Talent shortage to hinder employers as job postings surge

New report finds that just 7% of people are urgently looking for a new job at the moment

Employers looking to recruit staff rapidly as they emerge from the pandemic may struggle to attract applicants, based on the findings of a new report published by global jobs site Indeed.

Whilst job postings looking for workers have surged above pre-pandemic levels – indicating a high level of demand from employers – only 7 per cent of people are urgently looking for a new job.

Indeed’s new monthly job search report found that 46 per cent of respondents are not searching for a new job right now, and 29 per cent are not actively looking, although they are open to opportunities.

Of the 25 per cent actively looking for a job, 7 per cent are urgently looking, but for most (18 per cent) the search is not urgent.


People in full-time employment are least likely to be urgently seeking a new role (4 per cent), but even those out of work, or currently in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) “do not appear in a hurry to find a new job”, Indeed said.

“People appear to be biding their time until the right job opportunity presents itself, with 29 per cent of overall respondents saying they will start searching when more opportunities are available,” the company said.

“Others may be waiting for the end of the summer holidays, with 20 per cent saying they wanted to have taken a holiday before looking, and 11 per cent saying they will look when the new school year has started.

Covid fears

“Vaccine concerns are also a factor, with 10 per cent saying they will start job hunting when more people they would be working with are vaccinated and 8 per cent waiting until they or their household are all vaccinated.”

For those without a job, just 34 per cent are actively looking for a role, of which 15 per cent are urgently looking.

For those not urgently searching, care responsibilities, such as parenting (17.9 per cent) and fears about contracting Covid in the workplace (17.6 per cent) are the biggest barriers to seeking jobs.

For the 153,000 people currently in receipt of the PUP, the report indicates that those not urgently searching for work are being held back by family responsibilities (27 per cent) or the expectation they will be able to return to their old job once restrictions lift (23 per cent).

Indeed economist Jack Kennedy said: “Several factors appear to be holding Irish people back from looking for a new job at the moment, even though the demand for labour has rebounded quickly as the pandemic restrictions have eased.

“Family and household responsibilities appear to be an issue, and are a reminder that the barriers to labour market participation posed by access to childcare and caring responsibilities prior to the pandemic are still with us.

“Lingering health concerns look to be another factor in deterring job search, with some preferring to wait until they, their household, or more of their would-be colleagues are vaccinated against Covid-19.

“It also seems people feel they’re likely to have better job options if they wait a bit longer. So while search activity may begin to pick up in the autumn, there’s little sense of urgency among would-be jobseekers right now.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter