Hays Salary Guide 2017
Hays Ireland MD Richard Eardley speaking at the launch of the Hays Salary Guide 2017. Image: Luke Maxwell

Future opportunities are almost as important as salaries

30 Nov 2016

While salaries are still the main reason employees want to leave their current jobs, 22pc cite a lack of future opportunities as an incentive to move.

The Hays Salary Guide 2017 shows a growing interest in career development for younger generations. When asked what the most important factors were when considering a change in jobs, a third of Gen Y employees rated career development as the most important. This is a massive spike compared to the baby boomers, of which only 6pc rated career development.


While over half of employees are unhappy with their current salaries, managing director of Hays Ireland, Richard Eardley, said, “that is actually a pretty normal statistic”.

Eardley said looking globally and over the years, the split between employees who are happy with their current salary and those who are not always fluctuates around this area, but with career progression and work-life balance becoming increasingly important, this is where improvements can be made to retain talent.

At the launch of the Hays Salary Guide, Eardley said that while some companies may not be in an economic position to increase salaries all the time, “you can do something about career progression”.

Candidates shouldn’t just look for the highest bidder

From the other side, Eardley said candidates shouldn’t make it all about salary either. “Companies don’t want candidates whose main interest is the pay packet.”

According to the Hays Salary Guide, there is a major skills gap – more than three-quarters of employers cite this as the main challenge when recruiting. However, 44pc of employers also predicted encountering candidates who have unrealistic salary expectations.

Speaking at the launch, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Employment Dara Calleary, TD, said the guide is “very positive in terms of 2017”, but indicated a cautionary note in terms of salary expectations and skills shortages.

“These trends were out 10 or 12 years ago. We cannot go back to that time,” he said. “Today’s pay increases cannot become tomorrow’s pay cuts.”

Baby boomers are the job movers

The guide also dispels the myth that millennials are the biggest job hoppers, with 38pc of baby boomers anticipating a job move in the next 12 months.

“General perception is that millennials leave … but the people most likely to leave are the baby boomers,” said Eardley.

Allianz HR director Claire Cusack believes this is due to a new ability to take risks for the older generation. “I believe baby boomers didn’t take risks in the crash, so they didn’t move then and now that the economy is improving, they think now is the time to move.”

The salary guide also showed a discrepancy between what employers think is important to their staff, and what their staff actually thinks is important, aside from salary.

While both agree that career development is the most important, 18pc of employees believe a healthy work-life balance is essential, while only 11pc of employers rate this as important.

Cusack believes this needs to be rectified, especially when better salaries are not an option. She says you can help retain staff by “making life a little easier for employees”.

Cusack also believes that the first six months for an employee are crucial to their decision about moving. “In the first six months, they either like you or they don’t like you. They might stay for a year, but ultimately they’ve already made their minds up about you,” she said.

The salary guide also showed almost two-thirds of organisations offered salary increases in the last 12 months, with the same number intending to offer them in the next 12 months. The biggest increases were seen in IT, construction and property.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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