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Morgan McKinley: Skills shortage could impact Irish tech growth

7 Feb 2024

Overall, projections are positive for 2024, and candidates with niche tech skills will be able to leverage them as hiring managers seek talent.

One-quarter of Irish hiring managers see skills shortages as their main challenge for the coming year. That’s according to the 2024 edition of Morgan McKinley’s Salary Guide, which analyses salary data for a range of IT roles across Ireland.

The recruitment firm surveyed 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals as part of its overall research. As well as skills shortages, other challenges included difficulties in competing on pay and benefits (22pc) and a lack of organisational approval for new hires (19pc).

Not all doom and gloom

“The sentiment from organisations is generally positive for 2024; there is still some cautious decision-making when it comes to hiring budgets for the year, but by and large, the fight for top talent is still a real issue for most companies,” said Eoin Connolly, operations director at Morgan McKinley Ireland.

He predicted a strong quarter and year. “January started slowly as it always does but it has been a very busy month for us, which is an indicator of a strong quarter, and hopefully year ahead.”

According to the data, 50pc of technology hiring managers are planning to expand their teams in the first six months of 2024. Additionally, 46pc of tech workers are considering new opportunities during this period, while another 31pc are contemplating a job change.

Bargaining power

Connolly pointed out that with hiring managers under pressure to find skilled candidates, those who do possess in-demand skills could find themselves in a very good position. “Technology salaries in Ireland increased slightly in 2023, partially due to the impact of inflation, but also due to the shortage of talent. This has also increased the prominence of counteroffers, with employers offering their top performers 15-20pc increases to stay on board.”

Connolly added that the market experienced “strong growth” in areas such as cybersecurity and data science over the past year. This was despite an overall softening of activity in the tech sector.

“Throughout Q3 and Q4, we saw a marginal increase in both permanent and contract jobs available, which bodes well for positive levels of hiring activity in 2024.”

Other data that was released recently from Morgan McKinley showed that the tech and life sciences sectors will likely display continued strength into this year. Commenting on that data, Trayc Keevans, the firm’s global FDI director for Ireland, said companies will prioritise skills as part of their hiring strategies to ensure they remain competitive.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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