Majority of Irish employers are trying to combat skills shortages

Some 78 per cent of Irish companies have experienced ‘moderate’ or ‘extreme’ skills shortages over the past 12 months, according to the Hays Ireland Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide published this week.

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent ) plan on recruiting in the next twelve months, but 75 per cent expect finding candidates with the right skills will be the top challenge during the hiring process.

To counteract this problem, more than a third will hire temporary or contract staff to address immediate skills shortages, and 30 per cent will increase training budgets. Some 29 per cent - the majority in construction, the life sciences and tech - will resort to hiring workers from overseas.

The research also revealed that most employees (58 per cent ) are dissatisfied with their salaries and 30 per cent want to leave their job as a result.

Employers are urged to review the importance of work-life balance for their employees. While the majority (58 per cent ) say they have a positive work-life balance, 42 per cent rate it as average or poor. More than one in 10 said they have noticed an increase in absenteeism due to workplace stress.

When factors were split by generation, work-life balance was most important for Generation X (29 per cent ), followed by Generation Y, or Millennials, and Generation Z (both 24 per cent ).

Commenting on the results, Maureen Lynch, director at Hays Ireland, said that organisations need to prioritise workforce planning to avoid persistent skills shortages.

“Not having the right talent available is more than just a short-term operations and admin headache - It’s a serious problem that can undermine revenue streams and stunt growth," she said. "Senior management needs to understand the risks of being chronically short-staffed, mitigate them, and make best use of the solutions available to them, like in-house training or overseas recruitment.

“Businesses need to remain competitive to survive this war for talent, and one key tactic in the fight is developing a strong, distinct brand with a discernible culture, mission statement and vision for the future.”

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