Employers beef up their HR departments in preparation for a war for talent

Growth in fully-remote office roles levelled off late last year, industry figures suggest

The latest jobs index from Irishjobs.ie shows vacancies for roles in the HR sector in the fourth quarter of 2021 were up more than four-fold over the same period a year earlier. Photograph: iStock

The latest jobs index from Irishjobs.ie shows vacancies for roles in the HR sector in the fourth quarter of 2021 were up more than four-fold over the same period a year earlier. Photograph: iStock

 

A curious economic aspect of the pandemic is that even though the State has spent more than €10 billion on subsidies to employers to stop people from being sacked during periods of restriction, the labour market has rarely been tighter. Recruiters these days talk of a “war” for talent.

The battle to hire the best staff over the coming year is illustrated by industry figures that show employers are currently beefing up their human resource departments to cope with the hiring spree.

The latest jobs index from online recruitment advertiser, Irishjobs.ie, shows vacancies for roles in the HR sector in the fourth quarter of 2021 were up more than four-fold over the same period a year earlier.

Overall, there was an 86 per cent annual increase in 2021 Q4 job vacancies across all categories, while the numbers were up more than 43 per cent on pre-Covid levels. The number of vacancies was higher than before the pandemic in 22 out of 30 industrial categories on the jobs site.

There was an enormous increase in Q4 advertised roles in the tourism and travel sector, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic. The annual increase is skewed heavily by the fact that almost no roles were advertised in this sector in Q4 2020 as the restrictions abounded in pre-Covid vaccine times. But in Q4 2021, vacancies in the sector were still 80 per cent ahead of Q4 2019.

Much has been made in the pandemic of the shift to remote working that was initially enforced by the Government, but soon embraced by many workers. But according to the jobs site, the growth in fully-remote roles appears to have hit a “plateau” – it grew by just 4 per cent year on year in Q4 – suggesting many employers still want staff to come back to the office for at least part of the working week once restrictions are lifted.

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