What’s in store for Ireland’s hiring market in 2021?

Matthew Fitzpatrick our consultant managing the role

I think we can all agree on a less than fond farewell to 2020, and a warm, but cautionary welcome to 2021! While I’m not one to dwell on the past, I think it can be useful to reflect on the hiring trends of last year in order to understand and anticipate some factors that may impact the market this year. 

As we know, when the pandemic hit last year, everything went on pause - pretty much all hiring processes went on hold as we all tried to understand the economic impact - cue no hiring! As time went on and restrictions eased, this abated slightly, however it was only in Q4 2020 when employment opportunities began to return across finance, technology, project management and consultancy. 

A trend we are noticing now is that expectation levels on job fit have jumped considerably, clients are being more particular than usual. The consensus from clients is that unemployment is high, which is the case for some industries and demographic groups, 

however, that has not translated drastically into the realm of professional job opportunities, where it’s business as usual to a large extent. January 2021 sees us still in a “full employment” market across the professional services landscape."


I am pleased to report that our business has enjoyed a very strong start to the year with plenty of jobs and activity. Throughout Q1, we would expect to see investment return, projects to gear up once again, and digital transformation will restart, or start at pace.  Coupled with the above, pent up demand will likely see a sizeable increase in hiring levels from March/April onwards as the vaccine roll-out begins to take hold. 

An influx of Irish professionals

We are likely to see an influx of professionals returning to Irish shores throughout H1 this year. From speaking to candidates who are based abroad at the moment, the pandemic has given impetus to return home, perhaps a little faster than they originally planned. We are expecting to see a similar trend with candidates returning from the UK, driven by Brexit finally coming to fruition. EU regulators want certain business conducted in the EU, meaning Ireland’s financial services industry could have much to gain

In summary, there will be a demonstrable increase in opportunities in the Irish professional jobs market which we believe will coincide with strong talent returning to the country from overseas, where they will have gained invaluable experience. 

These factors point to a busy period of business and economic growth as we begin to get back on track in 2021 and beyond. Professionals will have plenty of opportunity, and firms will need to be agile in their hiring practices to secure the talent that is required to deliver on ambitious plans.

20/01/21
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