Ireland has been ranked as the fifth most attractive labour market in Europe for international job seekers, new research from jobs site Indeed shows today.

Indeed's "Brain Gain or Drain?" report reveals a strong rebound in international job searches across Europe as international travel restrictions have eased and closed sectors of the economy have reopened after the Covid pandemic.

The research evaluated 21 countries.

Indeed noted that during the Covid pandemic European cross-border job searches at their lowest level fell 32% below pre-pandemic levels, but by April of this year they were off by just 10% and recovering fast.

For Irish based jobseekers looking overseas the trough was also a 32% decline, rebounding to 16% below the pre-pandemic level by April.

Ireland is one of only five markets experiencing a "brain gain" rather than "brain drain" with more incoming interest from jobseekers than outgoing, Indeed noted.

The top five countries of origin for overseas jobseekers seeking a role in Ireland are the UK (26%), US (7%), Spain (5.9%), India (5%) and France (5%).

Indeed said the trend is driven partly due to labour shortages and demand for qualified workers, particularly in highly-skilled and hard-to-fill positions.

It found that 78% of Irish businesses have hired foreign nationals in the last five years, and 80% of businesses plan to recruit foreign nationals for their operations in Ireland this year.

Indeed also noted that geopolitical events are influencing cross-border job search patterns and it said that employers across Europe have sought to accommodate refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

46% of employers surveyed in Ireland said they had made special arrangements to support Ukraine refugees and 30% sought to fast-track Ukrainian refugee job applications.

But despite the numerous benefits of employers drawing from the global talent pool, barriers and challenges remain, Indeed said.

35% of businesses surveyed want to the Government to speed up the process of issuing visas or permits, while 34% said the Government should reduce the cost of securing visas or permits.

33% also said the country needs to reduce immigration requirements for workers.

Jack Kennedy, Economist at Indeed said that employees are clearly ready to move country again to seek out new employment opportunities, with the numbers searching overseas recovering rapidly since the pandemic ended.

"Ireland is in the advantageous position as one of only 5 countries experiencing a net inward trend, or 'brain gain', at a time of increased labour shortages," the economist said.

He said today’s survey shows that Ireland is an attractive destination for internationally mobile, highly skilled people, whose experience is in high demand, particularly in the technology sector.

" Many businesses are already taking steps to hire foreign workers, such as posting jobs abroad, hiring recruiters with foreign language skills, and writing job descriptions in multiple languages," he said.

"It's also interesting to see geopolitical events like the tragic war in Ukraine have an impact on other labour markets, with a notable surge of interest particularly in the adjacent Polish market. It’s positive to see that Irish employers have been making efforts to accommodate people fleeing the war," he added.