Do You Speak a Second Language???

Do You Speak a Second Language? Unlocking Opportunities in Multilingual Ireland

In recent years, Ireland has emerged as a thriving hub for multinational companies, particularly in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, and IT sectors. Cities like Cork and Dublin have become prime locations for these companies to establish their Global Operations. However, one major challenge I've encountered in recruitment is the scarcity of multilingual candidates for the excellent job opportunities available.

The primary contributing factor to this shortage is the lack of affordable accommodation and soaring rental prices. According to a recent report by on 23rd August, there has been a 20% decrease in available rental homes, coupled with a national rental price surge of 11% - the highest increase in nearly a decade. In Cork, the average rent for a double room now stands at €433, while in Galway, it is €416.

As a recruiter, it can be incredibly frustrating to witness job vacancies go unfilled despite having highly qualified candidates who are eager to take on the roles. External factors such as housing and rental costs become significant barriers in attracting and securing talented individuals.

At a recent NRF event, David Owens (Senior VP & Ops International of Solarwinds) highlighted the impact of the accommodation crisis on multinational companies. Some organizations have been forced to explore unconventional solutions, such as allowing employees to work from home or setting up hubs in regular houses located as far west as Sneem in Co. Kerry. These measures enable candidates relocating from outside of Ireland to work remotely. However, working from home may not be suitable for everyone, as some employees may feel isolated without the social aspect of an office environment, while others may struggle with work-life balance.

One of the factors that make Ireland an attractive destination for multinational companies is our highly skilled workforce. So why do we struggle to find multilingual candidates within the country? Despite the availability of 174 language degree courses in major institutions across Ireland, over 70% of Irish people cannot speak a second language, in contrast to less than half in the rest of Europe. Ireland, being the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, finds English as the most widely spoken second language across Europe.

While it is encouraging to see positive developments in the job market in Ireland, it is disheartening to see opportunities left untapped due to a lack of suitable candidates.

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