High-tech sector scores substantial job gains
With the arrival of well-known names and emerging firms, the future looks bright
The downturn may have hit the Irish economy hard, but there was at least one sector that continued to show some growth: the high-tech industry in Ireland continued to generate new jobs in 2012 as State agencies collaborated to bring new companies to the country.
2011 had been a tough act to follow, with 4,000 new jobs announced throughout that year. But announcements came thick and fast in the past 12 months, as more firms were attracted by the big names already operating in Ireland.
Joining the crop of established technology firms – Google, Intel, Microsoft – and newer recruits such as Facebook and LinkedIn, the reasons given by each of the firms were nothing new. Some cited the talent pool available, others were more concerned by the ease of access to European markets and the proximity to the US. A favourable tax environment and the co-operation of Government were also frequently given as reasons for choosing Ireland over the competition.
The arrivals were a mixture of well-known names and emerging firms targeted by IDA Ireland as the agency sought to lay foundations for future growth. The new entrants were part of a larger campaign to grow the high-tech sector in Ireland.
One of the best-known names to arrive in 2012 was microblogging site Twitter. The announcement that it would open here was made in 2011, but it was only early last year that the site began recruiting in any significant way.
An air of mystery initially sprang up around the location of Twitter, although it is now known that it is operating in Dublin’s Harcourt Road – Google Ireland’s former location.
The Dublin office was the third Twitter had opened outside the US and it continued to expand throughout 2012. At the CareerZoo event in the Convention Centre, the company was one of several seeking to expand its pool of employees, inviting potential applicants to join the company to be among the first 50 employees in the office.
But Twitter wasn’t the only big brand lured to Ireland. In November, LogMeIn said it was opening a new office that would employ up to 50 people within a year in Dublin. The company, which allows users to access computers and files remotely, started recruiting immediately for sales, customer support, marketing, finance and human resources staff.
Marketing software company Hubspot has earmarked at least $5 million (€3.8 million)in investment for Ireland as it seeks to grow its international base. The company is establishing a 150-strong workforce in Dublin over the next three years to oversee its international operations. The office will be responsible for supporting more than 600 customers and 100 resellers.