Professional jobs up 1.8% in March but war for talent continues

Sharon O'Donnell - 16/04/2018
Press release

Thursday, 11th April 2018

The number of professional job vacancies available in March 2018 increased by 1.8% nationally since February according to the Morgan McKinley Ireland Employment Monitor. Overall, the availability of professional jobs reduced by 10.4% in March 2018 compared to the same month a year ago, mainly due to seasonal factors and unexpected business closures due to adverse weather conditions. 

There was also a reduction of 8.9% in the number of professionals seeking new roles in March (since February). The Monitor also recorded a decrease of 13.5% in the number of professionals actively seeking new job opportunities in March 2018, compared to the same time a year ago. This reflects improving economic conditions and the fact that Ireland’s unemployment rate has fallen to 6.1%.

Quarterly Insight - GDPR recruitment

As the May 25th GDPR deadline looms, before companies must become compliant with new regulations around data protection, there has been a diverse approach by companies over the last quarter to hire the relevant talent required to support IT, legal, marketing and sales, projects and business transformation. Over the last quarter this has ranged from companies hiring permanent data protection officers to contracting GDPR specialists for short-term contract roles to assist with implementing, managing and administering the process.

The most in-demand GDPR related positions include GDPR project managers (contract and permanent), legal specialists in privacy and data protection, GDPR business analysts, showing companies are somewhere between the strategy and implementation phases of their GDPR. These companies are from all sectors of Ireland’s economy including financial services, IT, pharmaceuticals, banking, online and marketing.

Over the next quarter we expect steady opportunities in this area, as well as a new focus on the administration side of GDPR due to the requirement of tasks such as data management and record maintenance.

Morgan McKinley Ireland, Global FDI Director, Trayc Keevans commented:

“There were a number of factors impacting on professionals searching for new opportunities last month. A small proportion of financial services professionals are still waiting for bonus season, which typically falls at the end of the first quarter. Given the performance of 2017 and the jobs coming to market, once bonus season is over, we expect to see an increase in the numbers of professionals looking for their next position. There was a noticeably reduced level of job search activity during the period of severe weather conditions at the beginning of March, as well as the Easter season.

However, plenty of new opportunities lie ahead as more than 1,700 new professional jobs were announced in March with Dublin, Cork and Mid-West seeing the lion’s share. Skills to fulfil these positions are primarily across sales and marketing, SaaS, technical support, quality and manufacturing engineers.

Cork's status as a second financial services hub also had a boost with the announcement of 50 new positions for the sector as well as growing its cybersecurity company cluster with the arrival a leading player in digital security. 

Looking ahead, Ireland is now within striking distance of full employment. As we approach that point, we will see further tightening of the labour supply and more competition for skilled staff. 

To capitalise on global opportunities arising now from Brexit and the large cohort of international talent now looking at Ireland, we need to ensure that the right policies are put into place and executed to ensure that we continue attracting and retaining talented people in Ireland. These policies continue to centre around housing, employment permits and education.

We need to ensure that we develop and maintain a world-class employment permit and education regime and continue to provide a welcoming environment for globally mobile talent. Ultimately, if Ireland is to remain ahead of our international competition we must position ourselves as the global location of choice for international skilled talent.” 

- ENDS -

Professional job volume in Ireland in March 2018

Professional job seeker volume in Ireland in March 2018

About the Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor

The Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market by tracking the number of new job vacancies and new candidates within the Republic of Ireland each month.

Statistical methodology

Monthly new jobs and new candidates

Monthly new jobs and new candidate figures are based on Morgan McKinley’s own monthly records of new permanent job vacancies and new candidates registering with the firm for permanent employment. Statistics for the full market are derived using Morgan McKinley’s own market share.

Job classification

Job vacancies are professional level roles within the following sectors and functions: Banking & Financial Services, Commerce & Industry Finance, Insurance, Public Practice & Tax, legal, HR, IT, Life Sciences, Engineering, Process & Manufacturing, Professional Services, Sales & Marketing, Customer Services, Secretarial & Office Support.


The data is based on new job vacancies and new candidates registered with Morgan McKinley’s network of Irish offices in Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford.

About Morgan McKinley in Ireland

Irish-owned Morgan McKinley is a global professional recruitment consultancy connecting specialist talent with leading employers across multiple industries and disciplines.

With offices across Ireland, the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia, its professional recruitment expertise spans the accounting & finance, financial services, technical and IT sectors. Morgan McKinley is a preferred supplier to most of the major employers in its specialist sectors and thousands of smaller local firms.

In 2016, Morgan McKinley was recognised as one of the top five Best Workplaces in Ireland, in the Great Place to Work Awards. The company also received an award for the best Learning & Development Organisation at the Irish Institute of Training and Development Awards and ranked sixth globally on LinkedIn’s list of the Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agencies.