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Caution - Engineers Ahead

12 Dec 2017

Conor Bannon

Recently government bodies announced Ireland’s unemployment figure has fallen to 6.3%, the same figure as of November 2008. This figure identifies rebalancing of our economy post-recession and signals changes ahead for all sectors. Conor Bannon, Assistant Manager of Brightwater‘s Engineering Division talks changes ahead in the sector and what’s next on the recruitment front.

I started on Brightwater’s Engineering Division in 2015 and have seen a lot of changes in the market since then. My candidates are different from most! They are constantly on the road and may not have access to their phone 24/7. My clients have adjusted to market conditions over the last couple of years, they have learnt to maximise efficiencies in stormy waters (no hangout rooms here) and my candidates are the people who provide the core basis for our everyday lives. This is the foundation to their success along with their honesty. It is refreshing and revitalising.

From my point of view, I think the future is bright for the engineering sector! Salaries and packages have risen over the last couple of years, but not to the extent of other sectors (honesty on my part!). My clients are still playing catch-up but are certainly getting there. Growth in the sector is steady and looks set to continue. One particular company I work with has grown to over 200 employees in 2 years’ and has actually trebled revenue in 18 months. I’ve noticed that many of the jobs registered with Brightwater in 2017 were new operational and product / R&D roles rather than replacement roles. I am also seeing a lot more flexibility on base salary to attract back the best candidates and even in some growing R&D companies being pre IPO, share incentives are offered.

2018 looks like more of the same, I am seeing increased growth in renewable energy and hopefully more countries looking to Ireland to grow out logistics / distribution and corporate functions. Low cost economies like China for outsourced manufacturing aren’t as competitive as they were a few years ago. Companies are now looking critically at the logistical cost of these outsourced arrangements.

My journey over the last two years has been an adventure into the great unknown, I learn every day from my clients and candidates, not just about their skills but valuable lessons in life. I am looking forward to the next piece of the journey. The people of Engineering and Manufacturing, I salute you. You and your people are the food on our tables, the lights on our Christmas trees (even the trees themselves) and the roads that take us on personal adventures.

“Recruitment is the easiest thing in the world, it is the people involved in the process that make it difficult” (Barbara McGrath, MD, Brightwater). Wise words that I have heeded but my engineers understand simplicity and process and they have made it easier for me.   

To discuss the engineering market and current opportunities within the Engineering sector. Contact Conor Bannon on 01 662 1000 or c.bannon@brightwater.ie