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Office Support Staff In Demand Now More Than Ever

office support staff

The scars left from the financial crisis are still fresh so companies are cautious to offer up permanent roles and are therefore quite open to the option of using temporary office staff on an initial basis. Temporary work in the public sector has seen significant increases where many new roles are project related. As the market recovers employees will have more leverage which will see salaries, benefits and the demand for a more flexible work environment increase. Part-time and working from home options are hugely popular with companies tapping into the older workforce and stay-at-home parent markets, who have huge skills to offer once the companies have the technology to support this.

 

From Sigmar’s perspective, screening candidates for technical and cultural fit is key, before sending candidates to our clients. Testing of candidates at the very first stages of the process ensures that candidates are prepped and ready to move as quickly as employers are moving, to ensure employers obtain the top talent available to them. We may not have returned to the days of the Celtic Tiger just yet, when candidates could pick and choose their next job, but we are a million miles away from the dark days of 2010. Temporary candidates in particular are no longer on the market for weeks, it is now more so a case of days and even hours. Companies need to rethink their recruitment strategies if they wish to secure the best talent otherwise they will be swiftly taken from the market. This is shaping up to be a great year for both employers and employees alike with processes running smoother than ever and appointments being filled quickly and professionally.

 

With the market continuing to improve, we again saw a rise in salaries last year, particularly in the latter end. Competition for talent is continuing to increase which is reflected in salaries for skilled candidates. 2016 saw the return of benefit packages with companies pitching their benefits to prospective candidates, as a way of winning candidates who are in several processes at once.It is evident that salary is no longer the number one factor in candidates’ reasons for changing job positions. Companies are having to map out career plans for new employees at the interview stage making interviews very much a 50/50 process between the employer and the employee. We have also seen an increase in counter offers. Counter offers are something to be aware of when assessing a candidate’s motivations to move. Good news for employers is that at entry level salaries have remained constant. Candidates looking for their first step on the career ladder can be very flexible but will still have expectations of a great work environment and culture. Legislation for temporary workers is at the forefront so matching salaries to that of their permanent counterparts is essential.

 

For candidates when looking for an office role researching the company where you are trying to get a new job is key. While there is a huge pool for companies to hire great candidates from, there is still an expectation that all interviewees will have done significant research prior to their interview. Not knowing adequate information about your potential future employer, is a disappointing reason to not get a job role. Companies invest a lot of time and money on their websites, LinkedIn pages, PR etc. It is expected that you will have researched the company and be able to comprehensively answer the question “why do you want to work here?” with great examples from your research. This can be the decision maker when it comes down to two candidates and deciding which of the two deserve the job. A well prepared answer can demonstrate to your potential employer that you want the role more.

Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 4 January 2017

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Irish jobs market reaches 20-year high, as office re-entry drives unprecedented levels of recruitment activity

Irish jobs market reaches 20-year high, as office re-entry drives unprecedented levels of recruitment activity

Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements over April, May, and June 2021. The number of placements during this period is higher than any other quarter in the recruitment company’s 20-year history. Current figures are up 6% on the previous record set in 2019 before the pandemic. As one of the largest recruiters in Ireland, Sigmar has offices across the country and is present in all professional sectors. The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements breaking all records in the month of May, with June accounting for the second-highest month ever. Commenting on the rebound of the labour market, Sigmar founding Director, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “The jobs market in Ireland has never been stronger or more buoyant than it currently is. We’re seeing several macro trends converge all at once, which is creating significant churn in the market. Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunities no longer bound by location. This is coupled with a rising tide of consumer confidence, as many professionals find themselves in a stronger financial position than before the pandemic. “The last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, and the humdrum of lockdown has created a desire for change which is now resulting in unprecedented numbers of people moving jobs. Employee loyalty is increasingly under question, with remote work being less enjoyable, many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.” IT accounted for one-third of all job placements throughout the quarter, followed in order by Financial Services, Sales & Marketing, Accountancy, Life Science & Manufacturing, Office Support, Public Sector, Construction, Professional Services. Business confidence has also grown steadily over the course of the year, as vaccination gathered momentum. The “low-touch economy” is booming is sectors such as e-commerce, digital, and logistics. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: “The resurgence of permanent recruitment is somewhat unique to how we’ve rebounded from previous downturns, where we typically saw flexible work return quicker.” Although the vast majority of job placement in Q2 were understandably remote, Sigmar reports that the tide is beginning to change with the majority of employers now committing to hybrid work over the coming three months. Mac Giolla Phádraig advises: “As we now choose our workplaces, at a time when the power dynamic has shifted to the employee, employers need to ensure adequate work practices to reconnect the workforce with the workplace equitably. There is an inherent risk that new workforce inequities may emerge, such as “proximity bias”, where those closest to the centre of influence get greater recognition and therefore promotion opportunities as opposed to remote workers. When it comes to individual contribution the opposite could be argued that remote workers get the benefit of having less in-office distractions and their output is therefore greater.” Mac Giolla Phádraig likens remote work to long-distance relationships, which in many cases don’t work out. “We’ve gone from “living” with our employees in an office environment to long-distance relationships, which often sees commitment recede over time. The context of location also opens up new experiences and possibilities, which are now being explored on a scale never before seen.” He adds, “if we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. It’s now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”    

