We’re at that time of year when candidates always ask for snapshots of how we, as recruiters, see the Irish market developing in the near future and where we expect opportunities moving forward. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on what’s instore for 2018!
Brexit will start having a real impact on the Irish business landscape in the next year as key decisions are soon to be made and implemented by the UK themselves, the Irish government and the EU. This is beginning to look somewhat positive for the Irish workforce, because of the potential opportunities it will bring to us in the near future. In the last 18 months, over 100,000 UK companies have registered in Ireland, many being quite substantial. Almac, a major pharmaceutical manufacturing company based in Northern Ireland, has already begun initial research into relocation opportunities in the south. While they have previously stated that they do not wish to relocate part of their 2500 person workforce, if there is a significant hard border to the EU markets, then they may have no other choice.\
The main sectors that are expecting to see real expansion as a result of Brexit is in the Financial Services market here in Dublin. Not only are major players such as JP Morgan, Citi Bank and Barclays planning to expand their Irish offices (as opposed to their UK offices), others, such as Bank of America, have also chosen Dublin as their location for direct access to the EU markets. Other significant movers include Legal & General, Citadel Security and Pinsent and Masons, opening new operations in the legal industry.
With all of the above in mind, we can expect to see a major influx in recruitment opportunities across all sectors as a result of Brexit, the most prominent being the Financial Services sector as well as the ever-growing Fintech market, which should provide a wide range of opportunities across the board.
Another key factor that has excelled in the last few years, and can be expected to continue to do so, is the expansion of major companies outside of Dublin and into more rural or smaller city locations and candidates being happy to join them.
The reasons for this will be no surprise. The ever-rising prices and rental costs in Dublin for both businesses and employees are forcing everyone to start looking further afield at alternative solutions. For businesses, they have the opportunity to rent cheaper premises and pay cheaper salaries for locations that are often only one hour’s drive from Dublin.
As well as the obvious example being Apple setting up their major data center in Athenry, we are now seeing other multinational operations such as Biopharma begin to explore setting up new labs in locations outside of the capital too. On the e-commerce side of things, Viagogo are also looking to expand their tech operations from their Limerick base and even start-ups are seeing the opportunity as a beneficial one, with exciting young operations like Misfits Inc setting up their HQ in Galway and Wavepower Tech setting up shop in rural Cork.
As mentioned above, for anyone happy to consider living outside of Dublin in alternative parts of the country, the benefits are certainly there for all to see and a much cheaper cost of living could certainly make elements of family life a lot easier.
From an e-commerce and digital marketing perspective, we can expect to see nothing less than continued growth with increased spending on e-commerce operations across the board. Within digital marketing, SEO remains the main area where digital marketing budgets are being spent, but it is now closely followed by an increase in display advertising for flash banner advertisements, viral videos, etc.
In 2018, we will begin to see advances across various digital areas. The main priority for many online e-commerce operations is social and shareable content across all channels. But alternative areas such as “Dark Social”, whereby advertisers try to figure out ways to advertise through applications such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, etc, are expected to take real focus moving forward. Other areas, such as augmented reality, which was brought to real prominence with the Pokémon Go sensation, are expected to continue to grow out and where this takes us remains an exciting prospect for online products and marketers.
Forbes estimates that departments of each and every business will begin to work a lot more stringently together in order to portray the same message and offering across the board. As well as stating that e-commerce is expected to improve its email channels and that the expansion of product to customer engagement will continue to grow, they also believe that credibility points for customers will become a major player in the decision making process when choosing what to buy online. They believe that with so much information available across websites, online boards and social media, customers can now do incredibly meticulous research into what they purchase, more than ever before, which means all online companies will need to ensure they are consistently at the top of their game from a product and a performance perspective.