Six in ten workers could potentially change jobs and almost 30% are definitely considering. Photo: Eric Prouzet

70%+ of employers to offer wage increases

2023 could see a lot of employees again look to potentially change jobs meaning employers could a fight on their hands to retain staff.

In fact, according to a new survey, six in ten workers could potentially change jobs and almost 30% are definitely considering it. These are the findings of the Excel Recruitment Employee Feedback Survey, released in tandem with Excel Recruitment Annual Salary Guide 2023, which show that in terms of salaries across the board, the recruitment specialists are seeing a percentage swing of increase in the median of 3-11%.

The new research has revealed that while this time last year, 65% of employers signalled salary increases in the upcoming year, this has risen to 71% 12 months later, as most employers say pay rises are definitely being considered.

Barry Whelan, CEO of Excel Recruitment said: “The 'Great Resignation' of 2022 has massively affected employers, especially when organisations urged workers to return to their respective offices. It led to companies increasingly having open positions, which caused disruptions. The remaining employees needed to compensate for the lack of manpower leading to immense workloads and also driving employee burnout which affected their overall performance and productivity.

“As well as driving up wages, high employee expectations are forcing more employers to offer a hybrid working option. The desire for remote work and the ease of applying for new roles in a remote setting will continue to drive churn in the labour market.”

The salary guide

Excel Recruitment are reporting salary increases of up to 11% in 2022 particularly in the areas of professional services, commercial, accounting and finance, where pay rises of between 6% and 11% were recorded. Salary increases were also strong in retail, with rises of between 3% and 8% recorded. Wage growth in the industrial sector, such as for forklift drivers and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, was between 3% and 5%.

Commenting, Mr Whelan said: “Towards the latter part of 2022, we saw staff shortages and increased employee expectations forcing employers to loosen their purse strings – with starting salaries shooting up by an extra €5,000 in certain sectors.

“Going into 2022, marketing executive salaries started at €30,000 but now we rarely place a candidate for less than €35,000. The salaries of sales business developers typically started at €35,000 but now it’s closer to €40,000. The sales and marketing jobs we are seeing the most demand for are marketing managers and e-commerce managers – where average salary bands are now between €55,000 and €70,000.”

Excel Recruitment say that the staffing situation in hospitality is “quite dire” and the increases that are being paid to attract new hires and retain current staff are putting businesses under severe pressure.

Sector highlights from the Excel Recruitment Salary Guide 2023 include:

- Some of the biggest staff shortages in accounting and finance are in the junior office support roles

- Wage growth has also been strong in the grocery retail sector, particularly amongst those working in fresh food

- Candidate shortages have impacted the warehousing and industrial sector and there’s a real shortage of experienced forklift drivers

- There has been a real shift in focus in the retail sector over the last year with many firms offering a higher basic salary and a more comprehensive package, with a special focus on work-life balance and reduced working hours.

- Excel Recruitment are reporting that unlike 2022, it is likely that salaries will level off within the construction and engineering industries in 2023 – due to an expected slowdown in inflation this year, the staff shortages in those sectors not been as acute as in 2022, and construction projects in the pipeline likely to be slow to get off the ground.

Workers in 2023

The Excel Recruitment survey of 1,800 workers nationwide an insight into worker expectations and sentiment in 2023:

More than half (55%) of workers expect a pay rise in 2023. Only a small fraction (15%) of workers don’t anticipate any pay increase at all.

Almost one in ten (8%) job seekers said they had quit an in-person job to look for a work-from-home position.

Outside of salary motivations, the second biggest concern for workers when it comes to their job is career progression - with 21% of workers stating that moving-up-the-ranks is the most important thing to them in job, which was three times the number who cited flexibility as their key priority. Only one in twenty (5%) cited location as their top priority when choosing a job – though interestingly, less than one in three (29%) would be prepared to relocate for a job.

36% of those polled gave a flat ‘no’ when asked if they would be prepared to relocate for a job while 35% were uncertain.