Office Support – 2019 Review
The office support market is constantly evolving. 2019 has seen many interesting trends in office support and we have compiled a list of the top 5:
Since 2018 there has been a significant change in industry demands for office support professionals. We have seen a dramatic increase in roles in property and investments sectors as well as tech. In particular, there has been a rise in roles within tech start-ups in Dublin. According to Silicon Republic over the last nine months, the rate of new companies registering in Ireland has equated to 55 companies every single day.
The increase in roles in the property and investments sectors has been as a result of a combination of factors, such as the effects of Brexit, the demand for commercial and residential properties to support the growing economy and also an increase in the number of UK and American investment firms setting up flagship offices in Ireland. Roles within property and investment firms account for 58% of the open roles on the Office Support desk in Mason Alexander.
Candidates are not necessarily required to have experience in the exact sector of the hiring company – background, skillsets and attitude are valued higher when our clients are considering candidates. Corporate environment experience is important but not industry-specific. The most important requirement we have noted is a varied skillset.
Over the past year, there has been an increased demand from employers seeking professionals for hybrid roles. The job description of a PA or Office Manager is constantly evolving and often offers the candidate an opportunity to be much more involved in the strategic planning of a business.
Additional areas of expertise favoured by employers include marketing, social media management, human resources, communications, project management, and accounts experience. Experience and qualifications in these areas will often give job seekers the competitive edge when looking for a new role.
The increased demand for hybrid roles has resulted in a decrease in junior/entry-level roles available on the market. A lot of Office Manager, EAs and PAs are absorbing junior activities or duties into their role, making their roles more varied and reducing the demand for junior employees.
We have also seen an increase in opportunities for senior-level candidates to take on additional responsibilities around project management and business strategy, allowing them to add much more value to the business and have a bigger impact on larger scale projects.
The highest growing skills in demand that we have seen over the last year have been in presentation skills, event management and marketing. This can be seen through our insights:
As a result of more hybrid roles, salaries are on the increase and organisations are doing more to retain talent by offering benefits such as educational assistance to support professional development, private health insurance cover, performance-related bonuses, and flexibility. This emphasis on retention has all contributed to the lower rate of unemployment for office support professionals.
As a result of the market being extremely candidate-driven, salaries have increased. This trend has resulted in a surplus of open roles and fewer candidates to fill them. Clients across the board have stepped up their effort to attract key talent and retain them within their organisation. This decrease in open talent has forced organisations to be increasingly flexible in what they’re offering candidates and to incorporate additional benefits in their packages in order to entice potential candidates.
We have seen an increasing number of comments from candidates who have experienced subpar interview processes. Some of our candidates reported long wait times and disorganised interviewers amongst other things that would discourage them from taking a role.
The best candidate feedback we have received has been when a process has clear timelines, timelines were adhered to, decisions have been made quickly and constructive feedback has given to all candidates interviewed.
If you want to learn more about the 2019 office support trends, contact Aisling today!