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4 OUT OF 5 GALWAY BUSINESSES SAY LACK OF ACCOMODATION IMPACTING ABILITY TO HIRE – GALWAY CHAMBER

4 OUT OF 5 GALWAY BUSINESSES SAY LACK OF ACCOMODATION IMPACTING ABILITY TO HIRE – GALWAY CHAMBER 
70% say it is impacting staff retention 
7 out of 10 have reduced their hiring targets due to housing issue

4 out of 5 businesses in Galway say the lack of accommodation is impacting on their ability to hire staff.  That was the result of a new survey conducted by Galway Chamber on the impact of housing on the local business community. 
For local businesses in the tech sector as many as 9 out of 10 are finding their hiring practices affected by the limited supply of housing. 

7 out of 10 Galway businesses also say the low level of housing is impacting their ability to retain staff.

While more than half businesses in Galway (56%) say that accommodation issues are ‘regularly’ cited by potential hires when considering a role with their business, with an additional 1 in 8 businesses saying that issue is ‘always’ mentioned.   
72% of businesses in Galway say potential hires or existing staff have cited the inability to find accommodation since the turn of the year.  3 out of 4 businesses (77%) say existing staff or potential new hires have said rent locally is too expensive during the same period and a further 54% have been told by staff/ potential hires there are no properties for rent in their price range.

2 out of 5 businesses have been told that there are no properties for sale in their price range, while 36% say staff/ potential hires have cited the poor quality of available accommodation.

Almost 1 in 5 (18%) of Galway businesses say that staff or new hires have told them that they are looking at other professional opportunities due to better accommodation options.

As a result of the accommodation shortage, 7 out of 10 Galway businesses say they have reduced their hiring targets for the next 12 months, while 55% say they are concerned about retaining staff over that same period.  47% of Galway businesses also say the difficulties recruiting and retaining staff due to limited accommodation will ‘definitely’ impact on their plans to invest in Galway and a further 36% said the investment would ‘possibly’ be impacted. 

85% of Galway businesses also said that if public transport to Galway’s commuter towns was more frequent or reliable it would assist their hiring and retention efforts.

The survey was conducted by Galway Chamber over two weeks in early April 2023. Just over 200 businesses from across Galway City and County participated. 

Speaking about the survey results, Galway Chamber CEO Kenny Deery said, “As these survey results lay bare, the housing crisis is having a real impact on business in Galway and the local business environment. The problems people are facing finding accommodation for themselves and their families are making it increasingly difficult for our local businesses to secure and retain staff. These aren’t isolated stories, this has become the norm and it is impacting businesses of all shapes and sizes – from start-ups to multinationals and from tech and pharma businesses to professional services and retail. Everyone is feeling the accommodation pinch. 

“When you consider that almost half of the Galway business community say the lack of accommodation and the knock on implications for staffing will definitely impact their plans to invest in Galway, clearly this should be a major cause of concern for everyone in the public policy space as well as the entire business community.

“If we want to keep investment flowing west then this issue needs to be tackled.  We must find solutions – both in the short term and the medium term because otherwise businesses and their staff will suffer. All options for addressing this issue need to be on the table. That means enabling sites of development potential to advance, improving the public transport network to better serve the commuter towns with sustainable transport as well as targeted measures that will deliver more immediate results by freeing up vacant rooms and buildings across Galway,” Mr. Deery concluded.

Please see below the questions and results from the survey. Just over 200 businesses from across Galway City and County participated. The survey ran over the course of two weeks in early April 2023. All results have been rounded to the closest percentage point. 
Q – Is the lack of accommodation impacting on your business’s ability to hire staff?
Yes – 80%
No – 20%
Q – Is the lack of accommodation impacting on your business’s ability to retain staff?
Yes – 70%
No – 30%
Q – How often are accommodation issues cited by potential talent as a factor when they are considering a role with your business?
Never – 7%
Occasionally – 25%
Regularly – 56%
Always – 12%
Q – Which of the following have been cited by potential hires/ existing staff since the turn of the year? (Please tick all that apply)
They can’t find accommodation – 72%
Rent locally is too expensive – 77%
There are no properties for sale in their price range – 39%
There are no properties for rent in their price range – 54%
The quality of accommodation is poor – 36%
They are looking at other professional opportunities due to better accommodation options – 18%
Q – How has the limited availability of accommodation factored into your hiring plans for the next 12 months?
It has had no impact – 30%
We have reduced our targets – 16%
We are worried about staff retention and have reduced our targets – 54%
Q – If unresolved, are difficulties recruiting or retaining staff due to lack of housing/ accommodation likely to impact your businesses’ plans to invest in Galway?
Definitely – 47%
Possibly – 36%
No – 11%
Don’t know – 7%
Q – If public transport to Galway’s commuter towns was more frequent/ reliable do you believe it would assist your hiring and retention efforts?
Yes – 85%
No – 15%