New job opportunities for professionals in Ireland decreased slightly by 2pc from 7,250 in January 11 to 7,100 in February 2011. This was however, a 26pc increase on the February 2010 figure of 5,633, the latest Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor report shows.
The report also revealed a decline in professionals beginning their job searches in February this year, decreasing 3pc from 6,595 to 6,380 month-on-month, in comparison to February of 2010, when 15,060 professionals entered the jobs market demonstrating a 58pc decrease.
"This highlights the shortage of skilled workers in specific sectors, for example, demand for multilingual professionals significantly outstrips supply nationwide. In addition, the inflow of international job seekers has slowed, which may have contributed to this decrease," Karen O’Flaherty, CEO of Premier Group Ireland said in relation to this decrease.
O’Flaherty also commented, “Professional job opportunities saw a small month-on-month decline in February 2011. However, the 26pc year-on-year increase in job vacancies suggests that business confidence, which we have seen return in certain niche areas over the past year, is now starting to improve across all sectors in the professional jobs market.
“This increase comes from companies that had essentially frozen hiring since the downturn which are starting to recruit again, albeit modestly. For example, legal, marketing and HR roles are once again coming onto the market from indigenous companies, as anticipated last month. After an extremely challenging few years, we are also seeing a revival in hiring from SMEs. The formation of the new coalition Government will signify a new start for many of these companies, and will hopefully lead to a more stable and visible business landscape.
“February 2011 also marked the ‘return of the counter offer’, another indicator that specific talent is in high demand. There were increasing instances of companies using remuneration offers to outbid each other to retain or attract key professionals. This trend was particularly noticeable in the IT and technical hiring markets, where skills shortages are being felt most acutely."
She also discussed the demand for IT professionals, remarking that professionals with experience in design and development are in high demand over the last 12 months, with continual skills deficits in the areas of Java and .Net.
The Employment Monitor recorded a 35pc increase in IT job vacancies from Q3 10 to Q4 10. "In response to this demand, we have launched a new IT division in our Limerick office. Drawing on the experience of our established IT teams in Cork and Dublin, this specialist division will service the Limerick, Galway and Mid-West areas. We are delighted to be ‘on the ground’ in Limerick in what is a very dynamic time for IT recruitment,” O’Flaherty concluded.