Highly-skilled professionals want to return to Ireland

By: May 19, 2020
returning to ireland during pandemic

COVID-19 has changed the way people work but has also changed the way people think about work and where they want to work.

Highly-skilled Irish people working abroad in the technology and professional services sectors are showing a renewed interest in returning to Ireland.

The recruitment firm Verify recently surveyed over 300 Irish ex-pats and asked them had the pandemic changed their attitude towards moving home to work?

Before the pandemic, only 20% of those surveyed expressed a desire to return to Ireland within two years. Now, over 30% would now like to come home, with the number of US-based Irish ex-pats wanting to move home doubling. Most people surveyed said emotional drivers like proximity to friends and family are the main reasons to move back.

The same, however, is not true for other nationalities living in Ireland. 90% of those who wanted to stay in Ireland prior to COVID-19 still want to stay in the country, according to the survey.

For Sean Galligan, Verify recruitment manager, this is good news. More talented people look set to return to Ireland sooner than expected. “The Irish tech community looks set to swell in the wake of COVID-19 through the retention of international talent in the market and a return of ex-pats from around the globe,” says Galligan.

New world order
Work itself has changed since COVID-19. “We are engaged in a global remote working experiment, re-evaluating the value of certain roles to society … and ultimately reassessing the role of work for an individual and the expectations employees have of their companies,” says Galligan.

Galligan says more people are examining their working lives as they go back to work and it will be a busy time for the recruitment sector.

As more talented people reflect on what truly matters to them, “companies will need to be deliberate in their strategies to attract, engage and retain staff following on from COVID-19”.