War on talent: recruiter roles skyrocket as flexible working demand not abating any time soonBlathnaid O’Deaon January 20, 2022 at 06:00 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Ireland’s employers are preparing for a war on talent, as recent figures and analysis from both the Irish Jobs’ latest jobs index and the CSO suggest.

Irish Jobs’ latest index, which was released today, showed that talent acquisition and HR roles saw a 420pc year-on-year increase in Q4 2021.

“2021 was a particularly busy year for recruitment and we anticipate this trend will continue in 2022,” said Orla Moran, the organisation’s general manager.

“It is perhaps telling that some of the most pronounced growth is in the recruitment, retention and HR space. This suggests that employers are acutely aware of how competitive the talent market is and are moving quickly to put the necessary internal resources in place to support and advance their recruitment and retention ambitions in 2022.”

Moran added that 2022’s recruitment landscape was “shaping up to be a strong, candidate led market.”

The figures from the CSO’s Pulse Survey ‘Our Lives Online: Remote Work November 2021’ published on 18 January corroborated Moran’s comments regarding a candidate-led market.

The CSO found that 90pc of those aged 35-44 years who could work remotely would like to do so when pandemic restrictions end. The Our Lives Online survey used an online electronic questionnaire which was available between 02 November and 16 November 2021. It received 10,797 responses relating to remote working from those aged 18 years and older living in the Republic of Ireland.

Commenting on the results, CSO statistician Dermot Kinane said that since 2020, “the work conditions of those in employment in Ireland has changed dramatically with access to workplaces restricted as part of public health measures.

Kinane referred to the change in working culture’s impact on workers over the past two years. “Overall, almost three in four (74pc) who work remotely said they feel they had more time on their hands, because of remote work, to do things they never got the chance to do before the pandemic.”

According to Moran, the continuation of the candidate-led jobs market would mean HR departments will be tasked with managing the change, “including the development of remote- and hybrid-working policies and logistics, employee engagement programmes and new remote onboarding and internal training processes.”

Fully remote work vacancies increased by a modest 4pc year-on-year in 2021, according to the Irish Jobs index. Moran said that people working in talent acquisition sector would continue to be in demand during 2022 to cope with the demand for talent among employers.

“Remote and hybrid-working trends [have] been a reoccurring talking point over the last 12 months… Fully remote vacancies [will] continue to grow as a category, but the rate of growth appears to have plateaued in recent months.

“This possibly suggests that while many employers are very supportive of remote working strategies in the short to medium term, there is still a reluctance to 100pc commit to it on a permanent basis, until there is a greater understanding of its long-term impact on working cultures and productivity.

“However, flexible working has become a more in-demand option for job seekers since the onset of the pandemic, therefore it may become a requirement for those looking to attract the best talent,” Moran said.

“Underlying these new challenges and ways of working is the constant goal of maintaining organisational performance and keeping your best people. The increase in HR and talent acquisition roles that we’ve seen in recent months is a clear reflection of the strategic priorities shared by many Irish-based employers as we enter the New Year. In other words, there is a clear recognition on the part of employers that candidates are sitting firmly in the driving seat for 2022.

“The war on talent is only set to intensify. For employers who are looking to maintain a competitive edge in the market for the year ahead, they must therefore ensure that they are meeting the evolving needs of existing employees and prospective candidates within their field,” concluded Moran.

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