Dublin continuing to lose out in global tech talent wars

Ireland simply not doing enough to attract senior IT staff, claims recruitment expert


Dublin may harbour ambitions to be a leading tech hub but its failure to attract senior IT professionals means it has a long way to go before it is competing with other cities globally, a leading recruitment specialist has said.

Raj Mukherjee, senior vice-president of product at international recruitment website Indeed, said that while the foundations were in place for Dublin to become a player on the world stage, more needed to be done to entice mid-career tech specialists to Ireland.

“Dublin is not going to become a global tech hub by itself tomorrow. It has been very good at attracting talent but it is junior talent. If you’re looking for a short-term gig then Dublin is very attractive but if the city is to compete with other cities then it must entice experienced candidates who are looking to settle here for maybe 10 to 15 years,” said Mr Mukherjee.

“There are lots of advantages for Dublin but it is not doing a very good job of highlighting all the many benefits of living here for senior professionals. There are few stories as to why Dublin is an attractive destination for a mid-career professional looking to relocate” he added.

Mr Mukherjee was speaking to The Irish Times on a recent visit to Dublin, where he announced details of Indeed’s new Prime service.

Listen to Inside Business

Brexit effect

According to data from Indeed, searches from job candidates seeking to move from the UK to Ireland has gone up 11 per cent since the Brexit vote. Mr Mukherjee said this was evidence of the opportunity that exists for the Irish capital if the right steps are taken.

Data from Indeed shows one in 11 jobs posted on its Irish website is a tech role. Jobseeker interest in junior tech roles has increased by 43 per cent over the last two years with the average age of applicants being 25.

Despite strong interest in junior roles, senior roles remain hard to fill, however, particularly in areas such as software development.

“The Government seriously needs to think about what incentives it is offering to drive people to uproot their lives and move to Ireland by comparing what is on offer in other cities over the longer term,” said Mr Mukherjee.

Indeed, which announced plans to double headcount to more than 1,000 people at its European headquarters in Dublin earlier this year, opened its first office in the capital in March 2012. However, while the company has grown rapidly locally in recent years, Mr Mukherjee warned that Dublin’s failure to attract senior talent could see it lose out on future expansion plans.

Raj Mukherjee, senior vice-president of product at international recruitment website Indeed.
Raj Mukherjee, senior vice-president of product at international recruitment website Indeed.

“We love Dublin. We have made it our European HQ for sales and marketing and customer services and if the opportunity arises we have every desire to do more but it has to make business sense,” Mr Mukherjee said.

“From our perspective right now, we have tech centres in the US and Tokyo. Over time we will likely expand on that and open a centre in Europe. Dublin is obviously on the list of cities that Indeed would look at for expansion but right now it isn’t the number one choice,” he said.

Mr Mukherjee also warned that attempts to gain junior talent would be at risk if more was not done to solve issues such as the lack of housing supply and the rising cost of living here.