— nationwide increase expected in coming year —

FRS Recruitment recorded a 4% decrease in the number of job postings offered in Cork during 2020, but are forecasting a 25% increase in job postings nationwide in the coming year. 

The Cork experience reflected the national trend, with a 36% drop in job postings nationally recorded by FRS Recruitment over the last 12 months, due to the impact of the pandemic.

The greatest decrease came in Westmeath (down 34.3%), followed by Leitrim (down 33.3%) and Dublin (28.3%). 

Some counties did see a rise in the number of opportunities available, with the largest percentage increases occurring in Roscommon (up 115.4%), Wexford (up 36.1%) and Kildare (up 26.9%). 

FRS is predicting 2021 will be a year of two halves in recruitment, but that the overall market should see a strong improvement over the course of the year.

The year will start slowly but the rollout of the vaccine will bring confidence back to the market and that will create a strong pipeline of employment opportunities as businesses seek extra resources in the second half of the year.  

Demand for healthcare workers is likely to see overseas based candidates come back into consideration and there will be a continued demand for skilled IT personnel.

Other sectors likely to experience a strong increase in demand include roles in construction, life science as well as for temporary commercial and industrial personnel.  

By sector, the largest drop in opportunities were in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (down 75%); Hotel and Hospitality (down 61.9%) and Banking and Financial Services (down 58.2%).

Although most sectors experienced a drop in the number of opportunities available, certain sectors actually recorded an increase, such as IT Support Services (up 174.1%) and private sector healthcare (up 42.2%). 

These trends were published in FRS Recruitment’s 2020 Review and 2021 Trend Forecast, entitled From Job Security to Opportunity. The report also highlighted that the number of applications received by FRS actually increased by 2.8% in 2020, reaching 151,131 responses. 

“There is no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year for many sections of the economy, and that has been reflected in the number of recruitment opportunities there were in Cork and nationally,” said Colin Donnery, General Manager of FRS Recruitment.

“We strongly anticipate seeing growth over the course of 2021 and that there will be more opportunities available in Cork and around the rest of the country as the recruitment environment begins to normalise. 

“We expect 2021 will begin slowly as the continued uncertainty around lockdowns, and to a lesser extent Brexit, takes its toll. However, the rollout of the vaccine and pressure on existing human resources is likely to see a strong demand for more personnel as the year progresses.

“This demand will be across most sectors, although we anticipate particular need in healthcare, IT, construction, life sciences as well as temporary roles in commercial and industrial. It will be a year of two halves, but the overall employment trends should track ahead of 2020. 

“We are also forecasting pressure on salaries over the course of the year as motivation switches from job security to seeking better conditions. Another expected change will see a move towards more blended, hybrid roles advertised in 2021, with positions covering a wide range of functions and disciplines as employers seek to cover a number of different gaps in their operations. 

“Employers will also need to grapple with pressure from workers to provide remote work opportunities. It will be a significant challenge to juggle performance management, reduced collaboration, health and safety concerns and the costs of maintaining a hybrid organisation. 

“While there will still be sectoral and regional variations, we strongly expect to see a markedly improved recruitment picture in 2021,” Mr Donnery concluded.  

FRS Recruitment is one of the leading recruitment businesses operating in Ireland. They have 10 offices nationwide, with locations in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Tipperary, Limerick, Kerry, Kilkenny, Offaly, Cavan and Roscommon.

A 100% Irish business, FRS Recruitment is part of the FRS Network – the social enterprise co-operative.

Further information is available on www.frsrecruitment.com