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.
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.
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.
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
Guide to Irish Immigration Stamps and Permissions
Guide to Irish Immigration Stamps and Permissions
This content is copied from The Department of Justice and Equality. There are several types of stamp with different names, eg Stamp 0, Stamp 1, etc. Each one indicates a type of permission, including the activities you can and cannot do in Ireland and the time period you are allowed to stay. You must be familiar with your stamp and the conditions that apply to it. If you break these conditions, you may have to leave the country. The time you accumulate on certain stamps may be used to calculate your 'reckonable residence' (subject to conditions) if you apply for citizenship by naturalisation. Stamp 0 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary period, subject to conditions. Summary of conditions You must be of independent means, ie fully financially self-sufficient. Alternatively, your sponsor in Ireland must be of independent means and can support you fully. You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services, eg be treated at a public hospital. You must have private medical insurance. You must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 0 if you have permission to: Retire to or live in Ireland as a person of independent means Be a visiting academic at an Irish university or college Live in Ireland as the elderly, dependent relative of a non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen Extend a short term visit here due to exceptional humanitarian circumstances Work here for an overseas company to carry out a specific task for a limited time Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 0 Stamp 1 indicates permission to work or operate a business in Ireland, subject to conditions. Stamp 1 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You must not start a job or enter employment unless you or your employer has obtained an employment permit for you. If you do not have an employment permit you must not engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 1 if you have permission to: Work here based on an employment permit Operate a business here Work here based on a Working Holiday Authorisation Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 1 The Immigration Rules for non-EEA Stamp 1A Trainee Accountants of 1 June 2017 are currently under review. Until this review is completed the following conditions apply in order to qualify for a Stamp 1A. Stamp 1A description Stamp 1A indicates permission in full time, paid accountancy training (with a named organisation such as CPA Ireland, ICAI or regulated by the IAASA and with a training contract with a company based in Ireland) for a specified period, subject to conditions. Summary of conditions You must not engage in any other business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 1A if you have permission to: Study accountancy as a trainee & be employed as a trainee accountant Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 1A 1) Graduate Student who currently holds a Stamp 2 or 2A permission Stamp 1G indicates you have finished your studies in Ireland and have permission to look for employment here under the Third Level Graduate Programme, subject to conditions. Summary of employment conditions for graduates You can work for a maximum of 40 hours per week. If you wish to continue working after Stamp 1G expires, you must find a job that requires an employment permit and then follow the usual application process. While on a Stamp 1G, your other permissions and conditions remain the same as for Stamp 2/2A. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 1G if you have permission to: Look for work as part of the Third Level Graduate Programme 2) Spouse/de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or a Spouse/de facto partner of Researchers in the State on Hosting Agreements From the 6 March 2019 the Stamp 1G will also provide for the change in policy to both visa and non-visa required non-EEA nationals, who are Spouses and de facto partners of persons who are currently resident in this State, on Stamp 3 conditions, as the family member of a person resident in the State on the basis of a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a Researcher in the State on a Hosting Agreement. The requirement to obtain a DPSEP has been removed for this group by DBEI. INIS will grant eligible de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement permission, to reside in this State on Stamp 1G Conditions without the need to obtain a DPSEP from DBEI. This will allow access to