Non-national IT workers face glass ceiling

17 Jun 2008

The vast majority of non-national IT candidates, some 71pc, feel it is a hindrance to be non-Irish in their search for work and fear they may be overlooked for new IT roles where a greencard work permit will be required.

Within the last 12 months, 28pc of recruitment firm Hudson IT’s permanent placed candidates have been non-Irish nationals.

A survey of 300 candidates reveals that 53pc of those surveyed highlighted Ireland as their first choice of location when seeking employment due to the high availability of IT work, compared to other European countries.

On further investigation, some 44pc of them plan to remain and work in Ireland permanently, while 56pc plan to leave Ireland in the next five years.

One of the main reasons cited for leaving is that, while it is relatively easy to find IT work in Ireland, it is harder to progress into managerial roles when in competition with Irish counterparts.

According to the survey, 76pc said they would recommend Ireland as a great country to work in IT. However, 74pc would recommend learning the English language before coming to Ireland.

According to Hudson, the introduction of the greencard and work permit system by the Irish Government has allowed it to offer highly skilled overseas candidates to clients in a market where there is a shortage of local IT personnel.

“The greencard process is actually very straightforward and has improved considerably in terms of speed and efficiency,” explained Aileen Hallahan, managing consultant of Hudson’s IT division.

“However, companies recruiting may not be aware of how seamless the process actually is and this may be what some candidates are picking up on in their search for work.

“There are a number of technical skill requirements in Ireland where the people resources are just not readily available in the local market and there are actually some very highly skilled candidates in Ireland and coming to Ireland who are suitable for these roles but need to go through the visa/greencard process.

“There should be no fear of this process from the client’s perspective once they follow the guidelines outlined by the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment,” Hallahan said.

By John Kennedy

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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