A “dazzling” wage inflation “not enough to attract workers to fill roles”


“If you saw some of the numbers being paid right now, your eyes would pop out of your head,” says Michael Nolan, audit partner in Grant Thornton’s office in Cork.

Wing inflation is triggered by a bidding war for new hires in recent months, he said. Grant Thornton is recruiting for positions in technology and financial services, two of the sectors where the issue of wages is concentrated.

The accounting and professional services firm plans to hire more than 1,000 recruits in seven offices over the next three years. He has 15 open positions in a technical change team for the banking sector in the Cork office.

Mr. Nolan “trawls everywhere” in search of candidates in IT project management. The office has seconded its own staff to fill roles for clients. Employers offer wages up to 20% higher than the old rate in force, as well as great flexibility.

“If the going rate goes up dramatically, are we going to pay it? In some cases we are, in some cases we are not. We are in the field of talent. If there is talent we want, we have to get it.

“But the measures would not be crazy. We are accountants after all.

New hires for tech jobs are the hardest to find, according to an analysis of the Jobs website. Independent Irish.

In total, 64% of listings for the most sought-after position, the Machine Learning Engineer Computer Programmer role, were still open after 60 days.

Employers in sectors that were severely affected during the pandemic, including the hotel industry, are also struggling to recruit: 16 pc of chef, bartender and restaurant employee positions on Indeed
website were not populated after two months. Indeed economist Jack Kennedy said overall job vacancies in Ireland were 53% above pre-pandemic levels.

He said “the tightening labor market” is being felt in many sectors as employers try to increase staff after stagnating last year. People are also increasingly selective about work.

The most common reasons respondents gave for the lack of urgency in taking a job were family responsibilities, but the ability to cope with a partner’s income, their own “financial cushions”,
also presented, as well as concerns related to Covid-19.

The Ballygarry Estate hotel in Tralee employs 150 people. Owner Padraig McGillicuddy wants the work permit system to be extended. He said catering staff and spa therapists are hard to find.

He has just recruited a chef from Bangladesh.

“There is a global shortage,” he said. “They need 900,000 hotel workers in the United States. I have a relative who is trying to launch a ship on the Mississippi and cannot find a recruiting company to do it.

He claimed that a generation got “free money” in the form of pandemic unemployment benefit. However, he said the payment had also been a lifeline for many other households.

“I’m talking about a single demographic living at home with mom and dad with no expenses,” he said. “We cannot employ young people between the ages of 19 and 23.

Noel Keane, of the Croí restaurant in Tralee, is one of the exceptions. Kerry had one of the highest proportions of PUP seekers in the country, but all of her kitchen staff have returned. “I increased the kitchen team by three and had multiple applications for each position,” he said.

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