There is a generational fissure emerging across this country, a divide unlike anything we have seen in a long time. It is a generational inequality in housing. Ireland is amidst a deep housing crisis driven by insufficient supply and high prices that make it difficult to rent and buy. According to a quarterly report by estate agents Daft. i.e., average Irish home prices were 7.7% higher in the third quarter than a year ago, with the average listing price now €311,514. The crisis has reached a boiling point inflicting significant social and economic damage to our country and is even causing a mental health crisis. The crisis has grown so severe that Ireland’s central bank has relaxed rules for first-time buyers despite rising mortgage costs and concerns that it will only lead to higher prices and aggravate the country’s housing crisis.
How is the Irish housing crisis beginning to impact recruitment?
The effects of the housing shortages have trickled down and begun to impact recruitment. The Morgan McKinley employment, which monitors and measures the pulse of the Irish professional jobs market by tracking the number of new job vacancies and new candidates in the Republic of Ireland each quarter, found the number of professional job opportunities increased by 6.9% in the third quarter. However, there was a 3.3% decline in the number of professionals actively seeking new jobs compared to the second.
The housing and cost-of-living crises have begun to significantly impact hiring, with Dublin-based companies struggling to find talent due to limited accommodation. The market remains heavily candidate-driven, with salaries under upward pressure across most sectors, pushed not only by inflation but skill shortages and multiple options for candidates to choose from. This impact is being felt in the job market, with employers struggling to fill entry-level and graduate positions as this talent cohort emigrates abroad.
How recruiters are responding to the housing crisis
Despite their valiant efforts, recruiters are struggling to land candidates’ positions – not through lack of trying or failure to do so – but because of the excessive housing prices. This year alone, I have seen five cases of candidates – all of whom are very talented and bright – turning down opportunities to return to Ireland or move internally within Ireland. When asked why it was because of cold hard analysis of their new cost of housing, they have regrettably turned the positions down.
Apart from the obvious loss of money to my own business, and the disappointment at seeing talented candidates turn down their dream jobs purely because they are unable to find adequate accommodation, my clients are furious that with the enormous amounts of tax they pay to the state that our government cannot seem to make housing work.
The problem is complex and multifaceted, with many competing interests, not least an element of the voting public who are hell-bent on stopping any development that in any way impinges on their interests. I firmly believe it is time for new leadership; with young people whose careers are being stifled and unable to start families, it’s time to make their voices heard.
We are doing our part at Independent Search Solutions Ltd, working with various companies to help them find graduates and associate-level personnel. It is time for the government to do their part. I fear if the government don’t act and do so soon, the consequences could be catastrophic for businesses, from SMEs to multinationals, and the millions of young people across Ireland who want to start their lives.