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gateway to europe

Ireland Gateway To Europe – Trip to California 2017

gateway to europe

Last week a team from Sigmar Recruitment lead a delegation of 25 companies to California to promote Ireland as an investment location for US companies that are considering internationalising. This was the 7th annual Ireland Gateway To Europe trip to the US.

Palo Alto – 26th September

On Tuesday morning the group headed to the Sheraton Hotel in Palo Alto to address a tech audience from Silicon Valley. Following a welcome by Sigmar CEO Adie McGennis, the first panel discussed the post-Brexit European economic landscape,  GDPR, and how will US policy changes affect transatlantic trade? Panelists were Gareth Keane, Snr. Investment Manager, Qualcomm Ventures; Gerald Brady, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank; Deirdre Ceannt, VP Foreign Direct Investment at Bank of Ireland; David Carthy, Partner at William Fry. The panel was moderated by Ashlinn Marron, President of the Irish Network Bay Area.

The 2nd panel was moderated by Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, who discussed the challenges and opportunities of operating and scaling in Europe with Paraic Hayes, VP Emerging Technologies at IDA Ireland; Julie Kinsella, VP Enterprise Sales Development at Salesforce; Ananth Avva, COO & CFO at Wrike; and Ryan Pittington, Operations Manager at Asana.

Following the event, the delegation went on to take part in a masterclass in design thinking at the D School at Stanford University. The group then headed to Google HQ in Mountainview for a tour and talk about culture at the company before heading back to San Francisco for dinner.


San Francisco – 27th September

On Thursday morning the group held another “Scaling In Europe” breakfast event in the newly refurbished Hibernia Bank in downtown San Franciso. The building was kindly offered the group by Dolmen Property Group.

The first panel moderated by Ashlinn Marron, who discussed the european economy and upcoming data protection legislation with Sean Randolph, Senior Director at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute; Gerald Brady from Silicon Valley Bank; Conor Brogan from AIB and Andrew McIntyre who heads up William Fry’s San Francisco Office.

The 2nd panel was again moderated by Sigmar CCO Robert who talked about how easy it is for US companies to set up Ireland with Deirdre Moran, VP Emerging Technologies at IDA Ireland; Julie DeBuhr, Director at New Relic; and Jim Kelliher, CFO at Actifio.

The group then spent the evening at the offices of accountancy firm  EisnerAmper on Market Street for drinks and discussion around building transatlantic culture. Consul General Robert O’Driscoll welcomed the group which was made up of alumni of Trinity College’s MBA programme, alumni of Boston College as well as the Ireland Gateway To Europe delegation.  Robert from Sigmar had a fireside chat with Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, about her much famed culture deck which she co-authored and has been viewed over 16 million times. They were then joined by Geraldine Finn from Twitter and Shane Murphy from Adroll who had a lively and interesting discussion about the similarities and differences in workplace culture on both sides of the pond.


 A big thanks to our speakers, hosts and delegation for making it such a great week.


Posted by Jamie Harnett, Associate Director Marketing & People Engagement on 7 December 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.”