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Brexit may not be your biggest issue in 2019




Logically, full employment should mean that everyone has a job. The reality, however, is that full employment is generally associated with an unemployment rate of around 5%. Based on the Q4 2018 Central Bank bulletin, the unemployment rate for 2018 finished at 5.6% and will drop below 5% in 2019. The net jobs gain in 2018 was 66,7001, with a further 154,0002 forecast by 2020.

By Q3 2018, the number of people employed in the Republic of Ireland stood at 2.273 million, up from 1.971 million in 20131.  This rate of increase was underestimated by most commentators, and as a result, recruitment is now a real pain point for many businesses.

If your business success relies on attracting new employees and keeping existing ones, it is altogether possible that Brexit may not be your biggest issue in 2019.  Retaining and finding the right talent is becoming a serious, and expensive, problem. Recent research3 put the average cost to replace an employee at €13,000, whilst a Dublin Chamber report4 cited the ‘battle for talent’ as a bigger issue than Brexit among nearly 300 member organisations.

Your reputation as an employer – your employer brand – has a major bearing on your ability to attract and retain employees. A well-managed employer brand helps an organisation recruit the right people, reduce hiring costs and improve productivity. Communicating the essence of what it means to work in your organisation is a key factor.

Many factors motivate  people to look for new employment and everyone has different needs and beliefs when it comes to their employment experience. Core’s work across many industries, in both public and private sectors, demonstrates time and again that it is the unique portrayal of an employer’s brand that enables successful recruitment.

In 2018, Core Research5 identified the key factors employees take into account when considering a new job.

Remuneration, at 43%, was the largest unprompted response, with job satisfaction, employer reputation and work-life balance all trailing significantly behind. However, when asked to rank their current employment experience, over 70% listed location as the single ‘best thing’. This was closely followed by trust, reputation and good management. Pay did not figure in the top five! Clearly most respondents see changing job as a means of advancement to the next rung on the ladder, and pay is a significant part of the move  through levels of seniority.

It stands to reason that companies need to be competitive in terms of pay and benefits, but the recruitment battle in 2019 and beyond will be dictated, and ultimately won, by organisations with a reputation for a fully-rounded employment experience. It will not be enough to be the best paying, the most respected or the highest profile employer. It is a combination of “Why us?”, “Where?” and “How much?” that employers need to communicate to outperform the recruitment market in the future.   Addressing all three factors will provide businesses with the critical advantage that separates winning from losing.



1. Central Statistics Office (2018)
2. Central Bank, 4th Quarterly Bulletin (2018)
3. Adare HR Management (2018)
4. Dublin Chamber report (2019)
5. Core Research (2018)

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