Top Tech Jobs 2015 – Support

16 Dec 2014

Silicon Republic is looking to the future, establishing which jobs will be most in demand in Ireland in 2015. In the fifth part of this series, we look at the world of support, from sales and office management, to HR and team leads.

Often overlooked when surveying the world of IT, the area of support is crucial to the tech world. Given the make-up of Ireland’s IT industry, this is true even more so. The plethora of software multinationals based in Dublin sees employment numbers of significant sizes, which invariably requires management, recruitment and constant handling.

And beyond this cluster, support services are required in every single tech business in the country.

The first area with regards to support, given the growing jobs announcements throughout the industry over the past 18 months, is human resources (HR). For every jobs announcement, be it five consultants at a marine energy company in Cork or 300 software positions at e-commerce giant Amazon, HR is involved.

Good HR operations are key

When we then consider the current environment in Ireland, where employers are all fishing from a dwindling pool of employee reserves, then good HR operations are even more key.

Hays Ireland reports that the last year in particular has seen a significant increase in the HR market, with financial services companies helping to drive this. When you look at some of the jobs announcements in recent months, this becomes all the more clear – for example, 200 jobs at Fidelity Investments, or 600 at Citi.

“We are seeing private-sector companies taking a more strategic approach to their growth, along with an increase in business partnering roles,” says Hays in its Salary and Recruiting Trends 2015. “HR is developing and implementing people solutions, aligned to the boardroom strategy.”

Roles in this area include HR administrators (with an annual salary of €26,000), officers (€32,000), generalists (€40,000), business partners (€60,000), managers (€65,000) and directors (€90,000).

Admin roles in abundance

Elsewhere, office support – roles for receptionists (€25,000), customer care executives (€26,000), administrators (€30,000), team leaders (€33,000), office managers (€35,000) and PAs (€35,000) – has seen a similar bounce back, following a pretty tough time post-recession.

Indeed this area of employment is now in such good strength that Hays sees growth in specialist areas, “driven mostly by multinational pharmaceutical, IT and engineering companies.”

Non-core areas are growing their headcount in support areas, with the desire of companies in Ireland for professionals who have more than one year of experience.

“We have seen a large number of recent permanent placements within PA, general administration and reception for candidates who gained six months to two years’ experience abroad, and are now starting careers in Ireland. Typically, having international experience also means they will be offered a higher salary than those without,” says Hays.

The hard sell

Then there’s sales, the financial driver for the vast majority of operators in the tech industry. Salespeople, account managers and business development managers operate in an excessively fluid marketplace, with movement between companies the norm and variable salaries a consistent reality.

Last summer’s report from Lero, the Irish software engineering research centre, highlighted sales and marketing in particular as key barriers to growth in Ireland. It reported that, for both large multinationals and smaller indigenous software companies, a labour shortage in this field was fairly restrictive.

The ability to move from business to business without needing to imbed yourself with detailed technological thought processes means the labour market is skilled almost apart from the business within which it operates. Add to this the fact that salespeople don’t just move from business to business, but also from industry to industry, and you gain a clearer picture of the constant battleground tech companies must engage in to get the right staff. Not just competing with rivals, but competing with entirely different industries, too.

The whole area of multilingualism opens up significant avenues here, too. The home of many an EMEA, IT companies in Ireland sell their products and services all over the world. Native linguists from non-English backgrounds, in this regard, can either command better salaries, or qualify for specialist roles with their own defined career plans.

“Given the importance of foreign markets for Irish software companies, there is a need for expertise related to these overseas markets,” said Lero’s report. “This reflects the need for complementary skills among the management team of companies, rather than being overly focused on strong technical skills.”

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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