PRII chief executive John Carroll told PRWeek that the industry in Ireland was still small – with just under 1,000 individuals being members of the professional body.
"Without wishing to overstate the size of the industry, we have seen a significant increase in recruitment over the past 12 months," he said, attributing this to firms increasing their marcoms budgets. A PRII survey found 79 PR jobs were posted in the first six months of 2015, compared with 92 through the whole of 2014.
"A lot of recent positions have been filled by people who had been abroad since 2007 or 2008," Carroll said.
"We see it in our membership; new people who say they have spent four years working in the UK - we’re happy for people to have that experience of working overseas because it brings a new dimension, but we’d want them to have the opportunity to progress in Ireland."
Other countries from which Irish PR diaspora are now returning include Australia and Canada, he said.
The PRII recruitment survey found 19 per cent of recruitment was happening at director level, and that roles were almost evenly split between agency and in-house jobs.
Carroll was speaking to PRWeek on Friday after the PRII's annual conference on Thursday, where speakers included the country's health minister Leo Varadkar, University of Huddersfield professor of corporate comms Anne Gregory, Ketchum's chief engagement officer Stephen Waddington and Dublin City Council press officer Alan Breen. The event was titled The Strategic Imperative of Communication.