the labour market without an Employment Permit. Summary of employment conditions for spouses and de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement permission Permitted to work in the State without the requirement to obtain a work permit Not permitted to establish or operate a Business Not permitted to be Self- Employed Renewal of the Stamp 1G registration should be applied for annually, and after 5years on a Stamp 1G, you may apply for a Stamp 4 Periods spent on Stamp 1G are considered as reckonable residence for the purpose of making an application for Citizenship/Naturalisation Stamp 2 indicates permission to study a full time course on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 2 is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services (e.g. public hospitals) unless you have an entitlement via other means. You can work in casual employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week during school term and 40 hours per week during holidays. You must not engage in any other business or trade. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 2 if you have permission to study the following: English language Higher national diploma Degree (undergraduate) Master's degree (postgraduate) PhD Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 2 Stamp 2A indicates permission for full time study in Ireland for a course that is not on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP), for a specified period. Stamp 2A is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services, eg public hospitals. You must have private medical insurance. You must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 2A in the following circumstances: Semester abroad (ie at an Irish university/college) Study at a private secondary school in Ireland Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 2A Stamp 3 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 3 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions Recently revised to: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/revised-immigration-arrangements-for-the-spouses-and-de-facto-partners-of-critical-skills-employment-permit-holders If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 3 if you have permission to: Volunteer, eg with a charity or non-profit Be a minister of religion Join your non-EEA/EU/Swiss spouse/civil partner or family member who is here based on a work permit Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 3 Stamp 4 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 4 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You can take up employment and are not required to hold an Employment Permit. You can work in a profession, subject to conditions of the relevant professional or other bodies. You can establish and operate a business. You may access state funds and services as determined by Government departments or agencies. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 4 if you have had permission to work in Ireland: With a valid Critical Skills employment permit for 2 years With a valid employment permit for 5 years As a researcher (ie with a valid Hosting Agreement) for 2 years You may be given Stamp 4 if you are granted permission: To join your Irish spouse, civil partner or de-facto partner To join your EU/EEA or Swiss family member based on EU Treaty Rights To join a family member who has immigration permission based on Stamp 4EUFAM (ie EU Treaty Rights) To join your family member who is a recognised refugee or has been granted subsidiary protection To remain with your child who is an Irish citizen Under the Investor and Entrepreneur Programme (including spouse/partner & family) For Long Term Residence As a convention or programme refugee, or based on subsidiary protection Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 4 Stamp 5 indicates permission to stay in Ireland without limits on the time you can remain here, subject to other conditions. Stamp 5 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. The stamp will be valid up to the expiry date on your passport. You may be given Stamp 5 if you have permission to: Remain in Ireland 'Without condition as to time' (WCATT) Stamp 6 indicates you are an Irish citizen with dual-citizenship. You may be given Stamp 6 in your non-Irish passport if you have applied for permission to: Remain in Ireland 'Without condition'
The 10 Best Offices From Around The World
The 10 Best Offices From Around The World
