Salaries have increased between 2% and 5% on average this year, reaching up to 10% particularly in the IT sector where there is a skills shortage, according to Brightwater Recruitment’s 2015 annual salary survey. While these increases were anticipated at the outset of the year, the real change for 2014 has been the rise in benefits across small, medium and large organisations, and in all sectors.

Standard types of benefits include:

  • Bonuses from 5% to 20% dependent on individual, and company performance;
  • Healthcare for self, and sometimes family;
  • Car, car allowance, or sometimes car space;
  • Paid professional membership, plus study assistance & study time as standard;
  • Phones & laptops are becoming more standard;
  • Life, critical illness and disability insurance, plus pensions (usually in Financial Services) now more common;
  • Other benefits included everything from gym membership to canteens, but also 40% of respondents said their companies offered some form of flexible working.

We have seen a strong and growing demand for recruitment services over the past eighteen months, proof of the strengthening economy and increasing business confidence. As a consequence there is a growing pressure to attract and retain talent” said David Bloch, Managing Director, Brightwater.

While we are nowhere near 2007 where Ireland employed 2.15 million people (currently 1.93 million) we are growing. We have noticed significantly increased recruitment activity particularly in the banking, legal and accountancy sectors where the firms are recruiting in volume again. Also of interest is the fact that we’re witnessing an encouraging increase in senior level hires across industry and financial services.”  

“At this stage a client does not necessarily have to look beyond their own sector for a specific skill set and it will be an interesting trend to monitor for 2015 as we see the job markets continuing to pick up.”

“We are also noticing a much welcomed and long over-due expansion in the SME sector, a group which has not engaged as much with the senior job market in recent years. This is a very positive indicator and a great boost in confidence for the domestic market. Where companies have remained with either a financial director or financial controller for example, they are now re – hiring the second post due to increased confidence in their markets and their own company results from 2013 into 2014 and beyond.”

“This is resulting in a natural chain reaction. Candidates who did not look for new opportunities throughout the recession are now beginning to look for and consider a career move.”

On a final note, we are pre-empting that counter offers will become more of an issue in 2015 for niche roles with specific and hard to find skill sets. It would be advisable and certainly very cost efficient for companies to look after these people before they approach the market and have in place strong engagement and ongoing communications surrounding career trajectory paths for their current leaders and leaders of the future” said Bloch.

The Brightwater Salary Survey was based on responses from over 800 respondents including employers and candidates. The full report can be viewed here