HR Trends

HR’s role in the growth of the Irish economy

Boasting the fastest-growing economy in the EU and an enviable below-average unemployment rate, Ireland is forging a strong economic recovery. HR and payroll are part of the progress.

The outward migration of nearly 30,000 Irish nationals over previous years caused a skills shortage.  Some major areas impacted include ICT, engineering, sales & customer care, logistics, health, business and finance. Immigration is rising with the return of some Irish nationals and also workers from various parts of the E. They return with much needed skills and knowledge from other countries back into the Irish workforce and economy.

The Irish workforce

Ireland has the youngest population and workforce in the EU with 40% of workers aged under 30. There is a generation of young Irish workers returning from other countries. With new skills acquired during time away, they dream of growth, prosperity and sustainability in Ireland.

The top HR trends in Ireland are similar to those in many other countries. Similarly,  culture and engagement are major issues. These areas are prevalent in Irish companies due to past shifts in the workforce and economy.

As the competition for skills and talent intensifies, employers need to have a strong value proposition to attract the right people and suitable programmes in place to retain staff and employment loyalty.

Engagement is key

Organizations must engage with their employees to discover what is important to them. Pay close attention to the millennial generation of workers.  Because they are a huge part of the Irish workforce, they will shape the culture in the next decade.

Research shows that while salary is important to millennials, there are other motivators. For example, they are motivated by training, support and career progression. These potentially low cost motivators could be differentiators used to recruit and retain the younger generation. A clear understanding of culture is urgent. Such change requires commitment from leadership.

Yet another factor, to consider, is the work/life balance. As the mobile workplace evolves, this will become even more critical. Staff do not necessarily need to be in an office for eight hours a day to do their job. Flexibility is a sought after reward.

On the flip side, this can also cause working hours to become blurred when emails are received during evenings and weekends causing employees to become overwhelmed with an inability to switch off. This is indeed one of the top issues in Irish organisations and should be a priority for HR departments.

Strategic Change

HR people have a crucial role to play in the growth of the workforce and economy which makes it the perfect time to focus on being more strategic. The best HR decisions are a combination of intuition and experience backed up by accurate and timely data.

In any organisation there is a lot of people data available through all transactional HR processes from starters and leavers to holidays and attrition. The key is bringing it to life and making it useful for decision making purposes and forming strategic plans. By doing this companies are not only investing in their people but ultimately investing in the future of the country.