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War on talent: Recruiter roles skyrocket as flexible working demand remains

20 Jan 2022

Experts say ‘the war on talent is only set to intensify’ and employers will need to respect the wishes of employees around hybrid and remote working.

Ireland’s employers are preparing for a war on talent, according to recent figures and analysis from IrishJobs.ie.

The recruitment website’s latest jobs index, which was released today (20 January), showed a 420pc year-on-year increase in talent acquisition and HR roles on the site in Q4 2021.

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“2021 was a particularly busy year for recruitment and we anticipate this trend will continue in 2022,” said Orla Moran, general manager of IrishJobs.ie.

“It is perhaps telling that some of the most pronounced growth is in the recruitment, retention and HR space. This suggests that employers are acutely aware of how competitive the talent market is and are moving quickly to put the necessary internal resources in place to support and advance their recruitment and retention ambitions in 2022.”

Moran added that 2022’s recruitment landscape is “shaping up to be a strong, candidate-led market.”

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In this competitive jobs market, HR teams will have to pay attention to what candidates are looking for, especially when it comes to remote and hybrid working policies.

According to CSO figures released earlier this week, nearly 90pc of those aged between 35 and 44 who could work remotely would like to do so to some extent when pandemic restrictions end.

The CSO received 10,797 survey responses in November 2021 relating to remote working from those aged 18 years and older living in the Republic of Ireland.

Of those who said they would like to work remotely, 28pc said they would like to do so all the time and 60pc said they would like to work remotely some of the time. Only 12pc said they would not like to work remotely.

Commenting on the results, CSO statistician Dermot Kinane said that since 2020, “the work conditions of those in employment in Ireland has changed dramatically” with access to workplaces restricted as part of public health measures.

Kinane referred to the impact these changes have had on workers over the past two years. “Overall, almost three in four (74pc) who work remotely said they feel they had more time on their hands, because of remote work, to do things they never got the chance to do before the pandemic”.

While there may be demand for flexible work options, the IrishJobs.ie index showed that fully remote work vacancies increased by only 4pc year-on-year in the last quarter of 2021.

“Remote and hybrid-working trends [have] been a reoccurring talking point over the last 12 months,” said Moran. “Fully remote vacancies continue to grow as a category, but the rate of growth appears to have plateaued in recent months.

“This possibly suggests that while many employers are very supportive of remote working strategies in the short to medium term, there is still a reluctance to 100pc commit to it on a permanent basis, until there is a greater understanding of its long-term impact on working cultures and productivity.”

But with flexible working becoming a greater priority for Irish professionals, companies looking to attract the best talent may need to consider offering different working options.

“The increase in HR and talent acquisition roles that we’ve seen in recent months is a clear reflection of the strategic priorities shared by many Irish-based employers as we enter the new year,” said Moran. “In other words, there is a clear recognition on the part of employers that candidates are sitting firmly in the driving seat for 2022.

“The war on talent is only set to intensify. For employers who are looking to maintain a competitive edge in the market for the year ahead, they must therefore ensure that they are meeting the evolving needs of existing employees and prospective candidates within their field.”

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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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