By @SimonCocking

Green shoots are coming up, and it might be more than just the crocuses and daffodils here in Dublin. It’s always hard to say definitively if the recession is over. Overseas observers are suggesting it could be. It’s understandable here on the ground in Ireland to be more cautious about making over optimistic statements, after all it’s been a tough decade so far. The latest Morgan McKinley report suggests there are a lot of positive signs.

MORGAN McKINLEY 2015 Irish Salary and Benefits Guide

Salaries: Salary increases of 5%-10% are anticipated for specialist positions in a range of sectors including Life Sciences, IT, Accounting & Finance, Legal, Insurance, Science and Engineering.

Talent: Digital Media, ICT, Life Sciences, Engineering and Financial Services professionals will be most in demand in 2015.

Returning emigrants: More Irish emigrants are returning home confident of securing employment as the professional recruitment market rebounds.

Inward Investment: IDA Ireland had a record year with 15,012 new jobs created and 174,488 professional’s employed in 1150+ client firms – the highest on record.

See Guide here

January 2015: The Morgan McKinley 2015 Irish Salary & Benefits Guide has revealed a more confident employment market. Digital Media, ICT, Engineering, Life Sciences and Financial Services professionals are most in demand while Multilingual and Sales professionals with pan-European/global experience, and marketing experts with online and digital knowledge, will continue to be sought after. In the IT sector the increase in high profile cyber-attacks has driven demand for security professionals.The news that insolvency and corporate restructuring is the one business area within accountancy firms which has ceased to grow is a further indication of the strength of the recovery in the economy.

“This is the first time for many years that we have been able to report a buoyant recruitment market across all sectors and professions”, said Morgan McKinley, Director of Inward Investment, Trayc Keevans.

Sector highlights


  • Ireland has been evolving to become the European hub for Multilingual operations and more recently this has extended to support global markets. There are more than 30 internationally recognised languages spoken amongst the multilingual population here with almost double that in indigenous regional and minority dialects. International companies are availing of that growing talent pool to service global markets from an Irish base.

Life Sciences

  • Ireland’s move from manufacturing to a knowledge led economy is being facilitated by the more than 50% of employees who are graduates, while a quarter of all PhD researchers in Irish industry are employed in the Life Sciences sector and this number has been growing as Ireland moves up the value chain in service offerings.

Accounting & Finance

  • Commercially focused accountants that can provide value add analysis rather than retrospective financial reporting are in demand for companies in growth mode.
  • There is a steady demand from multinationals for qualified accountants with SOX control and US GAAP/IFRS experience.

Financial Services & Banking

  • New business is now the focus for the majority of banks and this is driving demand for sales, market and product development professionals.
  • The retail banks have started to lift salary freezes in response to improving market conditions.


  • There is particular demand for hedge fund and private equity expertise at present.
  • Employers have remained committed to yearly salary reviews which are linked to performance and tenure.


  • Recruitment across the insurance industry has remained buoyant with individuals with innovative products/commercialisation of a product experience in particularly high demand.

Tax and Practice

  • 2014 was the first year where all tax specialisms were in demand, not just the core areas of corporate and indirect taxes. International expertise is increasingly sought after.
  • The only area of employment that hasn’t experienced growth in the past 12 months has been within Corporate Recovery & Restructuring.


  • There was a welcome return to hiring in the legal sector throughout 2014 which has positioned the sector well for further growth in 2015.
  • Property, construction and conveyancing are the key areas driving most growth within mid-tier and small firms.


  • Increase in IT start-ups in 2014
  • The increase in high profile cyber-attacks has driven demand for security professionals.
  • Developers with experience building web applications are in high demand due to the even increasing change in online technologies.
  • There is a continued shortage of professionals with CRM/ERP expertise (SAP, Oracle Applications, SalesForce).


  • In addition to attractive salaries there has been a common trend in the market amongst large and SME employers nationwide of promoting a work/life balance, offering state of the art office facilities where the working environment is stimulating and comfortable. Many companies offer the flexibility to work from home certain days per week with company laptops provided as standard.


  • Ireland remains a highly attractive location for advanced manufacturing, driving the need for qualified engineers.
  • Demand for graduate engineers is predicted to exceed supply with project, automation and quality engineers remaining in high demand.
  • Demand is very strong for senior Engineering talent, primarily in the areas of Process Development and R&D due to continued investment in the sector.

Supply Chain

  • Ireland is now seen as an established centre of excellence for global supply chain operations with many corporate procurement and planning functions based here.
  • Professionals with industry knowledge of biotech and/or nutritional manufacturing experience will be in high demand in 2015.

Sales & Marketing

  • There is a clear demand for Marketing Specialists & Digital Marketing Specialists across all industries.
  • There is also a significant increase in demand for professionals with e-commerce experience.

Human Resources

  • With the “War for Talent” heating up once again more corporates are focused increasingly on talent retention and engagement which is resulting in strong demand for Learning and Development, Communication and Engagement specialists.
  • Organisations nationally irrespective of size are investing in HR systems, driving the demand for HR experts with information systems expertise.

The Future

“We are very optimistic for 2015 with all indicators suggesting it will be a strong year for job creation in the professional recruitment market.”, said Trayc Keevans. “But Ireland must continue investing in talent as well as having a competitive offering to attract talent from overseas. The return of Irish emigrants is a welcome feature of the market and this must be encouraged.”

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