Fifty-eight per cent of HR managers believe salaries will remain the same in their businesses over the course of 2012, according to the Morgan McKinley Ireland Salary Survey.
This compares to 2011, where 64pc of HR managers believed that salaries would remain stable throughout that year.
For 2012, 21pc believe salaries will increase by between 1pc and 5pc. Thirteen per cent believe salaries will decrease by the same amount in the coming year.
The survey was conducted with 584 HR managers in the financial services, professional services, manufacturing and IT industries across the Republic of Ireland.
Almost half have a more positive business outlook for 2012 compared to 2011, with an extra 11pc feeling “significantly more positive” about 2012’s business climate. Thirty-two per cent say their outlook has not changed since 2011.
“Although there is still considerable uncertainty in the market and growth predictions are sombre, the major steps taken last year towards Ireland’s economic recovery have made many professionals feel that it is time to ‘move on’ and work towards a stronger and more stable 2012,” said Karen O’Flaherty, chief operations officer of Morgan McKinley Ireland.
“This increased optimism does not necessarily equate to increased salaries, however, with the majority of respondents expecting salaries within their businesses to remain unchanged over the next 12 months.
“A negligible number of managers surveyed (0.2pc) expect to see salary increases of more than 10pc; it is likely that any significant rises will be within fields where demand for professionals far outstrip supply, for example, IT software developers, multilingual specialists or senior finance professionals,” she said.
Twenty-three per cent of managers believe the biggest human resource challenge for 2012 would be attracting talent. Nineteen per cent said talent retention would be the biggest challenge and 16pc said it would be skills shortages.
Just 4pc of HR managers had concerns about handling redundancies in the next year.
“Taking into account the current mood of austerity and ongoing uncertainty over the euro currency, it may seem strange that talent attraction, talent retention and skills shortages are seen as predominant issues facing human resources managers in 2012,” said O’Flaherty.
“Employers recognise there are still shortages of skilled professionals in certain sectors, so sourcing and retaining top talent within allocated recruitment budgets is a priority, even in this challenging economic climate,” she said.