Tech talent shortage remains as more candidates reject Dublin

New report shows dearth of candidates as professionals opt for other European cities

The tech talent shortage continues unabated, according to a new survey that highlights a dearth of experienced candidates in Ireland.

A new report from Prosperity, a Dublin-based recruitment company that focuses on hiring technology specialists, states that demand for candidates remains strong.

It says there is “an acute shortage” of developers, with UI designers and user experience design candidates in short supply.

"While there are headwinds, there does remain considerable hiring activity in the Irish digital and tech sectors," said Prosperity's managing director, Gary Mullan.


“The recessionary pressures of former years have eased, if not evaporated, and companies here are generally underpinned by sound financials and projections, or indeed international profiles,” he added.

The study shows that a growth in algorithm-driven advertising is leading to a shortage of qualified developers, with most roles being filled from candidates based overseas. In addition, there is a big demand for marketing and content-related positions such as pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists, brand managers and content professionals.

Primary challenge

On the agency side, the recruitment specialist reports strong demand for strategic planners, web usability experts, analytics specialists and digital account managers.

Prosperity, which said it was seeing a substantial number of foreign candidates rejecting a move to Ireland because of the rental crisis, said many Irish-based digital and technology companies are in expansion mode.

“Sourcing talent is often their primary challenge, and if that challenge cannot be addressed, many of these companies can suffer an impediment to growth and even viability,” said Mr Mullan.

“That challenge is being met with strong salaries, benefits, sponsorship, relocation packages, and in many cases the opportunity for candidates to align their career with strong brands or highly innovative digital services and products,” he added.

Mr Mullan said Irish employers were increasingly willing to sponsor non-EU job applicants.

However, many companies face an uphill struggle as candidates from outside Ireland increasingly prefer cities such as Paris, Berlin and Lisbon over Dublin, due to cheaper prices.

“It can be argued that Ireland often compares favourably on income tax, but we find that candidates in job-seeking mode tend to look at the headline comparisons – such as the cost of rent and gross salary – and give little consideration to how actual take-home pay compares between one country and another,” said Mr Mullan.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist