Quarterly Employment Monitor: Sharp Fall In Professional Job Vacancies
- Professional job vacancies drop 15.4% amidst inflation, slower business growth, and housing market challenges
- A.I. has minimal impact on hiring practices
The Morgan McKinley Quarterly Employment Monitor registered a decrease of 15.4% in the number of new professional job opportunities in Q2 2023 compared to the previous quarter across all professional sectors.
The monitor also recorded a slight decrease of 0.8% in professional job seekers during the second quarter. Overall, there has not been a significant change in the number of job seekers from one quarter to another. However, compared to the same period in 2022, the number of applicants in Q2 2023 was 20% higher, primarily due to the tech sector downturn and an increase in business support professionals entering the job market.
Rising inflation, slower business growth, and challenges in the housing market have impacted the overall landscape. Additionally, changes in working models have become apparent, as employers are increasingly resisting remote working arrangements and emphasising the importance of physical presence in the office. However, employers who are flexible have greater access to skilled talent.
The Morgan McKinley employment monitor measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market by tracking the number of new job vacancies and new candidates in the Republic of Ireland each quarter. To reflect the changing dynamics of the current employment market, Morgan McKinley is including both permanent and contract jobs in the employment monitor.
Trayc Keevans, Global FDI Director, Morgan McKinley Ireland, said:
“Various sectors experienced a decrease in employment opportunities during Q2 including Accountancy and Finance (-17.3%) and Projects, Transformation and Change (-25%). The decline can be attributed to market cautiousness driven by rising inflation, sluggish business growth, and difficulties in the housing market. The Technology sector has shown some resilience with single digit declines in professional job opportunities (-7.8%) and an 11% growth in contract opportunities.
“More notably there was a 43% decrease in construction opportunities coming to market for this period due to the long lag time in filling prior positions due to the shortage of skills and difficulty in bringing overseas talent into the market to bridge the gap due to challenges in securing housing. The sector is currently facing a severe understaffing issue, with one in four construction jobs remaining unfilled.
“Despite the challenges, certain sectors continue to experience growth, while employers and candidates navigate the evolving landscape of employment in Ireland. Life Sciences and Engineering saw an increase of 6%, Supply Chain and Procurement experienced a 23% growth quarter on quarter, and Banking and Financial Services recorded a 16% increase. These sectors have been driven by continued investment and expansions of foreign direct investment (FDI) companies, as well as increased demands resulting from regulatory changes.
“In most sectors, salaries have remained steady, except for high-demand positions in Projects, Transformation and Change, Life Sciences, Technology, and Banking where salary increases have been observed. The Banking sector, in particular, has experienced a notable surge in demand for technology professionals due to the growing need for cybersecurity and software application upgrades. However, some sectors have seen a decline in salaries due to increased expenses. Individuals who were let go from technology companies, specifically those in the human resources and talent acquisition field, are now reevaluating their salary expectations as they seek new employment opportunities.
“Although counteroffers during negotiation processes were not as prevalent as in previous quarters, they remained evident in certain sectors. Employee retention has become a strong focus for disciplines and sectors such as Human Resources and Life Sciences, prompting employers to offer higher salary packages and incentives to retain valuable employees critical for business continuity.
“Negotiation dynamics have shifted in certain sectors such as Accountancy and Finance and Engineering, resulting in an increase in under-offering by employers during this quarter. Candidates in these sectors encountered challenges when negotiating modest salary increases, as employers became more conscious of budget limitations and stricter in adhering to hiring budgets.
“The cooling of hiring in the tech sector, which is recovering from widespread resizing of local operations, has led to a larger talent pool of candidates seeking tech sales positions. This has created an employer-led market with increased competition and lower salary offers for senior employees.
“Inflation has impacted hiring practices in certain disciplines, particularly for professionals from lower-cost international locations. The higher cost of living in Ireland has caused professionals to reconsider relocating, while locally based professionals expect higher salaries to offset the impact of inflation. Employers are struggling to meet these salary expectations, leading to the loss of highly skilled talent in certain sectors over the past quarter.
“Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence have had minimal effects on hiring practices for the majority of sectors during this quarter. Companies are gradually adopting automation and technology advancements, which require skilled professionals to oversee and manage automated processes, rather than replacing jobs.”
Current most in-demand positions by discipline:
- Technology: Full Stack Developers, Cybersecurity Engineers, Data Analysts, and Site Reliability Engineers (SREs).
- Financial Services: Commercial Lines Broker, Claims Adjuster/Handler, Personal Lines Broker, Case Manager for mortgages and banking, Pension Administrators, Risk Assurance Analyst, Risk Assurance Manager, Compliance Analyst, Compliance Manager, Internal Audit Manager, Personal Lines Insurance Broker, Internal Auditor, Head of Function.
- Accountancy & Financing: Newly Qualified Accountants (Big 4/Top 10 trained), Senior Accounts with 2-5 years of post-qualification experience, Tax Accountants, Tax Managers, Payroll, Accounts Payable Specialists, Credit Control, and Account Assistants.
- Life Sciences & Engineering: Equipment Validation Engineer, Cleaning Validation Engineer, Process Validation Engineer, Computer Systems Validation Engineers, Qualified Persons, Process Engineers with Chemical Qualifications, Quality Control Specialists, Quality Control Engineers, Quality Assurance Analysts, Quality Assurance Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Design Engineers, Health & Safety Engineers
- Projects, Change & Transformation: Project managers, Program Managers, Business Analysts in consulting positions, Payment Roles, SAP Specialists and ERP Specialists.
- Human Resources: HR Business Partners, HR Generalist and mid-level, HR Managers, HR Operations Specialists, HR Coordinators
- Construction: Quantity Surveyors, Civil Engineers, Project Managers, Structural Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, and Electrical Engineers.
- Business Support: Executive Assistants, Office Managers, Receptionists, Office Administrators, and Sales Administrators.
- Supply Chain & Procurement: Production Managers, Supervisors, and Operators in the food industry. In the pharmaceutical industry, there has been a need for Planners.
- Multilingual: Sales, Content Reviewer/Content Moderation, Quality Analyst, Operations/Administration, and Customer Support.
- Marketing: Communications Specialist, Digital Marketing Manager, Marketing Manager, Brand Manager, and Sustainability Manager.
- Legal: Corporate Lawyers, Funds Lawyers, Capital Markets Lawyers, Company Secretaries, and Construction Lawyers.
- Executive Search: Head of Risk, Head of Compliance, Head of Audit, CEO (Financial Services)
Monthly new jobs and new candidates:
Monthly new jobs and new candidate figures are based on Morgan McKinley’s monthly records of new permanent and contract job vacancies and new candidates registering with the firm for employment. Statistics for the full market are derived using Morgan McKinley’s market share.
Job vacancies are professional-level positions within the following sectors and functions: Legal, Funds, Technology, Admin/Office Support, Sales, Supply Chain & Procurement, Life Sciences, Executive Search, HR, Multilingual, Contract, Marketing, Banking & Insurance, Accounting & Finance, and Projects/Transformation/Consulting.
The data is based on new job vacancies and new candidates registered with Morgan McKinley’s network of Irish offices in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.