Our ongoing conversations with organisations have revealed that, despite the decline in employment and diminished job opportunities in most segments of the Irish labour market, many companies are finding it difficult to find managers with the requisite skills.
Over half of the senior managers we interviewed as part of a recent investigation into management in Ireland cited finding candidates with the right skills for management positions as an obstacle to the performance of their organisations.
Recruiters seem to be saying the same thing; a report published early this month by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) found that although the number of newly advertised vacancies is significantly lower than at its peak in 2007, vacancies continue to arise for managers in high value positions.
So what management roles are out there? A look at the Vacancy Overview 2010 by FÁS shows that the demand is for managers in a number of key areas:
*The vacancies rated as either difficult or too difficult to fill include specialist management roles in sales and marketing, finance, production, supply chain management, planning and quality control, ICT and project management.
*Vacancies are primarily for highly experienced (5+ years) candidates with industry specific knowledge.
*Employers are mainly looking for candidates with degrees; 64% of positions advertised for managers in 2010 required a third level degree or higher qualification (EGFSN).
What does this mean for managers? Recruiters and employers are still searching for candidates with specialist industry skills and experience. Increasingly, it seems that managers need to focus their skills and experience in a particular area, aligning them with the sectors and positions still in demand.
Eva Maguire is currently leading IMI’s research project into management practices and productivity which seeks to globally benchmark the management of indigenous and multinational organisations operating in Ireland.