The digital technology sector contributes 4.4% to Ireland’s GDP, and is growing at 16% per year – that is more than 10 times the rate of growth of the economy as a whole.
With exports worth €72 billion per annum (40% of total national exports) and four of the top five exporters in Ireland being technology companies, this sector is a major employer, accounting for an estimated 105,000 employees.
Ecommerce Multinationals are the principal drivers of the Irish Digital Sector and have accounted for the majority of hiring over the last 12 months, so as a part of this survey, Prosperity researched the hiring trends of the top 15 ecommerce multinationals operating in Ireland, 12 of them US Multinationals, and 3 of them Irish.
Combined, these companies made approximately 3,000 new hires over the last 12 months. The leading Irish Ecommerce companies comprised approximately 250 of those new hires.
Hires by Area:
Account Management - 22.5%
Business Development - 14%
Information Technology - 11%
Engineering - 9%
Administration - 8.5%
Support - 7.5%
Finance / Accounting - 11%
HR - 6%
Marketing - 3.5%
(we received no data for Designers hired by Multinationals; however, 4.5% of hires in the Irish eCommerce companies were for Creatives. This indicates to us that the design function is generally maintained at the countries of origin for these Foreign Multinationals)
In terms of overall experience, foreign multinationals are weighted more towards candidates with 1 to 2 years experience, while Irish mulinationals are more inclined towards senior candidates.
"Almost 50% of all hires by Multinationals are for client facing candidates"
There are some interesting contrasts between the hiring trends of Foreign Multinationals and Irish ones. When we compiled the figures for Foreign Multinationals alone, we found that 24% of their hires were for Account Managers, while the percentage of Account Management hires for the Irish Multinationals stood at just 5%.
This figure no doubt reflects the fact that many of the Foreign Multinationals are headquartered in Ireland to service the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) region. Furthermore, the majority of these Account Management hires are language based, predominantly focused on candidates with German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.
In terms of experience, both Foreign Multinationals and Irish ones were similar in Account Management, with the exception being for candidates with less than one year of experience.
"17% of hires by Irish Multinationals were for Support Staff, while just 6.5% of new hires by Multinationals were in this area"
There is further disparity in the amount of Support people hired. 17% of hires by Irish companies were for support staff, while just 6.5% of hires by Foreign Multinationals were for staff in this area.
"Irish Multinationals insist on more experience for Business Development roles"
The percentages of candidates who were hired for Business Development roles were broadly the same for Foreign Multinationals and Irish Multinationals.
There was, however, an emphasis on acquiring more experienced candidates with Irish Multinationals.
"Irish Multinationals insist on more experience for IT roles"
There was also a significant contrast in the area of IT. IT hires comprised 20.50% of all hires within the Irish owned Multinationals, while this area comprised just 10.50% of all hires in Foreign Multinationals.
Again, this may be due to the IT / Development functions being generally maintained in countries of origin. Also, as the focus with Foreign Multinationals is for client facing staff, this pushed down the percentage figure for IT / Developer hires. However, there also exsists the problem that those candidates with the right experience and expertise for technical roles are simply not available and many Multinationals have rolling vacancies in these sectors that they are simply unable to fill.
Not alone did the Irish Multinationals as a percentage of hires, hire more IT staff, they also opted for more experience.
"Irish Multinationals insist on more experience for marketing roles"
Irish companies also tend to seek more senior experience for their Marketing hires.
"the majority or Irish hired have degrees from UCD"
A University Degree is a prerequisite to being hired by the majority of Ecommerce Multinationals.
The following analysis of the new hires in the last 12 months who have degrees from Irish Colleges shows the percentages of graduates who originate from each of the main colleges:
The new wave of Multi-nationals entering the market, in particular the compelling social media brands, are attracting experienced staff from the already established Multi-nationals.
There is also a tendency to absorb staff from indigenous companies and agencies (with the offer of higher salaries and better benefits), however the negative impact this might have on the economy is ameliorated by the upskilling that Irish staff receive, and their later re-seeding into the indigenous economy.
As the majority of requirements are for candidates with a second, usually European, language, the majority of requirements, especially in the customer facing roles, are, by necessity for non-Irish Nationals.
Prosperity also surveyed 20 advertising agencies, and almost all of their impetus over the last year has been in scaling up their digital teams and services. This reflects the increase of 12.3% in spend on digital advertising in 2012.
This increase in spend is due in large part to the boom in smart phone and tablet usage, and the competitive pressure that Irish brands are feeling from International digital retail brands.
Of the 20 agencies surveyed, approximately 160 new hires were made in the last 12 months, predominantely in the sales and creative areas.
IT hires as a percentage came in at only 5%. This figure belies an ongoing demand from Digital Agencies for good developers, and Prosperity feels that lack of availability, a prevelance of short term contracts, and outsourcing of development projects to other countries are the contributing factors to this low figure.
In comparison to previous years, the strong demand for Brand Managers, Strategy Planners and Graphic Designers has all but evaporated, while the demand over the last year has been for Web Usability Designers, Analytics Specialists, PHP and Java Developers and experienced Digital Account Managers.
With the exception of good designers and developers, salaries in most areas have not moved considerably since 2011. The most significant change is in the benefits that larger multi-nationals are prepared to offer. These benefits can range from free food, gym membership, social activities, and health insurance, pension etc. Some smaller Irish businesses are finding it difficult to compete with this.
Time to fill vacancies has increased significantly as candidates who have the appropriate skills in the market are more in demand by new dynamic companies locating EMEA operations to Ireland. Furthermore, many multinationals have a longer and more extensive interview cycle.
This year we are seeing a greater willingness amongst candidates to interview and move jobs. There is also the fact that multinationals are attractive to job seekers as they want the big names on their CV's.
There are, however, many job seekers still interested in Irish companies as some job seekers prefer to be closer to the decision maker and take a more active role, particularly if the company is a high potential start up.
We see areas such as online media (planning, buying, Analytics) as the biggest growth areas in Ireland at present. This is due to new entrants into the market who specialise in analytics/measuring tools. Also, with many companies establishing their sales/marketing functions in Ireland, online sales professionals will continue to see a strong demand for the foreseeable future, especially for those candidates with English and a second or third European language.
Demand continues to be strong for developers. As Irish retailers gear up their online presence to compete with international online retailers, we see a particular shortage of the candidates with the skills required for developing websites with a retail function.
In line with the fact that Ireland has attracted some of the greatest companies in the globe, expectations have risen, both on the client side and on the part of the job seekers. Clients expect expertise, relevant experience and a dynamic attitude. While qualified candidates are attracted by competitive salaries, benefits and training, and the prospect of aligning their careers with leading brands and experience on the job that will add value to their CVs.
As this research is protected by copyright laws, if you wish to copy, reproduce, republish, disseminate or distribute any part of this text by any means you may do so only if you state the following: Courtesy of Prosperity.ie, Ireland’s specialist recruitment agency to the web sector.