Human Resources Salary Survey & Employment Overview 2016

January 28

Human Resources market update 2016

Human Resources Market Overview

The balance of power has truly swung in the direction of the candidate in the HR market this year. With more vacancies in the market, HR professionals looking for a new role in 2016 are likely to be presented with multiple opportunities. They can therefore be more selective in the roles they pursue. This shift has allowed candidates to feel more at ease with their career progression as they have more control over their future career paths.

Since there is a serious shortage of labour in Ireland, it has become increasingly important for companies to maintain their talent; companies realise that the HR function plays a pivotal role in making this a reality. A good HR function can help them maintain a happy, healthy and most importantly, a stable workforce.

General Observations

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “Since there is a serious shortage of labour in Ireland, it has become increasingly more important for companies to maintain their talent; companies realise that the HR function plays a pivotal role in making this a reality”   [/pullquote]

In the past year, employers in our survey have noted the areas where they have experienced the biggest shortages in the HR market. HR Managers, Reward Specialists/Managers and In-House Recruiters top the list as demand continues to significantly outweigh supply. There is a noticeable skills gap for these positions, meaning that what they were looking for in terms of experience and expertise was not available on the market.

Additionally, the HR market is becoming increasingly data driven. We notice that candidates with Data Analytics experience such as HR Analysts and HRIS Specialists are increasingly sought after year after year. Furthermore, as companies implement more growth-focused strategies, we see Organisational Development Managers and Employee Engagements Specialists in bigger companies becoming increasingly sought after.

An important point to note: as skill shortages become more apparent, many organisations will look at upskilling current staff for different roles with the potential to develop new skills. When we asked our clients about how they will address talent shortages in 2016, 71% said they would look at current employees with the potential to develop and 62% of employers stated that they will invest more in the training of existing employees. For this reason, we would expect to see Learning and Development roles increase steadily on the market in 2016. These roles will require specific areas of expertise such as eLearning, senior management training, and organisational design.

This year in the Human Resources market, as was the case in many other sectors, brought about the shift towards more permanent positions being offered and also sought after by candidates. Candidates seek the stability of a permanent role and as the market continues to pick up, more and more companies are offering permanent roles in HR. Many view a strong HR Team as pivotal in the future growth potential of the company.


Retaining key HR Professionals is high on the agenda for many employers this year; this resulted in internal salary increases. Our survey reflected this with 69% of HR professionals receiving a pay rise this year. The most common increase was between 5-10% (36%) but we also saw a significant number, (25%), receiving a pay rise of 25% or more.

While salary is still a very important factor to professionals in the market, location, company culture and client exposure have also begun to play an important role in final decision-making. Salaries stabilised in 2015 and companies are now giving additional benefits to employees in many cases instead of raising salaries (i.e. car allowances, additional days off, pensions, health cover, gym memberships). These benefits have become more appealing to candidates as the overall package is now taken into consideration, not just the basic salary.

The Year Ahead

We expect the Human Resources market to see continued growth and expansion in 2016. This was also highlighted in our survey results with 79% of employers expecting to grow their headcount over the next 12 months. Additionally, 74% of employers surveyed admitted that their company’s performance has increased in 2015 in comparison to the previous year.

These results all paint a very positive picture for the HR market as the economy continues to stabilise in Ireland and we see more job opportunities being announced across the board. Employers will continue the search for candidates who are skilled and have experience in specific areas (i.e. Compensations & Benefits and/or Learning & Development). The market is evolving and candidates will now be in a position to be more selective regarding where they work and what packages they receive. These factors will play a big role in the hiring processes in 2016.

For a full list of opportunities in HR, please click on the following link, you can also contact me on 01-661 0444 or email an updated CV to

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About the Author


Lincoln Recruitment (1) 661 0444


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