By Daniel Hunter

Increasing optimism in the Irish economy is leading to greater promotion opportunities and pay rise expectations according to the ninth annual Global Sentiment Survey from Ireland-based Berkley Recruitment, which analyses employment and market perceptions internationally.

As Ireland emerges from the recession, and with the Government projecting growth of 1.3% for 2013 as a whole, businesses appear to be reaping the rewards. 82% of survey respondents noted that their company was performing the same or better than last year.

This positivity is also reflected in the rising employment opportunities within Ireland. IBEC recently reported that the economy has added 20,000 jobs this year, a sentiment reflected in the Berkley Survey. The majority of respondents (71%) described the jobs market as steady or strong with 63% of those surveyed recording job creation within their organisation.

Pay rise expectations in the country are also growing with 90% of participants expecting an increase, up 30% on the previous survey and on par with global results.

The potential for career development is increasingly positive with 32% of respondents citing an improvement in their promotion chances, up by 12% on the last survey, placing new pressures on employers in 2014. As recruitment intensifies, effective talent retention strategies are paramount to keep hold of key staff.

The growth in job prospects and salary expectations is indicative of the growing demand for greater employee benefits as reflected by the country’s largest trade union, Siptu. According to recent reports this month, the group has said it will propose “a radical drive” for pay rises right across the economy if the Government exceeds its target of reducing the budget deficit to 5.1 per cent of GDP for next year.

Across the sectors, the IT industry is faring particularly well, with 83% of respondents reporting business to be better or the same as last year. Furthermore, 72% of companies are currently hiring. The engineering sector is also faring well with 80% of those surveyed suggesting business is doing well / the same. Within the Life Sciences arena, promotion prospects are relatively stable, with 61% of respondents reporting the same chance of promotion as last year.

However, the jobs market is yet to fully recover across the globe. A third of Irish respondents believe the employment market to be worse than last year, on par with the global average (36%).

Fergal Brosnan, Managing Director at Berkley Group commented: “Global reports suggest the economy is getting back on track, and Ireland has certainly been one of the countries that has noted a more positive sentiment over recent months. Employment and business opportunities in the country are certainly on the rise. While there is still a way to go before we note similar levels to pre-recession, overall positivity is certainly returning to the Irish market, something we expect to continue across the globe as we move into 2014.”

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