The term “work from home” is among the most popular online searches this year by Irish jobseekers, amid the return of some employees to the office.
The first quarterly jobs index from hiring platform IrishJobs.ie shows there has been a 130 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of jobs offering remote work.
This is a “lasting impact” of how the employment market has evolved during the pandemic, according to general manager of IrishJobs.ie Orla Moran.
“For the first time, work from home has come into our top 10 searches. We’ve never had it before but in quarter one [of 2022] it appeared,” she told Newstalk radio.
“I think because people are coming back into the office maybe - or being summoned back into the office - that you’re seeing more people searching for work from home as a keyword, so it was interesting to see that coming up as well in the most popular searches for jobseekers.”
Data for the first three months of 2022 shows the rate of growth of new jobs advertised on the site grew by 44 per cent year-on-year, a deceleration compared to an 86 per cent annual growth rate for the previous quarter.
'An employee's market'
However, sectors negatively impacted by Covid-19 restrictions saw major growth in jobs advertised, with jobs in the travel, tourism and airline industries increasing more than 700 per cent compared with the start of 2021.
There has also been an increase in the number of jobs available outside of Dublin, with Co Wicklow recording the highest growth as 134 per cent more jobs were advertised this quarter compared to the first three months of last year.
Ms Moran said that after the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions, the jobs index “suggests some stabilisation in the market with the number of job vacancies levelling out compared to the high year-on-year growth we saw last quarter.”
“That said, we are still seeing growth in job vacancies with an increase of 44 per cent compared to this time last year,” she added.
“This shows that the market for employment remains strong for jobseekers around the country and employers need to remain competitive in order to retain and recruit talent.”
It’s possible that inflation may, in time, replace Covid-19 and a better work-life balance as a key factor driving up the number of roles offering remote work
Ms Moran said the index results show “it is still very much an employee’s market” and HR departments “will continue to have to work hard to fill key talent gaps in their organisation.”
The impact of inflation is also expected to encourage employees to move jobs to try and attain higher salaries in order to keep pace with soaring consumer prices.
“It’s possible that inflation may, in time, replace Covid-19 and a better work-life balance as a key factor driving up the number of roles offering remote work, as people try to cut down on commuting and other costs associated with working from the office,” Ms Moran said.
“In fact, working from home vacancies continue to grow at a faster rate than overall vacancies.
“It’s clear that employers looking to attract and retain people in today’s market should continue to prioritise flexible working within their recruitment strategies.”