressively, with several respondents looking to increase head count by as much as 50%, which it regards as significant, as the sector contains the largest number of firms with establishment headcounts between 21-250 persons.
“Ireland remains a leader in ICT with major Internet companies, Microsoft and Apple, locating in Ireland. The ongoing European Commission judgement against Ireland with respect to Apple is under appeal. Given the global market for talent in this area, ICT contains the most non-nationals,” said Abrivia.
“Backed by a strong rebounding economy and Brexit, 2017 promises to be one of the strongest years to date for the Irish IT sector.”