Salaries for in-demand and emerging niche skill sets will increase by up to 5% this year, according to the Morgan McKinley Irish Salary Guide.
The new guide shows that most salaries are likely to remain flat throughout 2021.
Overall, in 2020, the market for professional talent was split 45% permanent and 55% temporary.
According to Morgan McKinley, this mix is expected to continue throughout the first half of 2021.
The report states that the permanent market continues to hold strong, with consistent demand in the banking, financial services, ecommerce, retail and FMCG sectors.
It expects contract hiring in the technology space to be most prevalent in large scale tech businesses and government bodies.
Morgan McKinley said companies remain under pressure to attract qualified professionals with skills from outside of Ireland.
It said this is most prevalent in the IT, Data Analytics, Science, Financial Services, and Engineering disciplines.
Ger Fitzgerald, CEO of Morgan McKinley said their survey results show that employers are looking to adapt and stay competitive, by hiring for new skills and also retaining current employees by offering pay rises when appropriate.
“It looks like employees are a little more cautious of the potential of the hiring market and pay rises, when in fact it looks like there will be great opportunities for them through upskilling and applying for new roles either internally or externally.
“In terms of looking for more flexible working options, there appears to be a common need between a significant portion of employers and employees, so contracting will be a key driver of recruitment in 2021.
“Finally, both employers and employees are prepared for remote working to remain in place for 2021, which actually transforms the recruitment market because location is no longer as big a factor in the decision-making process for new roles,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
Trayc Keevans, Global FDI Director at Morgan McKinley Ireland, said that Brexit combined with Covid-19 has created a “perfect storm” in the demand for talent in the supply chain and procurement disciplines.
“Covid-19 created a sharp shock to global supply chains resulting in complete restructures to mitigate against over-reliance on a limited number of suppliers and countries of origin.
“As a result, the life sciences sectors as well as the food sector continued to hire extensively in this space and this is expected to continue through 2021, particularly for senior supply chain talent with global experience.
“There are also expectations of continued growth in demand for contingent labour particularly in pharma manufacturing, food production and warehousing,” she said.
According to Ms Keevans, the biggest shortage of talent exists across trade and customs.
“The market could not meet the demand fully in the latter part of 2020 having significant impacts on well established businesses across ecommerce and distribution,” she said.
Despite the long lead-in time to Brexit, Ms Keevans said the market is showing that a lot of businesses adopted a “wait and see” approach that meant they were not prepared.
“The intense demand for all types of customs and trade related talent includes Customs Agents, Clearance Agents, Customs Brokers, Shipping and Customs Managers, Trade and Customs Tax Specialists, Customs Compliance specialists etc. and this will continue with pace throughout 2021 and we expect to see salary inflation for talent in this space,” she said.
Ms Keevans said the reaching of a Brexit agreement has also seen the activation of many financial services companies plans to hire here.
“From January 1, 2021, UK-based firms have lost the so-called passporting rights which allowed them to freely trade across the bloc.
“Many UK firms have set up operations in the EU to carry on serving customers in the single market, in the absence of equivalence rulings that would allow cross-border trade.
“Such companies in Ireland are required by the Central Bank to have onsite risk and compliance designated roles, therefore demand is now strong for talent in this area, specifically for Operational Risk and Enterprise Risk Managers,” she said.