Professional salaries to remain flat outside of niche in-demand jobs

Demand for workers in customs and trade-related roles is expected to intensify
Professional salaries to remain flat outside of niche in-demand jobs

Only niche roles - such as IT, financial services and customs-related jobs - are likely to see any salary increase this year

Demand for workers in customs and trade-related roles is expected to intensify throughout this year as Brexit pressures persist, with that cohort of the workforce also among the few likely to see any salary increase, according to a survey.

Irish salary levels are likely to remain flat this year, save for increases of around 5% in some niche employment areas, according to recruitment company Morgan McKinley.

Despite the long Brexit lead-in time, many businesses were not fully prepared. 

That has boosted demand for niche skills talent in the areas of customs agents and brokers, shipping managers, customs and trade tax and compliance specialists and clearance agents.

Trucks pass through a customs post at Dublin Port as the new Post Brexit Irish Sea trading arrangements came into operation on New Year's Day. Picture: Niall Carson/PA
Trucks pass through a customs post at Dublin Port as the new Post Brexit Irish Sea trading arrangements came into operation on New Year's Day. Picture: Niall Carson/PA

“The biggest shortage of talent exists across trade and customs where the market could not meet the demand fully in the latter part of 2020 having significant impacts on well-established businesses across e-commerce and distribution,” said Trayc Keevans, Morgan McKinley Ireland’s global foreign direct investment director.

Strong demand also continues to exist for employees in areas such as IT, data analytics, science, financial services and engineering.

"It looks like employees are a little more cautious of the potential of the hiring market and pay rises, when in fact it looks like there will be great opportunities for them through upskilling and applying for new roles either internally or externally,” said Morgan McKinley chief executive Ger Fitzgerald.

The company said both employers and employees are fully prepared for remote working to remain in place for this year, with that set to transform recruitment as it does away with location as a key factor in the decision-making process for new roles.

The Covid crisis has also accelerated plans of the Irish diaspora to return home to be close to family and friends, bringing with them valuable international experience to the local market, Morgan McKinley said.

Trayc Keevans, of Morgan McKinley, says the biggest shortage of talent exists across trade and customs.
Trayc Keevans, of Morgan McKinley, says the biggest shortage of talent exists across trade and customs.

The market for professional talent was split 45% permanent and 55% temporary last year. Morgan McKinley said it expects this mix to continue throughout the first half of 2021.

“In terms of looking for more flexible working options, there appears to be a common need between a significant portion of employers and employees, so contracting will be a key driver of recruitment in 2021," said Mr Fitzgerald.

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