Labour Market Snapshot of Ireland

by Maureen Lynch, Director of Hays Ireland

The Irish labour market has been transformed by the disruptive events of recent months, with heavy job losses in certain key industries dominating the overall picture. However, this is not the full story.

What’s the picture of the labour market?

According to the CSO August 2020 Labour Market Survey, there are more people in employment now than there were this time last year, and, while unemployment has increased, the July 2020 unemployment rate is 5.0%, which is lower than the July 2019 unemployment rate of 5.1%, and on a par with November 2018.

Therefore, employers should take into account that many of the ‘hard-to-find’ candidates they seek are likely still working, and in light of the present uncertainty, may not necessarily be looking to change job at the moment. As a result, it may in fact be more difficult for employers to secure the candidates they require compared to this time last year.

Do employers have access to the skills they require?

In this evolving landscape, hiring managers are on the lookout for professionals with the right skills to succeed in the new era of work. According to the Hays Career Insights Snapshot, which was published in July 2020, some of the top skills in demand include managerial and leadership, the ability to adapt to change and communication and interpersonal skills.

However, the report shows that half of employers have access to only some of the skills they need within their team to meet organisational objectives, whilst a further 14% have moderate skills shortages and 3% have extreme skills shortages.

Further to this, 49% of employers are now actively recruiting, a rise on May’s figure of 33%. This rise in hiring activity will likely increase competition for talent even further, making it harder to fill certain roles.

How can employers ensure they are securing the talent they need?

The working landscape is likely to remain subject to continuing evolution for the foreseeable future. As an employer, you should take the time now to assess the skills you need to achieve organisational objectives in both the short and the longer term. Looking ahead will be crucial to securing your talent pipeline, particularly in areas where competition for quality candidates is fierce, so putting a plan in place now will ensure you’ll have access to the talent needed to deliver on organisational changes or respond to market opportunities.