Your working environment can have a huge impact on your state of mind. In fact, the majority of millennials are thought to actually prioritise a strong company culture and a great work/life balance over a high salary. As Ireland (and Europe in general) experiences the lowest unemployment rates in decades, there is strong evidence to suggest that employers are going to retain the best staff by making their offices inspiring, comfortable places to work. Looking for some inspiration as to how you could do the same? Here are our favourite workspaces from all around the world. 10. Apple Park Headquarters – Cupertino, CA Natural light, open-plan workspaces, minimalist décor and 360 views, the Apple Park in Cupertino, California, certainly looks like something out of this world. However, the new layout has rankled some Apple employees, with many threatening to quit if they are forced to work in shared spaces. While Apple’s intention may be to encourage a spirit of creativity and collaboration, research shows that workers operate best when able to control their environment – by choosing to work in private or open spaces, for example. Images: Apple 9. Beats by Dr Dre Headquarters – Los Angeles, CA Beats’ swanky new LA headquarters are full of communal spaces, bright colours and evocative artwork, as well as a healthy bit of greenery. Employees are free to sit and work wherever they please. This workplace certainly upholds Beats’ ethos of generating ‘energy and excitement’ through their product. Images: Bestor Architecture 8. Red Bull HQ - Fuschl-am-See, Austria The producer of the world’s most-consumed energy drink commissioned native sculptor Jos Pirkner to design this artistic and stunning headquarters. A building of such great character is ideal for the creative minds at Red Bull. If red bull gives you wings I know I’ll be flying straight to Austria. 7. Etsy Headquarters – Brooklyn, NY The cosy chairs, arts and crafts stations and natural wood represent the personal touch Etsy products are renowned for in this beautiful New York office space. The solar powered complex is decorated exclusively with products designed and manufactured Etsy sellers, and employees are encouraged to socialise over a twice-weekly communal meal, nicknamed ‘Eatsy’. Images: Etsy 6. Corus Entertainment, Corus Quay – Toronto, Canada The headquarters of this Canadian entertainment and broadcast company are world famous for the atrium, dominated by a helter-skelter and stunning views of the Toronto waterfront. The leafy walls and spacious interior are conducive to creative thinking and unrestricted freedom to let the mind wander. Images: Corus Entertainment 5. Pionen’s White Mountain Office – Stockholm, Sweden It seems somewhat ironic that Pionen, an internet service provider, should choose to base themselves in the centre of a mountain – not exactly a location compatible with connectivity. Allegedly inspired by villains’ lairs in James Bond movies, the workspace combines all four elements – earth, wind, fire and water – to ‘bring the outside in’ for workers, according to the architects. Images: Archie Expo 4. Zynga Headquarters – San Francisco, CA Social gaming service Zynga embraces its strengths in their Silicon Valley HQ. All 1,700 employees are encouraged to shoot zombies, play ping pong and sketch in the designated areas around the enormous office complex. As of May 2019, Zynga are looking to sell their premises for a whopping $600m. Perhaps the zombies are included? Images: Office Snapshots 3. Airbnb – San Francisco Airbnb’s San Francisco base is inspired entirely by the site’s listings. Workspaces include house boats, tents, shepherd huts and beach cabins – all in the interior of the Airbnb building. By giving employees the opportunity to work in almost any environment, the management are allowing staff the opportunity to be their most productive self, all within the comfort of their ‘own home.’ Images: Gensler 2. Google - Everywhere Google’s offices around the world are famous for their creative décor, intended to inspire their workers. From hanging work cubicles in the Zurich office, to the swings and cars featured in the Mexican base, Google employees are never short of interesting visual stimuli to keep their brain cogs whirring. Images: Interior Architects 1. Inventionland Design HQ – Pittsburgh, PA We’ve seen some pretty inventive offices, but Inventionland Design’s Pittsburgh-based HQ takes the biscuit. It’s unsurprising, really, as they are a creative invention designer. Employees can choose to work in caverns, huts, on board pirate ships or in a tree house, and dip their toes into the man-made lagoon in their spare time. The office layout is so mind-blowingly imaginative that Inventionland Design run tours around the premises. Images: Office Snapshots So, there you have it! Our top 10 incredible workspaces from around the world. What all of these spaces have in common are considerable amounts of natural light, rooms that reflect the company’s unique brand and the opportunity for workers to collaborate, but also find space for privacy. Which office is your favourite?
Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Workers
Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Workers
The tiny Irish island of Arranmore hit headlines a few weeks agoo with the announcement that they are seeking remote workers to telecommute from the island, in an attempt to boost the population. Arranmore boasts 469 inhabitants, only 22% of which are currently employed. The island council has written an open letter to Australian and US workers, citing the high-speed broadband, Guinness on tap and idyllic beaches as reasons to consider the move. While life on Arranmore would certainly put the ‘remote’ in ‘remote working’, such a call demonstrates an awareness of the future of the workplace beyond that shown by many large corporations in mainland Ireland. In a time where the workforce is seeking greater flexibility and better work/life balance, employers will find it difficult to attract and retain top quality talent without providing any remote working options, making it an imperative that proactive business leaders consider the advantages and disadvantages of employing remote staff. The Pros Larger Talent Pool The most significant advantage of hiring remote workers is the access employers now have to a vast, international talent pool. When a job posting is not restricted to workers within commuting distance, thousands of potential superstar employees suddenly become ripe for the taking. Cut Down on Costs There are two key ways in which hiring remote workers can significantly reduce company costs. Firstly, in not requiring employees to work from a central office location, businesses are removing the need to pay for renting/buying a workspace, the internet, electricity, cleaning, computers and broadband – the list goes on. Secondly, remote workers are often considerably better value that office-based workers. If an employer does not require their staff to physically turn up to work each day, they can hire from any area – including ones with a lower cost of living than where the company’s headquarters are based, such as rural zones. On sites such as UpWork, for example, remote workers’ prices range from $4/hr to $70+/hr, hailing from all over the world. Additionally, there has been research to suggest that remote workers are more likely to accept lower pay, work longer hours and forgo company-provided health insurance if it meant they were permitted to work from the comfort of their own home. Higher Retention Rate A study by Staples Advantage found that 76% of remote workers considered themselves more loyal to their company after being offered the option to telecommute, and that 39% have turned down a job, a promotion or outright quit because the company did not offer flexible working options. Many traditionally office-based workers are finding that remote working is an increasingly attractive alternative model to consider, as they have children or gain other responsibilities outside of their professional lives. More and more employers are offering remote working options to their staff to prevent competitors, who are similarly wising up to the advantages of this system, from poaching their most experienced employees…perhaps snapping up a few of their own along the way! Increased Productivity Levels ‘Work smarter, not longer’ is fast becoming the mantra of the modern workforce. If an employee is able to tailor their working day to their own personal preferences, in an environment of their choosing, they’re considerably more likely to be productive and engaged throughout the day. That being said, remote workers are 53% more likely to work over 40 hours a week, according to recent studies, increasing organisational productivity as a result. The Cons Potential Security Risks The Blueface Business Communications Technology Insight Report 2018 found that 57% of organisations with 200+ employees had experienced a cyber incident, such as hacking or phishing. When employees are permitted to use their own computer equipment in a non-secure environment, they are considerably more vulnerable to malicious cyber-attacks, potentially compromising company data security. However, there are numerous steps employers can take to overcome these odds, such as recommending workers avoid using public WiFi networks and providing stringent security guidelines upon hiring new staff. Loss of Company Culture While remote working options are statistically proven to actually increase employee engagement, such a work arrangement company-wide can somewhat dilute the sense of culture that has been so integral to successful modern business models until now. Employees are less likely to develop a genuine rapport online, let alone arrange to socialise out of hours or organically collaborate on a new idea. That being said, there are some great ways employers can promote a positive culture for their remote workers, such as the ones explored in this Forbes article. Issues with Communication Inevitably, if managers are only communicating with staff during brief windows of time each day, there is ample opportunity for the misinterpretation of instructions, or a lack of clarity in the project objective. It’s more of a commitment for an employee to pick up the phone and call their supervisor to clear something up than to pop their heads round a door, or to pass someone in a corridor. However, if employers rise to the challenge and adapt their communication practices to suit a remote workforce, there’s no reason why communication should hinder the productivity of the company. Investing in an instant messaging app for employees and ensuring managers are in constant contact with their team throughout the day will eliminate most potential issues before they have a chance to cause problems. Face-to-face interactions, such as video conferencing, are a further valuable tool for managers to ensure that they are getting the most out of their staff. Our workforce is evolving in a way that may feel scary or uncontrollable to some employers. However, the benefits to remote working are hard to be argued with – there are many great reasons companies should consider moving with the times and expanding their talent pool beyond their immediate geographical location. Arranmore is on the right track – you should be too!
2019 Summer Barbecue
2019 Summer Barbecue
To celebrate such a successful H1 of 2019, Sigmar held its annual Summer BBQ in Nolita Dublin. All regional offices from around the nation came together to catch up on the last six successful months. The day was full of terrible shirts and bright smiles as highly achieving consultants were given the fruits of their labour. Overall 13 consultants were promoted for outstanding work with 12 consultants being rewarded for their ongoing succesful contribution to the business. A well deserved day out for the company to celebrate H1 and kick off H2!