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Free Bars Are Great – But Meaningful Work The Top Motivator For Candidates

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Most people think they are better at stuff than they actually are: driving, singing, telling jokes. Most companies suffer the same problem with their interview process. When a company and a candidate both think they are great and cannot be improved, you get the usual awkward interview where the candidate pretends to be somebody they’re not and the interviewer pretends they work for a different company.

There are three elements that can help change that: interviews should ‘engage’ with candidates, they should be quick and they should fully reflect your company’s brand. With that in mind, these are my tips to make your interview process more efficient:

 

Sell something meaningful

Candidates are easier to find these days but harder to engage. There’s a lot of competition on the jobs market. When you’re recruiting a new hire, your company will be one of many that are looking for top talent. Nobody wants mediocre workers. Similarly, you’re not the only firm a candidate might consider. If they’re active in the marketplace, they’ll be applying for loads of jobs. If you’re a small firm, you might not have the fat salaries or free food that multinationals can offer, but you can sell something more meaningful in the interview. For example, you might have a really great training programme that’s respected in your industry. Tell candidates about it and what it could do for their careers. If you sell the genuine opportunities of working with your organisation, you’ll get a much better response and interviewees will compete harder for the role. Free food, gyms and bars on-site are great extras, but no one will join a company on these benefits alone – they want to do work that’s worthwhile. Meaningful work is the best motivator. Companies need to realise that they can stress that in their recruitment process and beat the big boys.

 

‘Creative’ questions

Once the opportunity has been sold and the candidate is interested, you’d be amazed at how many firms miss obvious questions and ask things in interviews that have little to do with the role on offer. Say you have a job in advertising sales, you’ll have a lot of companies asking general questions around a candidate’s experience or set interview questions they think should be asked such as asking about their biggest failure. Instead, companies should be asking very practical questions about the candidate’s ability to do the job, like how good they are at selling ads. Ask them about what targets they achieved in their previous role, who they sold ads to, that kind of thing. Specific questions will allow candidates to showcase their skills, and they’ll be much more enthusiastic about answering them. I had a client recently who went for a job at a well-known e-commerce business. Both the attitude and the timing of their questions was all wrong. For about two hours, they asked him fairly negative questions about things like the times he had failed, but they didn’t give him much of an opportunity to show off his past experience. It didn’t reflect the brand they were selling. They came across as very stiff and not a very nice place to work. Needless to say, he lost interest pretty quickly. Candidates should always see the point behind your line of questioning.The tech sector in particular is prone to asking ‘creative’ questions like: How many red cars do you think there are in Ireland? The idea is to see how candidates deal with a problem they’ve never encountered and have no frame of reference for. That’s fine, but you need to earn the right to ask those types of questions. If a potential hire comes through the door and is bombarded with really weird questions without context or reason, you will get a weak response. Again, if you have shown the opportunity on offer and given an explanation as to why you are asking the strange questions people will see it as a challenge and give it their all.

 

Quick turnaround

The longer people are left in the recruitment process, the longer they’re open to new opportunities. If you like a candidate, you’d better be quick. Don’t let time make the decision for you. Arrange interviews 24 hours after you’ve closed applications. When you interview somebody, get back to them within a week with the next stage, whatever it is. Either bring them in for a follow-up or get them out of the process. There’s nothing worse than going for an interview and hearing nothing. If candidates don’t hear from you, they’ll lose interest and start looking elsewhere. Think of it from your point of view. If a candidate didn’t get back to you for ages when you offered them a second interview, you’d see it as a red flag that they weren’t interested. The whole process should take two or three weeks. That’s ideal.

 

Double standards

There can be lots of double standards like that in the interview process. For example, if you arrange an interview with somebody at 10am, don’t have them waiting around for 15 minutes. Tardiness wouldn’t be tolerated at the company so don’t tolerate it from yourself. I also think if you expect somebody to wear business attire to the interview, you should wear it yourself.  It’s gas, you’ll see the coolest companies in the world where everybody wears sandals and T-shirts, but if someone shows up to an interview without a tie, they turn their noses up at them. If you can only offer a six-month contract, be prepared to look at people who might have had a lot of different jobs. They might have worked a lot of six-month contracts like the one you’re offering, so there’s no point ruling them if they’ve moved around a lot.

 

Finally, I’d say that if you’re serious about finding top talent, you should be flexible about when you can arrange interviews. A prized candidate is probably busy being successful between nine and five, so be prepared to interview them outside normal working hours or on weekends. It doesn’t make sense if you’re pitching your brand as laid back, but you have a very strict interview schedule.

Posted by Rossa Mullally, Manager Sales & Multilingual on 7 December 2017

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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. 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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. 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BCIBC CEO event with former Taoisigh John Bruton and Bertie Ahern

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Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig interviewed former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as part of the "Boston College Ireland Business Council Global Leadership Symposium" which took place on Dec 3rd. This was followed by an interview with former Taoiseach John Bruton, by Dr.Robert Mauro from Global Leadership Institute at Boston College. Both former leaders shared their thoughts on their term in office as well on the current political and economic landscape on issues such as Brexit and the US elections. This exclusive event was attended virtually by over 200 CEOs from both sides of the Atlantic and was the first time the event was held virtually. Born from partnerships formed during Boston College's college football game in Dublin in 2016, the BCIBC has grown to become a key business artery between Ireland and the US. The BCIBC is seen as the EU chapter of Boston College’s CEO Club, the second largest CEO forum in the world, next to WEF in Davos. This is the 6th instalment in our Global Leadership series and to date, we have welcomed over 2000 global CEOs to our bi-annual symposia. Previous speakers have included former heads of state, Ministers, Congressmen; Dermot Desmond, Willie Walsh (CEO of IAG); Denis O'Brien; Mike Mahoney, CEO of Boston Scientific; Pat Ryan, Chairman of AON; Andy McKenna, Chairman of McDonalds, Siobhan Talbot, CEO of Glanbia and Paul Coulson, Chairman of the Ardagh Group. Find our more: www.bostoncollegeirelandbusinesscouncil.com