Top technology firms seek to fill 2,500 vacancies at Dublin Career Zoo


UNDERLYING THE skills shortage in the technology industry, the bulk of the 2,500 vacancies on offer at this weekend’s Career Zoo event are either from companies in the sector or from firms looking to recruit programmers and other tech specialists.

The event, which takes place in the Mansion House, Dublin, on Saturday and Sunday, is the first in Ireland that Twitter will attend, as the social-media company ramps up recruitment for its European headquarters in Dublin.

Other companies at Career Zoo looking to fill technology roles include Valeo Vision Systems, BioWare, Accenture, AOL, Ericsson, EMC Ireland, Amazon and McAfee.

“The market is quite tight at the moment, so we are looking at all avenues to recruit skilled staff,” said Hilary O’Meara, head of technology with Accenture Ireland.

The management consultants, who are looking to fill 100 vacancies, are attending the show for the first time.

While Accenture uses a variety of methods to find potential staff, including a graduate recruitment programme and online advertising, Ms O’Meara sees benefits from attending a careers fair.

“It enables us to meet candidates face to face,” she said. “Seeing a person is hugely helpful compared to just getting a CV.”

For internet media company AOL, it’s also a case of pursuing all avenues to fill open positions. The US firm currently employs about 170 staff and is looking to increase that to 200.

“For us the problem is that with 30 open positions, and being in discussion with the US for further head count, we need to show we can deliver on the current vacancies,” explains Aengus McClean, vice president at AOL Global Operations.

AOL has vacancies across a range of areas, from publishing to ad delivery, Java to finance. Last year the company completed a move from Citywest on the outskirts to the city centre, and Mr McClean has found this has helped with recruitment.

“Everybody we were competing with for staff was in town,” said Mr McClean. “About 30 per cent of our staff are non-Irish as well and they tend to live in town.”

While acknowledging there is a “skills gap”, Brian Ó hOisín, a director of Career Zoo, believes it is an international issue and other European countries such as Germany are finding it even harder to fill technical jobs.

Mr Ó hOisín has seen a trend for “conversion courses”, whereby an employer works with a third-level college to create a course around the skills they need.

“People who complete the course are practically guaranteed a job, and some of the courses are as short as six months.”

DIT, UCD Smurfit and TCD’s school of business will be among the exhibitors discussing education and retraining options.

This is the third Career Zoo event to have been held since last year.

“We have clients like Amazon and Ericsson who have been at all three, so they are clearly getting what they are looking for,” said Mr Ó hOisín.