Year expected to start slow but strong demand develop in second half of year
Strong demand for skilled personnel anticipated in healthcare, IT, life sciences and construction
Total number of roles posted dropped by 36% in 2020
Irish recruitment company, FRS Recruitment is forecasting a 25% increase in job postings over the course of the 2021, as the economy stabilises following the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. They anticipate that it will be a year of two halves, starting slowly but the rollout of the vaccine will bring confidence back to the market and that will create a strong pipeline of employment opportunities as businesses seek extra resources in the second half of the year.
Demand for healthcare workers is likely to see overseas based candidates come back into consideration and there will be a continued demand for skilled IT personnel. Other sectors likely to experience a strong increase in demand include roles in construction, life science as well as for temporary commercial and industrial personnel.
These forecasts were published in FRS Recruitment’s 2020 Review and 2021 Trend Forecast, entitled From Job Security to Opportunity.
The report also showed that the expected increase in roles next year will mark a change from 2020, when the number of job postings dropped by 36% on the previous 12 months. By sector, the largest drop in opportunities were in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (down 75%); Hotel and Hospitality (down 61.9%) and Banking and Financial Services (down 58.2%). Although most sectors experienced a drop in the number of opportunities available, certain sectors actually recorded an increase, such as IT Support Services (up 174.1%) and private sector healthcare (up 42.2%).
There were also significant regional variations in recruitment opportunities during 2020. Despite the nationwide drop in opportunities, FRS recorded an increase in the number of vacancies in 12 of the Republic’s 26 counties last year. The largest percentage increases were in Roscommon (up 115.4%), Wexford (up 36.1%) and Kildare (up 26.9%). The greatest decrease came in Westmeath (down 34.3%), followed by Leitrim (down 33.3%) and Dublin (28.3%).
Although FRS noted a significant number of people were reluctant to change role during 2020 as they sought to maintain job security during the pandemic, the number of applications received by FRS actually increased by 2.8% reaching 151,131 responses.
“There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for many sections of the economy and this had a direct impact on recruitment trends over the last 12 months,” said Colin Donnery, General Manager of FRS Recruitment. “While the pandemic did create opportunities for some sectors, notably healthcare and IT, the mindset across the wider economy was more conservative with many companies and organisations implementing temporary hiring freezes.
“Next year should see a completely different recruitment environment. We anticipate the year will begin slowly as the continued uncertainty around lockdowns, and to a lesser extent Brexit, takes its toll. However, the rollout of the vaccine and pressure on existing human resources is likely to see a strong demand for more personnel as the year progresses. This demand will be across most sectors, although we anticipate particular need in healthcare, IT, construction, life sciences as well as temporary roles in commercial and industrial. It will be a year of two halves, but the overall employment trends should track ahead of 2020.
“We are also forecasting pressure on salaries over the course of the year as motivation switches from job security to seeking better conditions. Another expected change will see a move towards more blended, hybrid roles advertised in 2021, with positions covering a wide range of functions and disciplines as employers seek to cover a number of different gaps in their operations. Employers will also need to grapple with pressure from workers to provide remote work opportunities. It will be a significant challenge to juggle performance management, reduced collaboration, health and safety concerns and the costs of maintaining a hybrid organisation.
“While there will still be sectoral and regional variations we strongly expect to see a markedly improved recruitment picture in 2021,” Mr. Donnery concluded.
FRS Recruitment is one of the leading recruitment businesses operating in Ireland. They have 10 offices nationwide, with locations in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Tipperary, Limerick, Kerry, Kilkenny, Offaly, Cavan and Roscommon. A 100% Irish business, FRS Recruitment is part of the FRS Network – the social enterprise co-operative. Further information is available on www.frsrecruitment.com