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More than three quarters of companies can't find the right talent for the job

A PwC report has flagged problems in the IT sector, and also says our tax system is alienating foreign executives.

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ALMOST 80% OF human resource directors in Irish companies are experiencing skills shortages, a survey by PwC has revealed.

Nearly a third of the HR specialists said that the talent constraints significantly impact business performance, with the most problematic positions to fill in IT. The difficulty in filling positions extends to operations, finance, and risk/compliance.

Recruitment difficulties put a brake on innovation 62% of the time, the report found. Talent constraints also held back key strategic initiatives 39% of the time, with a fall in production or service quality standards blamed on skills shortfalls on one in four occasions.

A majority of Irish CEOs surveyed (69%) said that the availability of key skills is a threat to business growth.

Confidence on the up

Despite the challenges in attracting top talent, the majority of HR executives surveyed said that they are positive about the outlook for the Irish economy.

In a marked departure from 2013, 78% said they are feeling good about the country’s economic prospects, up from 27% last year. Most said that they will hold or increase employment levels over the next year.

Over half of recruiters said that they use social media as a primary recruitment tool, with the benefits of cost reduction and speed proving hard to resist.

Tax problems

PwC found that 46% of recruitment specialists said that Ireland’s tax levels are a major blockage when it comes to attracting specialists. The report points to recent findings by the OECD that Ireland has the 9th highest marginal tax rate out of 36 countries.

The report finds: “This is further compounded by the fact that our marginal rate (52% inclusive of tax, Universal Social Charge and PRSI) applies at a much lower income level than in most other OECD countries.”

Read: The technology sector is open for business, but there’s a shortage of suitable candidates>

Read: There’s three times more jobs in construction than a year ago>

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Jack Horgan-Jones

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