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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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Resignations Surge in September as Offices Re-open

Resignations Surge in September as Offices Re-open

Main Points Q3 record breaking recruitment placement results Highest in 20 years, peaking in September Up 44% for same period in 2020 Job orders in the first half of October are trending higher than any previous single month in company 20-year history The Talent Shortage Economy: Recruitment (for on-site labour and remote skills) is the single biggest threat to the Irish economy War for talent now being fought on two fronts: Battle for Retention internally and the Skills Struggle externally    “The Great Return is causing a Mass Exodus. The reopening of offices in September has prompted a new surge in resignations as Ireland now faces a Talent Crisis. Employers are increasingly requesting in-office presence and Employees are voting with their feet..” says Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, founding director Sigmar Recruitment:   Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements for Q3 (July, August, September) 2021, up 44% on the same period 2020. The figures released today top previous results recorded in Q2, 2021, with September recording the best single month ever in the 20-year history of Sigmar. Job orders in the first two weeks in October are trending higher than any single full month in the company’s 20-year history.   The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements, peaking initially in May. Summer months remained as strong, peaking once more in September. Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, founding director of Sigmar believes that the request to return to the office in September has caused employees to revolt, as they do not wish to return to pre-pandemic conditions and practices..   Commenting on the tightening of the labour market, Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “Demand for talent has remained at an all-time high for the second quarter in our 20-year history. It was somewhat unusual not to see demand abate over the summer months. Indeed, demand continued to increase over the summer, resulting in September’s record results. The rate of job requests  in the first two weeks of October is unprecedented, indicating continued in Q4 and raises the question of the sustainability of talent supply.   “Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunity no longer bound by location which is creating significant churn in the professional skills market. This last 18 months has seen employees demand greater flexibility. The request to return to the office by employers in September has prompted employees to reconsider whether they recommit or resign. Many are resigning.”   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 opened up new experiences and possibilities on a scale never before seen. In September, many employers have asked employees to “trial” living together once more, which in some cases leads to a reunion or in others to separation.   "Another factor, on the employee side is that of identity and how what we do makes up part of who we are as individuals. “This last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, mainly how our working lives interact with our lives and how we identify with our working lives. In the absence of a workplace we’ve reassessed the balance between who we are and what we do, resulting in lesser commitment to our working selves and therefore to our employers. Employee loyalty has therefore become increasingly under question with many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.”     Talent Shortage Economy Recruitment for both the on-site and remote talent remains the single largest threat to the Irish economy. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: ”We are seeing two macro trends converge at once, compounding demand for talent across all sectors – (1) supply of labour and (2)shortage of skills.”   The “high touch economy” for on-site labour in sectors such as construction, logistics, retail and hospitality are currently experiencing severe labour shortages. The disruption to international talent supply chains have caused significant bottlenecks to the supply of labour,  particularly effecting on-site, lower skilled jobs. On-going travel restrictions and pace vaccine rollout continue to impede immigration globally, but as an island nation we are now seeing the impact of this as demand recovers at pace.   The “low-touch economy”, on the other hand, where remote work is viable is experiencing greater churn due to the expansion of opportunity for skilled workers, shift in motivation, identity and desire for flexibility. This is now being experienced more acutely in Ireland as offices re-open and employees now vote with their feet, in choosing to resign over reengaging with employers in many cases. Demand has been particularly strong in IT, Financial Services and Life Sciences.    He adds: “If we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. Retaining workers rather than attracting them is now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”