34% of Irish-based employers claim employee salaries will increase in the next three months, with over half suggesting these projected increases are influenced by the rising cost of living.

That is according to the latest research from Hays Ireland, which shows that 45% of employers claim to have provided employee pay increases in the last three months.

The findings suggest the cost of living has placed a renewed focus on employee salaries and employee benefits, which has prompted a variety of different responses from employers looking to recruit and retain the best talent.

16% of employers are providing free access to financial advisor services, 8% are offering supermarket discounts, 6% are distributing household utility vouchers and 5% are facilitating employee loans.

The findings also show that 38% of employers are more likely to make a counter-offer to employees than they were six months ago, while 36% of employers plan to hire for fully remote roles.

"Overall, the jobs market remains candidate-driven," said Maureen Lynch, director at Hays Ireland.

"Despite reports of a potential economic slowdown, key industries, including banking and finance, technology, construction and engineering are continuing to hire – with many finding it tough to source talent," she added.

Ms Lynch said she would advise corporates to continue to re-evaluate their recruitment and retention strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

"What proved successful 12 months ago, may no longer be fit-for-purpose today," she said.

"Those who recognise this distinction are best placed to navigate the current macro environment."