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Top 10 salary increases of 2021 – did your job make the list?

By Maureen Lynch, Director of Hays Ireland

Following the initial impact of Covid-19, confidence in the economy has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, according to the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2022 guide, and there’s a surge in predicted activity levels for the year ahead.

As organisations across Ireland rush to hire talent to advance their growth plans, 84% of employers are planning to hire new staff, a five-year high. However, they must contend with soaring skills shortages and subsequent salary growth across many specialist and technical areas.

Lack of skills causing challenges

Our research of over 1,500 respondents shows that, over the last year, 91% of employers experienced skills shortages, an increase from 82% in 2020. The main impacts of this lack of skills have been to productivity, the ability to deliver projects and employee morale. 

These challenges show no sign of slowing – three quarters of employers are expecting a shortage of suitable applicants when hiring in the year ahead, leaping up from just over half who said the same last year. Further adding to the problem is a lack of employees who plan to change jobs in the next 12 months with 51% planning to do so, a four-year low.

Employers are therefore being compelled to turn to pay increases in a bid to attract and retain the most in-demand professionals.

Tech professionals securing the biggest pay rises

Strong competition for talent has driven an average salary increase of 1.5% for roles across Ireland, a rise from 0.4% last year. This does not tell the whole story though. Professionals working in some of the most in-demand roles are securing significant pay increases of 10% or more in some cases. But which roles are seeing these above average increases?

Seven out of the top ten salary increases are for technology roles, in line with the widespread digital transformation taking place in organisations across Ireland, which has been accelerated by the pandemic. Competition is high for talented tech professionals, causing this spike in salary offers. Roles in accountancy and finance as well as construction and property also made the top ten list.

The top ten roles receiving the highest salary increases are:

  1. Payroll Supervisor – 20.5%
  2. DevOps Manager – 18.8%
  3. Full Stack Developer – 16.9%
  4. Helpdesk/Service Desk Analyst – 16.7%
  5. Site Reliability Engineer – 15.4%
  6. DevOps Engineer – 15.4%
  7. CTO – 13.6%
  8. Front End Web Developer – 12.9%
  9. Revenue Accountant – 10.9%
  10. Health & Safety Manager – 10.6%

Pay is not the only priority

As employers grapple with ongoing skills gaps, salaries will continue to rise in 2022, with 65% saying they will increase their workforces’ pay over the next year. Offering a competitive salary will always be crucial when hiring, however, pay alone is not the only important aspect to jobseekers.

Our findings show that professionals want to work for organisations which prioritise social responsibility and doing good. Employers should therefore make sure their organisation’s purpose is front and centre throughout the hiring process and that hiring managers are equipped to answer questions about how their organisation helps the communities it serves.

In turn, those considering changing jobs should not only think about the pay on offer, but also what really matters to them in a career. Whether that’s a positive work-life balance, their colleagues, organisational purpose or training opportunities, taking a long-term view rather than just jumping for a higher salary might work out better in the long-run.

Find out how salaries and employment trends are changing across Ireland by requesting access to the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2022.

About this author

With over 20 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, Maureen believes a strong relationship is at the heart of recruitment. This approach allows her to create innovative recruitment solutions reflecting her clients’ desire to grow their teams, while also working closely with individuals looking to take the next step in their careers. Maureen began her Hays career in our Senior Finance division and is now the Director of Operations for our offices in Cork, Limerick and Galway, managing our finance, construction & property, financial services, operations & administration support and IT functions. Maureen also takes the lead for Hays Ireland Diversity & Inclusion initiatives creating and implementing diverse recruitment strategies that effectively support the representation of more diverse staff profiles both within Hays Ireland and in the organisations with whom we work.

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