Job postings decline by half due to impact of Covid-19, recruiter says

Pharma and IT sectors need more staff due to drug development and remote working

Job postings have fallen by between 40 and 50 per cent, according to a leading recruitment agency, although “green shoots” are starting to emerge.

As companies adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, and its impact on the working world, Brightwater Recruitment has seen that the attitude toward recruitment is starting to shift, having fallen off a cliff when the Statewide lockdown was imposed.

Barbara McGrath, Brightwater’s managing director, noted that the significant fall in available jobs was down to a decline for those postings with a salary below €99,000.

However, Ms McGrath said the company is starting to see growth in certain area. “Businesses have a realisation that we’re not going back to the way we were and the business needs are still there,” she said.


Areas such as manufacturing and healthcare have all seen growth in staff requirements, she said, while the accounting and legal sectors have both seen recruitment being frozen.

Brexit brake

Executive recruitment has, meanwhile, remained somewhat subdued, she said, noting that Brexit caused a problem in 2019 which was never quite resolved once the Covid-19 pandemic emerged.

Orla Moran, general manger of, noted that there was a more than 70 per cent increase in job postings in the science and pharma sectors in March while overall, there was a 37 per cent decline in vacancies that month.

“If I was to summarise, I’d say recruitment is down but not out,” Ms Moran told The Irish Times.

Companies working on Covid-19 diagnostics or treatment solutions such as Mylan and Medtronic are understood to be among those in the pharma sphere requiring more staff.

Brightwater said the trend in remote working has led to a 20 per cent increase in roles available in IT. “The demand for tech support is so huge,” noted Ms McGrath.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business