Movement in senior-level IT jobs market gathers pace

30 Oct 2014

The last 12 months has seen confidence returning to the wider Irish economy and as a result, movement is taking place in the more traditionally conservative senior candidate IT jobs market, says Hays’ James Milligan.

The leadership role in IT has evolved enormously in the 15 years that I have worked in the IT jobs market, with IT now viewed as a core strategic pillar in most organisations, rather than a support function or necessary evil!

The language around senior IT roles has evolved, from the traditional IT director or IT manager, to embrace the American role descriptions of chief information officer and chief technology officer or head of function descriptions. We are also starting to see the role diversify into other functions, such as marketing.

Salaries for senior IT jobs

So, we have established that the job title for a senior-level role is quite diverse. Is this reflective in salaries?

Quite simply the answer is yes. Salary is not determined by job title but rather by the type of organisation and the complexity of the job.

Pay in the public sector is constrained by current Government guidelines, with salaries ranging from €90,000-€135,000. Typically, senior executives work in these roles as they want to contribute in public service, as remuneration is higher in the private sector.

The best-paid jobs are in the private sector in the more established multinational organisations, such as insurance companies, investment banks, consultancies and software companies. These will often pay in excess of €150,000 and be accompanied by excellent benefits and performance-related bonus structures.

The highest risk, but also sometimes the highest reward, is in the start-up sector, which might be looking for an experienced C-level executive to enable rapid growth. Salaries within these organisations tend to be lower, with the reward often being in lucrative stock options that directly link to the success of the organisation

Where are the senior IT jobs in Ireland?

There is movement across the whole market. The Irish Government is investing in strategic roles throughout the public sector in a bid to drive more efficient and effective solutions for its internal and external customers. Most recently, this has been demonstrated in the appointment of the healthcare CIO. There are clear indications that this investment will continue into 2015 and beyond.

The success of the IDA has seen an increasing amount of foreign direct investment in Ireland in 2014 and the creation of a number of new senior roles. These roles are typically hired from the local candidate pool within Ireland and in turn have seen more positions created as organisations look to back fill their leavers. This has meant for the first time in a number of years we are seeing deputy CIO and CTOs move up to board-level positions.

Finally, entrepreneurialism is very healthy in Ireland, with a record number of companies being started. Ireland is viewed as a hot bed of activity for venture capitalists and angel investors and is supported by excellent State bodies, such as Enterprise Ireland and the NDRC. Many of these organisations are in the process of scaling and are looking for proven IT leaders who have been through these growing pains, learned their lessons, and know how to manage them.

Ireland has the healthiest economic outlook since the days of the Celtic Tiger and this is reflected in the scope of opportunity in the senior IT sector.

James Milligan

James Milligan is senior business director for IT and talent solutions at Hays Ireland

Top job image via Shutterstock

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