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Financial services firms in Ireland are going to have to start paying a lot more for their technology staff

Highly paid Irish IT programmer

Technology recruitment in Ireland is going through the roof. Google, Facebook and Paypal are expanding in the Republic.  Twitter has announced that it is also going to open an office in Dublin. Plenty of other international technology firms are already present in ‘Silicon Alley,’ drawn – of course – by Ireland’s low corporate tax rate.

The influx of technology companies is, however, storing up problems forIreland’s financial services employers. According to Elaine Liston of Hudson Recruitment, most Irish banks have had a salary freeze since 2008. This doesn’t exactly make them appealing places to work.

Competing with the hot tech firms

Programmers, business analysts and software professionals will inevitably be at the forefront of tech companies’ new push to hire. However, as we noted in the case of Paypal earlier this week, the new companies are also interested in hiring operations staff, and – in Paypal’s case, risk and compliance professionals.

As Eimear Walsh, of Brightwater Recruitment points out, “Technology and administration (e.g. customer service and sales support) skills will all be transferable.”

Counteroffers are coming

The mechanism by which Irish pay is pushed up is likely to be counteroffers. Liston predicts that candidates who attempt to move to the likes of Paypal or Facebook may receive a tempting increase in their salary from their current employer. Walsh says there’s already “big demand” for technically skilled employees in Ireland.

It wouldn’t be the first time that Ireland’s been subject to a ‘war for talent.’ “When the funds industry inIrelandgrew in the mid 1990/ early 2000 the demand for skilled fund administrators/accountants grew rapidly,” says Walsh. “Competition was rife between firms and salaries certainly saw some increases as a result.”

Hugh McCarthy, an IT specialist at Brightwater Recruitment, says the new entrants will need to compete for talent with Ireland’s ‘thriving indigenous software sector. “There aren’t enough programmers and developers to keep up with demand.  This has had the knock on effect of increasing salaries, which have increased 5 – 10 % in the last 12 months,” he adds.

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