HR people warn not only of a skills gap, in particular in data skills, but generally people aren't being rewarded properly.

The numbers just don’t add up on skills, warn data-crunching HR people

27 Nov 2015

The HR people have had their say and they warn that the skills gap in the Irish economy is intensifying, with a particular shortage of people with data analytics skills. They have also warned that the best people are just not being rewarded, making their work even more difficult.

Some 61pc of HR people in Ireland are experiencing skills shortages, according to the PwC 2015 HR Pulse Survey published today.

Almost half (45pc) said that their reward system is not appropriately remunerating their best people and that considerable change is needed – 43pc expect to change bonuses, 40pc will change healthcare and 37pc will change various incentives schemes.

Almost three-quarters believe that they need to completely rethink their performance management systems as 28pc said that the cost of replacing key talent is 100pc of salary or more.

‘The digital age has shifted the skills shortage from a nagging worry to something more challenging’

Retaining crucial skills (57pc) and succession planning (57pc) are the top priorities for the HR function in Ireland in the next three years.

In particular, HR people warn that data analytics capability is a key barrier in the Irish economy right now.

“Despite rising business confidence and ambitious hiring plans, the survey shows that organisations are struggling more than ever to find the right people with the right skills to achieve their growth plans,” said Gerard McDonough, director, PwC People and Organisation.

“The digital age has shifted the skills shortage from a nagging worry to something more challenging and organisations desperately need people with strong technology skills who are adaptable and can work across different industries. However, these people are hard to find and can afford to charge a premium for their skills. Having a good mix of talent – and the ability to alter the mix depending on business needs – is critical as companies look to apply their capabilities in more innovative ways, partner successfully and harness technology effectively.”

Retaining talent to become even more challenging

On the data analytics front, HR has yet to embrace this technology fully.

Three-quarters of Ireland’s HR leaders confirmed that they do not have an analytics capability embedded within their local HR function and just 24pc use analytics to inform HR decision-making.

Over two-thirds (67pc) of HR leaders now have a formal HR/technology roadmap in place. 63pc are planning to increase their spend on HR technology, with the greatest focus of this spend being on core HR systems.


‘We know that Irish CEOs are more concerned about the impact of a skills shortage on their business than at any point in the last six years’

“While it is universally acknowledged that effectively managing talent is a critical enabler of business success, it’s clear that this needs to be more than just rhetoric from the business and HR,” said Ciara Fallon, a director of PwC People and Organisation.

“In fact, we know that Irish CEOs are more concerned about the impact of a skills shortage on their business than at any point in the last six years. And, as we continue to see heightened activity and mobility in the talent arena both in Ireland and internationally, it will be more important than ever to clearly define a compelling and differentiated employer brand and proposition to attract talent.

“Retaining this talent will possibly prove even more challenging, placing greater emphasis than ever on the need for innovative, flexible and dynamic strategies for developing, rewarding and managing the performance of the workforce, underpinned by analytics to drive sound decision-making on key strategies.”

HR image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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