More employers offering remote and hybrid working options

Hiring in Irish labour market recovering with flexible working more common

Hiring rates in the Irish labour market saw continued strong recovery, and remote working opportunities continue to grow, a new report has found.

IDA Ireland's Labour Market Pulse report, which is compiled in partnership with Microsoft and LinkedIn, looked at activity for the three-month period between October and December 2021.

It found ongoing growth in the number of employers offering remote and hybrid working options, with almost one in five Irish job postings on LinkedIn in December offering the option of flexible work. That’s a rise from the one in seven job postings seen in the previous quarter.

The final months of 2021 saw a continued recovery in hiring rates, rising 22 per cent in the final two months of the year compared with the same period in 2019, before the pandemic began. That rise came despite the rectrictions that were still in place. Data from LinkedIn indicates that this momentum has continued into the early part of 2022, with hiring rates up an average of 28 per cent compared to 2019.

That strong recovery, said LinkedIn Ireland head Sharon McCooey, was a positive way to close out 2021.

“Globally we are at a unique inflection point with people re-evaluating how, where and why they work - and Ireland is no different as we can see from the heightened activity across our two million strong membership,” she said.

“With recovery evident, and a growing number of opportunities across the length and breadth of the country, it is very much a jobseeker’s market. In order to continue to attract the best talent, employers need to continue to offering the same level of flexibility that people have become accustomed to over the past two years.”

IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan welcomed the increase in flexible working opportunities, saying it allowed employers to tap into the talent base across all regions of Ireland.

“Balanced regional investment is a key pillar of IDA’s strategy so the increase in employment across all regions is important and our focus is to maintain and build on our very strong 2021 annual results.”

The report also revealed a number of trends across the sectors, with those more exposed to the impacts of Covid-19 are showing signs of recovery, with less exposed sectors building on growth seen in the first year of the pandemic.

The consumer goods and retail sectors showed particularly strong growth, with the share of job postings on LinkedIn by companies in Ireland showing increases of 106 per cent and 45 per cent respectively between 2020 and 2021.

The software and IT Services industry group saw a 22 per cent increase, and the finance industry gained 9 per cent. The manufacturing sector’s share of total job postings fell, but showed a year on year increase in volume.

James O’Connor, vice president of Microsoft International Operations, said the report revealed an interesting trend on the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

“The growth in the number of job postings that include the option to work remotely demonstrates the degree to which the Irish economy is continuing to digitally transform. It’s clear, an increasing number of Irish-based employers are providing greater flexibility to employees who are seeking to embrace this new era of hybrid working,” he said.

“In a climate where employers continue to face challenges in terms of attracting and retaining talent, it’s hugely positive to see hiring rates continue to grow and sectors that were more exposed to the challenges of Covid-19 begin to recover. By way of the Labour Market Pulse, we want to give employers insights into the latest trends within the Irish jobs market, and to help policymakers to identify the in-demand skills that are required to support an inclusive recovery and the ongoing digital transformation of the economy.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist