There is no doubt that the market has improved on the jobs front. Of course, we are talking an improvement from the drastic situation of 2009, to an improvement in 2010 and on into 2011. The best thing to improve a jobs market is confidence. Confidence means that people are optimistically looking to the future of their businesses and planning for growth. Of course there isn’t universal optimism at the moment, and how can there be?
However, what we have is the next best thing and that is stability. Management can plan again with some surety and this confidence was reflected in quarterly figures where from April – June 2011 the numbers working in Ireland increased on January – March (1,804,200 to 1,821,300). This was the first growth in employment since quarter one 2008, with particularly strong growth in Dublin.
As you will see from the salary survey, salaries are beginning to rise again, but with some sectors performing better than others. Surprising areas of growth have been in things like Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals, with Information Technology continuing its long boom. Construction and related industries continue to suffer, but even these appear to be bottoming out.
I believe we will continue to see slow but steady growth for the next while, before the austerity measures run their course and the tiger roars again! –
David Bloch – Managing Director at Brightwater Recruitment
This is our 13th annual salary survey and one of the most interesting to compile so far. Whilst conducting the survey we have found that companies are diligently watching what’s going on within their sector and are keen to hear what their competitors are doing in relation to pay reviews and salaries in general. The overall sense we are getting is one of cautious optimism. Companies are being sensible and in general are looking at slight increases for key personnel.
Some companies still have a number of staff members that they feel are ‘overpaid’ in the current market and where this applies they are freezing their salaries to try and bring them in line with the market rate.
We are seeing a return of bonuses this year but nothing like those that were paid out during the boom. Sales staff are being rewarded on their sales growth and not necessarily seeing it in their basic salary. Not surprisingly, contract roles are on the increase and these salaries are on par with permanent salaries, however, completion bonuses have made a return.
Finance roles in general are increasing and modest increments are being offered at review time. As the IT market is still candidate led, salaries are increasing in this space at a slightly higher rate than in other areas.
Overall, things are moving again, albeit at a modest pace. It has been encouraging to hear our clients projecting growth again in 2012 and budgeting for new hires. – Mairead Fleming – Deputy Managing Director at Brightwater
The Office Support permanent recruitment market has remained fairly static for 2011 – we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future with little uplift. For those employers that are hiring across permanent office support roles, multitasking is the order of the day. Employers expect more “bang for their buck” and expect employees to take on more responsibilities – so flexibility and upskilling from an employee is what is required to ensure that they are keeping ahead of their competition.
However, the trend to hire temporary office support staff as a stop-gap has been pretty vibrant for the majority of 2011 and we absolutely see this trend continuing for 2012. Temporary staff to cover holidays and maternity leave offer the perfect solution to employers to test an employee’s all round skills and willingness to take on additional duties without the employer feeling the need to add to their head count until their overall business improves.
Notwithstanding this, there is a feeling of a little improvement across most sectors currently and should this optimism continue, we expect employment in the office support area to increase albeit slowly for the duration of 2012. – Barbara McGrath – Director at Brightwater
Download the full Brightwater Salary Survey 2012.