Why are finance professionals leaving Ireland and what can businesses do to retain them

Sarah Fallon our consultant managing the role

Why are so many finance and accountancy professionals leaving Ireland in favour of Australia? 

The Australian economy has been ranked as the world’s most resilient for six years and is currently one of the best performing economies in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and another major attraction is the laid-back lifestyle. With the low cost of living, affordable quality housing, extensive healthcare benefits and one of the best education and social systems in the world, Australia has a lot to offer. 

Locations of Key businesses in Australia include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. Australia is a leading financial centre in the Asia Pacific region and has alliances with markets throughout the region and provides businesspeople with a comprehensive range of financial services. As Richard Stokes, contact member for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia says: "Our members continue to find good career challenges and opportunities in Australia as well as enjoying the lifestyle. We have around 3,500 members here and we are ICAEW’s largest group of UK-qualified members based outside the UK. The local economy continues to expand while many other world economies struggle."

The economic crisis put a lot of pressure on financial service professionals, many choosing to seek brighter futures overseas. This has meant we are now experiencing a skills shortage in Irish finance as we have too many jobs and too few suitable candidates. However, this candidate short, job rich market is perfect for those looking to move roles domestically.   

With industry and regulatory change driving demand for talent across the  finance industry in Ireland, employers are finding themselves continuously in need of the right professionals to help them meet their business objectives. We have recently talked about how Irish businesses can attract diverse talent. Indeed, the vast majority (92%) of Irish employers overall have experienced skills shortages in the last year.

Why should people want to stay in Ireland?  

If you have established your career in Australia, you may be reluctant to take the plunge and make the move back to Ireland. There are many reasons, however, why relocating to Dublin or one of the other financial hubs in Ireland would be great for your professional and personal life.
Ireland is a talent hub for Financial Services, one that experienced incredible success over the last few years. 250 of the world’s leading financial firms and half of the world’s top 50 banks, including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, State Street, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, and JP Morgan, have internationally focused operations here.  

There is no doubt that the availability of jobs attracts applicants, but so too is the quality of life you can enjoy. Cities like Dublin, Galway Cork and Limerick boast a vibrant social scene, perfect for those who want to balance challenging work with hard play after working hours.

A big draw also for many, of course, is the high salaries and benefits you can enjoy in the Financial Services sector in Ireland. As a result of recent growth, the industry is experiencing a skills gap, with too few talented candidates to fill the newly created roles. Financial Services companies are willing to offer extremely competitive packages to the right candidates, no matter where they are currently located.

What can businesses do to stop the “brain drain”? 

The steps businesses can do to prevent brain drain is developing a culture of support. Showing that you value continual learning and people’s ability to step in during a crisis. Both the employer and the employee should feel that their efforts are recognised and appreciated. 

In a recent article we recommended making workplaces accessible for everyone, especially those with invisible disabilities. Hidden disabilities can include physical ailments, from hearing loss to chronic pain or visual impairment. They can also be neurological – learning disabilities, autism, epilepsy, and others. They can even be mental – depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc.

A key campaign highlighting the need to make Irish workspaces for everyone came from Irish jobs a leading job board in Ireland and AsIAm.ie, an autism awareness charity, issued guidelines to help employers make their workplaces more inclusive for neurodivergent people.  

How can Marks Sattin help Irish citizens looking to return from abroad 

Irish jobs is the go-to website for finding work opportunities in Ireland, but the Marks Sattin team in Ireland is also a great place to start your search. 

As a long-established finance and accountancy recruitment specialist, we have unparalleled access to a broad range of finance and accounting roles to fit your personality and skills. Our consultants have in-depth knowledge of trends, packages, and can effectively consult on your career journey.

If you would like to discuss any of the above and understand what our finance recruitment agency can offer you, please reach out to me. Alternatively, if you are looking to start your finance and accountancy career, check out our latest finance and accounting vacancies. 
28/02/23
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