We recently launched our 2019 Salary Guide and Market Overview and have received a fantastic response, for those who are yet to download it you can click through at the bottom of this blog. Have you wondered how how the employment market will change or evolve in 2019? Well, we have and we've highlighted a few key trends taken from 2018's data and have predicted their impact on the 2019 employment market. Check them out below!
Salary levels on the up for Professionals:
Salaries for professionals have increased steadily over the past few years and with the talent market continuing to tighten we expect this to continue into 2019. Within Accounting & Finance, we have seen modest increases of between 5% - 8% for qualified professionals. Within Professional Services, the biggest jump in salary levels have come in areas such as IT Consulting & Advisory where skills are high in demand and relatively short in supply as firms attempt to keep up with Technological advances.
Technology & Automation
Technology and Automation will continue to evolve and disrupt the business landscape. The impact of The Digital Workforce will grow substantially in 2019. Now that there is a general understanding of the benefits and cost effectiveness, we predict that Robotics, AI and automation will become more prevalent within Finance functions in 2019.
We have already observed some areas across finance being displaced due to these advances. With the more mundane and repetitive duties now potentially being replaced by a digital worker, a big focus will be on what added value you can bring to the role. We have already seen substantial growth in Commercial Finance or Business Partner roles, as businesses look to drive commercial value through their finance function.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
2018 was yet another record year for both inbound and outbound M&A activity across the country. We would expect final figures to suggest that up to 150 deals took place last year which will surpass 2017's figure of 143. Total deal value is yet to be determined but with some large transactions taking place such as Takeda's €67bn takeover bid of Shire and Orix Aviation's 30% stake in Avolon at €2bn, 2018 is sure to go down as a record breaking year.
At a more domestic level, we noticed a number of interesting news stories from PE firms across the year with the likes of MML Capital adding to their Investment portfolio through their acquisition of The Travel Department and Renatus raising an additional €35m Fund. The impact of continued M&A activity on the employment market has been very positive with the number of senior leadership positions increasing throughout the year.
Diversity & Ageism:
Diversity and ageism was also a positive trend throughout 2018 with a big focus now on rebalancing the male:female ratios across all companies. Across the year there has been some fantastic announcements from Professional Services firms who increased female partner numbers in the past 12 months. Across all sectors we have seen a strong focus on developing a balanced Board Room and senior leadership teams.
Interestingly we also saw an increase in companies taking advantage of the Over 50’s Jobplus scheme where employers get a €10,000 incentive to employ individuals over 50 who are on the Live Register. There are now well over 200 employers and 600 employees directly linked to this scheme which was introduced in December 2017.
Foreign Direct Investment:
The IDA still remain the key influencer in attracting foreign companies to Ireland. Numbers across IDA related clients are now at a record level of 230,000 people across Ireland. Dublin remains the most popular destination for foreign companies with nearly 100,000 of the above figure based in the capital. One particluar figure from 2018 was encouraging to see - the increased focus on the Regions, with 60% of 2018's FDI choosing to be based outside of Dublin. Given the impending impact of Brexit and a potential US/China trade war looming it is difficult to predict what is in store for FDI in 2019 but Ireland has already benefited substantially from companies choosing Ireland due to Brexit.
Another key development across 2018 has been the growth of fringe benefits, with more and more job-seekers looking for flexible working hours, corporate wellness programmes and fully funded education allowances. These benefits can be the key differentiator between keeping or securing key talent for your business.