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SURVEY: Just one third of Workers to Return to the Office Full-time Post-Covid

SURVEY: Just one third of Workers to Return to the Office Full-time Post-Covid

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IT Jobs Market 2021

IT Jobs Market 2021

2020 was an interesting year for Ireland’s IT jobs market with the initial impact of Covid causing some companies to reassess their recruitment practices - either pausing or freezing completely. However, most sectors have bounced back since March and we even saw some companies take advantage of a less competitive market and increased their hiring plans. In 2021, we expect to see a release of this “pent-up demand” for candidates as businesses begin to move back towards BAU models.   Digital Transformation Digital transformation projects that typically would have taken years to plan happened practically overnight or over a few weeks as COVID-19 restrictions forced companies to speed up their digital adaptions in what became an “adapt or die” environment. 2021 will see a further increase in demand for individuals with digital transformation experience as companies accelerate further the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions and of their internal operations.   Companies who failed to innovate or tweak their processes to suit the demand of the market felt a larger impact than companies who remained agile and changed quickly depending on the market demands. Consumers have moved dramatically toward online channels during the pandemic, so companies are having to create digital or digitally enhanced offerings in response.   Cybersecurity Unsurprisingly with the adoption of remote work and the planning for transition to the next “normal”, we have seen huge demand for infrastructure and security professionals which we foresee continuing in 2021. As organisations pivoted to work from home models, security engineers rushed to establish secure connections and prevent network threats that targeted remote workers. At the same time, with the surge in online shopping and e-commerce transactions, they had to bolster their organisation’s e-commerce platforms. 2021 will see organisations continue to increase their spend on cybersecurity as companies look to how they will operate in a post-pandemic world. With many organisations such as Google planning for a “Hybrid” work-from-home model, i.e. employees working a few days in the office and a few at home, network security will be a priority.   MedTech, Life Sciences and Healthcare Given how health has never been more in focus than it has been in the past year, it is perhaps no surprise that there has been a huge demand for IT professionals in the wider health industry. MedTech and Life Sciences companies are continually developing new and innovative treatments and consequentially developing technologies to enable this. We have seen an increase in demand of more “hybrid roles” such as IT professionals with experience working specifically within class 1 medical devices fields. Biotech and digital transformation within gene cell therapy in particular is set to be a large growth area for 2021. Connected health is set to be a large growth area for 2021 also, as medical practices are forced to digitize and with telehealth being forecast to grow exponentially.   Candidate-led Market Despite the initial dip in March 2020, the market very much remains candidate driven. Particularly now as candidates are no longer bound to jobs within commuting distance of the office. Regional talent pools have flourished as candidates who would have worked in major cities, now have the opportunity to work remotely meaning they can move to their preferred location and still do the same job on the same salary as before. Regional companies also benefited as they are now able to tap into larger talent pools due to remote working practices. Perhaps what has been most surprising about 2020, is that salaries have stayed relatively stable, but candidates have been seeking increases in their packages over base. With the increase in remote working opportunities, candidates are no longer distracted by “bells and whistles” (free food, ping pong tables etc.) and instead are more interested in actual projects, technologies being used and career growth and progression. Therefore, our advice to employers is consider how you are marketing your positions.     Contractors We saw in our 2020 Q3 survey findings that many businesses looked to Contractors to fill gaps in their teams while coping with the uncertainty in the market due to COVID-19. From recent discussions with our clients this trend is likely to continue in 2021. We particularly foresee an increase in demand of contract roles for Frontend/Fullstack Developers, DevOps Engineers and Data Analysts. As a result of the increase in demand, contract rates have been on the rise. With many large and SME organisations reverting to remote work this has opened the market up to all areas of Ireland. A big trend is seeing Contractors based in the regions now being able to work for the large organisations in the cities and receive the same rates of those based in the cities. Therefore, rates in the regional areas of Ireland have increased due to the remote access of new roles in the industry. All-in-all, we are optimistic about the IT jobs market in 2021 with plentiful opportunities across digital transformation, cybersecurity, MedTech, pharma etc. The roll-out of the vaccine should increase confidence and create further opportunities as the year progresses.   Download our IT Salary Guide Ireland 2021 (PDF)