CIF Blog: The Next 12 months in Construction Employment – Hays

15 Dec 2017

Ferdia White, Senior Manager Hays Construction & Property, discusses how the construction and property employment market will look over the next 12 months.

The competition for qualified construction professionals is constantly increasing, fuelled by activity across the construction and property sector. It is not just in Dublin either, with healthy growth expected in all our major cities in 2018.

Overall, confidence in the construction industry is on the rise, but is this confidence replicated across the individual specialist areas? To coincide with the launch of the 2018 Salary & Recruiting Trends Guide, Ferdia White, Senior Manager Hays Construction & Property, discusses how the construction and property employment market will look over the next 12 months.


Ireland’s construction sector continues to experience healthy growth with impressive activity across the country in all our major cities. Large scale commercial projects continue to dominate while healthcare, education and residential projects have come more into focus with the associated infrastructure works giving a timely boost to the civil element of the industry.

We are seeing salary increases of up to 10% for quantity surveyors at all levels. Project managers, site managers, engineers and health & safety professionals have all seen slight increases. As competition grows these organisations are beginning to offer additional benefits such as car allowance, healthcare, pension and bonuses as standard.

Building services

Activity in the building services industry is being driven by commercial and industrial projects with many contractors now using Revit full time to coordinate mechanical and electrical services. BIM coordinators are in high demand and are benefitting from a 5% increase in salaries compared to last year.

Both Electrical and building services engineers with 3-7 years’ experience are still highly sought after by consultancies, along with M&E and building contractors. They have seen a salary increase of 10% from 2017.

Demand for plumbers and electricians has now outstripped supply and there is a serious shortage of fully qualified tradesman in Ireland, with Dublin experiencing a severe shortage.


Over the past year we have noted a rise in salaries for both architects and architectural technologists. This increase has been fuelled, for the most part, by companies growing their headcount in response to a spike in the number of projects being commissioned. This renewed activity, post-recession, has encouraged employees to seek higher salaries.

At Hays we have seen the biggest increase in demand for architects and architectural technologists with 5 – 10 years’ experience with good project experience and exposure to Revit and BIM.

As the competition for qualified candidates intensifies, organisations are beginning to offer more comprehensive remuneration and benefits packages. This year has seen greater focus on work life balance with employee engagement schemes and gym membership becoming more prevalent.

Civil & Structural Engineering

The pronounced increase in activity across the past year has brought about a change in demand for skilled civil and structural engineers. The current housing crisis in Ireland has brought about a rise in the number of residential developments in the planning phase, positively impacting demand for skilled civil and structural engineers, with site development and 3D experience at all levels.

Planned changes to Ireland’s transport infrastructure also means transport engineers and planners are highly sought after.

The emigration of qualified engineers during the recession is still being felt in Ireland today, with a major shortage of engineers with 4-6 years’ experience. This scarcity is pushing salaries upwards with newly chartered candidates and graduates benefitting from increased salaries as companies

Property & Surveying

The fastest area for growth in the property sector continues to be residential, on account of the housing crisis, but commercial property activity is not far off. The marked increase in foreign investment from property developers is visible across Ireland’s major cities.

Junior level candidates in the property and surveying market are experiencing increased demand for their services and this promises to continue in 2018. It is without doubt an excellent time to be a junior property professional on both the client and agency side firms. This is reflected in the healthy levels of CAO applicants to property related courses.

Property Managers who hold full PSRA licences and Property Surveyors have seen a slight increase in salary as they prove most difficult to attract.

Facilities management

As we have seen in the last few years, the shift from in-house to contracted Facilities Management has continued. As businesses continue to concentrate on their primary activity, service contract management has increased. This demand will continue for facilities managers with a preference for hard services in addition to intermediate facilities engineers including refrigeration, general electrical maintenance and boiler.

International contracts have been on the increase with larger providers implementing new modules of services that reach a larger volume of staff. The Irish market has mirrored the creation of new facilities roles across the globe. The introduction of MAC (moves and changes), event coordination and launch teams have given the industry a new lease of life. These roles have meshed professionals from more creative and soft backgrounds, allowing more balance between the spectrums of hard and soft services. This new generation of facilities is expected to develop over the upcoming year to keep up with the increase in these hires across contracts in Europe, Asia and other parts of the globe.


Speak to our Hays Construction & Property team across Ireland to get an expert insight into the market and discuss your next career move.

HAYS Dublin: 01 571 001               HAYS Cork: 021 425 1020              HAYS Galway: 091 533 418

Ferdia White, Senior Manager Hays Construction & Property.

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