While 2021 was yet again a challenging year, the Office Support, Accountancy and Finance sector seen massive growth throughout the year. While Q1 started off at lower levels of job vacancies than pre-pandemic levels in 2019, Q3 job vacancies were +42% higher than the same period in 2019, and 119% higher year on year.
We are also feeling the positives from Brexit for the Irish labour market with the continued attraction as an EU base for Multinationals due to our highly skilled workforce and now the only native English-speaking country in the EU and UK-based companies who wish to sustain their European operations opening in Ireland.
With working from home restrictions in place for almost 2 full years, Clients and candidates are well adapted to interviewing and onboarding virtually. The shift to home working has also widened the talent pool, enabling companies to engage with higher-skilled talent that may not have been considered previously due to location.
2021 continued to see significant growth across Office Support, Accountancy & Finance for temporary, permanent and contract positions in both the public and private sector. We believe this trend will continue in 2022 with a real demand for temporary, permanent and contract administration positions, customer service, accounts administration, operations support and full / part qualified accountants in the year to come.
2021 has seen a real shortage of candidates particularly with 1-2 years experience across Office Support and Accountancy & Finance. Offices had been closed for so long that companies in 2020 were not hiring Junior candidates and this has created shortages across the sector.
Looking Ahead to 2022
We’ve seen significant salary increases, particularly on the more junior end where starting salaries would typically be around 23-25k now at 25-27K.
Benefits are also hugely important to candidates considering a move, remote working is a key factor in considering a career move.
2021 again saw a sharp increase with the demand for remote working opportunities. Recent surveys show workers are seeking more flexibility post-Covid, with over 90% in this sector looking for a mix of office and remote working with 1-3 days per home each week. Working from home has been a long-discussed practice in Ireland, and the Covid pandemic has certainly accelerated its uptake. However, while the introduction of remote working may be an obvious choice for most employers in the current environment, it must also be a longer-term consideration when managing the return to the workplace.
Other prevalent benefits employees are seeking including above standard 20 days holidays, flexible working hours, health insurance, bonus schemes, pension, and continual learning opportunities. There is also a growing emphasis on company culture and the opportunity to grow and be part of the organisation’s growth.
Much like last year, 2022 looks set to be a challenging but exciting time for the Irish labour market. If you wish to discuss the findings of this guide, or if you need our assistance with your recruitment requirements, please contact Ciara Connolly, Divisional Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.