A report from Eurostat reveals significant growth in Ireland’s employment in the NACE category J62, which encompasses computer programming, consultancy, and related activities. The employment figures surged from around 80,000 at the end of 2019 to nearly 120,000 at the beginning of 2022. This expansion signals a shift from an unsustainable demand for tech talent to a more sustainable level, fostering competitiveness in the market.
While news of layoffs in SaaS technology companies has circulated, traditional sectors such as Finance, Banking, Fintech, and Life Sciences/Biopharma continue to hire at a rapid pace, demonstrating the sector’s resilience. Employers, especially in Fintech, are actively recruiting highly skilled tech professionals and are increasingly open to candidates relocating from Mainland Europe. Competition remains fierce, leading to candidates receiving multiple offers.
Key Areas of Demand:
- Software engineering remains a top priority, with a focus on DevOps, Java, Python, .Net, React, and Angular Js.
- The ongoing digital transformation projects have boosted demand for QA, enabling manual position employees to upskill in areas like SDET and RPA.
- Data-driven decision-making is paramount, with Data Engineering and data science roles in high demand.
- Infrastructure remains critical, with a shift toward serverless environments, driving demand for Site Reliability Engineers, Systems Engineers, Cloud Engineers, and technical support specialists.
- Executive-level IT talent, from Software Engineering Managers to CTOs, continues to be in high demand.
Competitive Packages: To attract top talent, employers must offer competitive base salaries, benefits, and perks aligned with market expectations. Health benefits and pensions are highly sought after. Sign-on bonuses have become more common to secure new hires.
Remote Work: Hybrid working is the preferred model for permanent employees, offering flexibility with 3 days in the office and 2 days remote. Companies are now tailoring work-from-home policies individually. Fully remote work is available to candidates in high-demand areas, with the condition that they are based in the Republic of Ireland.
Contractors: Businesses are increasingly turning to contractors, and this trend is expected to continue in 2023. SMEs are also tapping into the contractor talent pool due to competitive daily rates compared to permanent salaries. Increased demand for contract roles is anticipated in Cloud, Data, and Development.
Higher Rates: Contract rates have been rising due to increased demand, limited talent pool, and competition. Contractors commonly negotiate rate increases upon contract renewal, making recruitment and retention a priority.
Remote Work Beyond Major Cities: Organizations now accept remote work arrangements across Ireland, allowing regional IT Contractors to work for multinational companies in their own cities, with rates on par with those in major cities.
Overall, the IT Contracts job market in 2023 is expected to offer numerous opportunities in infrastructure, development, and data-related roles.