Irish firms look abroad to fill IT jobs

24 Jul 2007

Irish companies are increasingly looking for in-house IT expertise rather than outsourcing IT on a contract basis, Sigmar Recruitment’s IT salary survey for 2007 has found. However, the trend of Irish workers not meeting the demand continues, with the shortfall being made up by Italians, Spaniards, Poles and Hungarians.

While demand for IT workers is still growing, 2006 saw the need, particularly for software developers with Java, .Net and web development expertise, being unmet.

“There has been a significant trend towards clients looking to bring expertise in-house, as opposed to using contract resources,” said Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig, associate director of Sigmar Recruitment Ireland. “This shows that increased permanent headcounts have been sanctioned in companies which reflects positively on the increased amount of new business in the sector.”

The Irish ICT sector has an estimated 14,000 deficit in skilled workers, according a Dublin City University report published earlier this year. Filling these jobs with non-nationals has been hampered by recently introduced legislation that has made it harder for non-EU workers to get work permits, the Irish Software Association (ISA) claimed last week.

The ISA said the legislation, designed to favour EU workers and skilled workers, has inadvertently made it harder for firms to employ much-needed staff from outside the EU. IT staff from European countries alone was not making up the numbers.

Sigmar’s survey also found that while Ireland recently lost some call centre work to Eastern Europe and Asia there has been a continuous steady increase in higher-value, highly skilled roles being brought into Ireland.

“Ireland has a promising indigenous software sector and there are more of these companies appearing in ‘niche’ areas, especially telecoms and mobile internet-related technologies,” he said. “Ireland is still attracting investment from multinationals and still being seen as a strong option for European headquarters.”

In terms of salaries in the sector, the survey found that: Java software engineers earn €28-34k (1-2 years’ experience), €33-45k (3-5 years’ experience) or €45k-60k (5 years or more); QA engineers – €27-32k, €32-40k and €40-52k respectively according to length of service; systems administrators Linux/UNIX – €30k-35k, €38k-50k and €50k-60k; systems administrators Windows €30k-35k, €38k-45k and €45k-55k; and database engineers – €30k-35k, €38k-50k and €55k-70k.

By Niall Byrne