Irish Graduate Recruitment Set To Rebound After Fall In Hiring In 2020

  • Steep fall in hiring recorded due to pandemic, with -38% year-on-year fall last July for 2020 graduates
  • Marked increase in remote positions available for graduates, with almost 10% of entry level positions in Q1 2021 offering remote working option
  • Jobs on the rise reflective of demands of Ireland’s pandemic economy, with tech and healthcare sectors driving recruitment 

Dublin, Wednesday June 23rd – New data published today by LinkedIn has revealed the impact of Covid-19 on graduates in 2020, with the pandemic severely impacting their likelihood of employment, with a -38% year-over-year drop in hiring July last year based on the LinkedIn Hiring Rate*. The outlook for 2021 graduates, however, is more positive as a recovery in the graduate jobs market is evident. By November, hiring for the 2020 cohort was actually 6.1% higher than for the 2019 cohort in the previous November.

The rebound in recruitment is reflective of Ireland’s pandemic recovery with momentum behind certain sectors like the tech industry continuing and a spike in demand in healthcare related areas. The most in-demand positions are reflective of an economy on the rebound and a tech sector that continues to boom. The most popular role advertised in the first three months of 2021 was for Software Engineers. The demand for remote working opportunities is particularly evident in the tech sector, with 19.8% of all the Software Engineer roles available to graduates offering a remote work option.

While Covid-19 restrictions may have begun to unwind, the impact on Irish work life is evident with a tenfold increase in remote working positions available. Remote jobs accounted for 9.2% of all graduate level positions advertised between January – March 2021, up from 0.9% during the same period last year. While this reflects a changed way of working, it also poses unique challenges for employers to ensure that they maintain their company culture and provide good experiences to graduates who may not physically meet colleagues when they take up their new roles. 

Commenting on the graduate jobs data, Sharon McCooey, Head of LinkedIn Ireland, said: “Ireland’s graduating class of 2021 is entering a jobs market that has been fundamentally impacted by Covid-19, with young professionals bearing the brunt more than any other demographic. Despite this there are signs for optimism, with the hiring rate for the class of 2020 recovering to pre-pandemic levels last November, which bodes well for this year’s graduates.”

Graduates are entering a jobs market which has drastically changed during the pandemic, with certain sectors such as hospitality and travel still feeling the effects, while others like the technology and healthcare industries going from strength-to-strength. Our data highlights the increased demand for digital skills, but also reflects a changed way of working as more positions with remote working opportunities available. This represents a unique challenge to employers to ensure that their onboarding process is as seamless for colleagues working remotely, as it is for colleagues who return to the office.”


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