Ireland is home to a number of major tech companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Meta. Known as a friendly country with high levels of education, Ireland is a booming talent hotspot for companies looking to recruit top talent. With significant growth in sectors such as IT, energy, environmental engineering, and medical devices, the country is quickly becoming one of the most important economies in the European Union.
Ireland topped the list of the fastest growing economies in the EU in 2021, and it has long been considered a desirable location for global companies seeking a European presence. Low corporate tax rates, a highly educated workforce, reliable infrastructure and aggressive economic development policies regularly earn Ireland high ranks on “Best places to do business” lists. For these reasons and more, businesses and job seekers alike are investing resources into hiring & recruiting in Ireland.
Companies considering operations across the country need a basic understanding of the ins and outs of hiring and recruiting in Ireland in order to navigate this competitive labor market. But Ireland boasts low bureaucracy, and employers and working people alike will find jumping into this labor market can be a relatively frictionless process.
Employers can choose how to recruit in Ireland, either through managing their own online candidate searches or through hiring a private recruitment agency to help advertise a job. Private recruiters in Ireland have long been a popular and effective option for help with hiring, but they can prove costly for employers.
On the other hand, managing the ever increasing number of online job boards can be daunting. There are several top sites for connecting job seekers with open positions, including:
JobsIreland.ie: This is the Public Employment Service of the Department of Social Protection and is frequently listed as the most popular online job resource in Ireland for working people. The site features resources for job seekers and for employers, as well as a lengthy list of available jobs and skills training opportunities. Employers who register with the site can post openings for free.
IrishJobs.ie: In addition to job postings, this site provides a good resource for job seekers with articles providing career advice, and a list of salary ranges by profession. Employers rent job ads by the week on this site, and there is no fee for job seekers.
RecruitIreland.com: This is the best employment website for management, executive and C-Suite job seekers, as it features a separate job board for this category. The site also posts employment news from Ireland and resources for employers.
For employers looking to expand operations in Ireland, IDA Ireland provides excellent resources. Where your job is to recruit employees, their job is to recruit you. IDA is an autonomous agency established through the Ireland Industrial Development Acts. The agency operates as the Economic Development branch of the Irish Government and hosts corporations for site visits, arranges peer-to-peer meetings, provides rich data resources, and assists organizations navigating the permitting process. Headquartered in Dublin, the agency has offices in Cork and Galway. IDA also has an office in London and eight locations throughout the US.
There are many resources to assist with finding employment in Ireland, including online job listings, private recruitment agencies, social media and online professional networks, and a government-run Social Welfare department.
The most common method of searching for jobs in Ireland is to monitor the online job boards. Many sites offer the option for job seekers to post their CV and to receive alerts based on their search criteria. These services are typically free for job seekers, although employers and recruiters will usually pay a fee for their postings.
The best online resources for job seekers in Ireland are:
Job seekers who are looking for a particular type of work or have an advanced professional skill may want to contact a private recruitment agency. The Employment & Recruitment Federation (ERF) has a directory of recruitment agencies. Typically a recruiting agency will receive a fee from the hiring company for matching a candidate with a job, but there is no cost to the job seeker.
Social media sites like LinkedIn are a good place to start connecting with individuals in a particular industry or in decision-making positions. If you’re using social networks to search for jobs, be sure to update your profile to feature all relevant job skills and remove any posts that might be considered unprofessional or offensive.
Professional or trade associations offer excellent opportunities to connect to specific jobs. Ireland also has several specialized networks such as Network Ireland, which focuses on resources for women in business.
A service from the Department of Social Protection (DSP), Intreo provides a single point of contact for all employment services and income support. EEA nationals with a Personal Public Service number are eligible for employment services from DSP.
The employment requirements in Ireland are relatively simple and straightforward. For most people, finding a suitable job is more challenging than obtaining the proper government permissions.
To find an Irish job you will need a strong resume or CV (curriculum vitae), although some companies may offer an opportunity to fill out a job application in lieu of submitting your own document. Make sure your CV lists all your education and relevant work experience, as well as your language skills. Most positions in Ireland will require good written and spoken English. Proficiency in languages other than English can also be valuable for certain professions.
If you are an expat that will be working on-site in Ireland, you will need to apply for a Visa to enter the country and register with immigration authorities. Long stay ‘D’ visas will allow you to remain in the country for longer than 3 months, as long as you also obtain an Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
If you are from the EU, you do not need a special permit to work in Ireland. But if you’re coming from outside the EEA (European Economic Area), you will need to apply for a work permit.
If you are not applying as a Dependent, Partner or Spouse, there are a number of occupations that are ineligible for Irish Work Permits, such as property managers, pharmaceutical technicians, corrections officers, youth workers, and hairdressers.
While hiring in Ireland is considered to be easier and less bureaucratic than in many other countries, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of directly employing your Irish workers versus using a third-party EOR service.
If your business plans a major expansion in Ireland, then opening up an entity might make sense. To do this, you will need to establish a physical presence in the country, set up a local bank account, and build out a local HR team. For many smaller companies, especially those looking to hire quickly, setting up an entity can slow down business. For that reason, many companies choose to partner with a third-party provider that already has an established entity.
If you pay wages to a worker in Ireland, you must notify the Revenue Commission within 9 days of issuing your first payment. You must also register as an employer for PAYE (Pay As You Earn), which is the country’s mechanism for collecting withheld taxes and social welfare payments.
Even if your Irish business entity has no employees, you must still register as an employer, regardless of where the directors live or where they carry out their duties. For this reason, many companies with small Irish operations benefit from using an EOR service.
For companies looking to outsource hiring and recruiting in Ireland, there are many good options. Employer of Record (EOR) services like Via will remove a lot of the headaches that come with operating overseas.
EOR companies operate as the employer of record for your operations in a foreign country. The EOR assumes all legal liabilities, including tax and regulatory filings, and will often perform payroll, benefits and other administrative tasks on behalf of your company.
There are many advantages to employing contract workers as opposed to employees in Ireland. Businesses with workers engaged as employees are required to withhold and file payroll tax regularly, and they are must offer certain minimum employee benefits like paid leave and overtime. Contract employees, on the other hand, do not receive mandatory minimum benefits. They also have more specialized skill sets, which can lead to more efficiency in design, writing, development, and other functions.
For many reasons, contract workers are highly favored by employers and some estimates indicate that more than 40% of job postings in certain sectors in Ireland are now for contract jobs rather than full employment.
However, every employer situation is unique and companies seeking to hire a workforce in Ireland will need to consult legal and financial professionals in order to make the best decision for their business goals. Misclassifying workers as contractors (as opposed to full-time employees with benefits) can lead to financial penalties.
Both large and small companies want to hire employees in Ireland, but are unsure of how to navigate the country’s payroll and labor laws, or go about incorporation. Via makes hiring Irish talent and building your global team seamless. Our easy-to-use platform helps you manage the local HR processes for benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. We have a local team of lawyers and on-the ground experts that understand compliance as you expand abroad.
As your employer-or-record/entity in Ireland, Via assumes full responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.
With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors in Ireland with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace.