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talent talks

Sigmar Shaping Leadership Agenda in Ireland

talent talks

On Thursday 5th October 2017, the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin played host to TALENT TALKS, five 25-minute talks on the theme of leadership. This half-day symposium was the first in a series of talent and leadership events produced by Sigmar Recruitment in association with EY, culminating in the Talent Summit (www.talentsummit.ie), which will take place on 22nd February 2018 in the Convention Centre Dublin.


The purpose of TALENT TALKS was to share inspirational thinking on leadership styles to create better workplaces and better working lives.


TALENT TALKS comprised five of the brightest minds from the arts, business, consulting and academic worlds to share thought leadership through new thinking, leadership philosophy and personal leadership stories.


First to take to the stage was Professor Kevin Whelan, director of the Keough Naughton Centre, University of Notre Dame. Professor Whelan looked at leadership through a historical lens, focusing on the lessons we can learn from outstanding political leadership of past Irish history, such as Daniel O’Connell and Maude Gonne who reshaped the role of women in society. Professor Whelan’s theme was Creative Leadership: Looking at the Past to Frame the Future.


Second up was Niamh O’Beirne, partner of Performance & Talent, People Advisory Services, EY Ireland, whose theme was Resilient Leadership: Resilience as the Foundation of Leading Change. O’Beirne focused on the importance of building resilience in our employees and focus on wellbeing and mental health due to greater levels of stress and change in the ‘always on’ world. Resilience can be thought of as our capacity to manage change.


Ian McClean, founder of Flow Group, took to the stage to offer his unique take on leadership and the role that communication plays in leading. McClean’s theme was GreenLine Leadership: Making Every Interaction Matter.



Karen Ní Bhróin, conductor in Training at RTÉ Choirs, Orchestras and Quartets discussed the vital role she plays as a conductor in leading an entire orchestra to harmony rather than a cacophony of noise, which is all an orchestra is without its leader. Ní Bhróin’s theme was Facilitative Leadership: Making Music with No Instrument.


Finally, under the theme of Purposeful Leadership: Interpreting Moral Commitment to Stakeholders, Amanda Shantz, associate professor of human resources and organisational behaviour at Trinity Business School took to the stage to offer her insight on the role ethics and morality plays in effective leadership.


The talks were followed by a panel discussion with Marius Smyth, VP EMEA, Adroll and Gerard Murnaghan, VP EMEA, Indeed on how we can challenge conventional thinking on leadership in an increasingly complex world of work.


Speaking after the event, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, CCO of Sigmar Recruitment and chair of TALENT TALKS, said, “Leadership is seen by employers as being a key competitive advantage and organisations are now focused on cultivating the leaders of tomorrow, more than ever before.


“With the rise of millennial leaders and a shift from control and command leadership to decentralised leadership, leaders of all ages, genders and cultures are poised to lead in 2018 and beyond. Leadership is increasingly seen by organisations as action that creates business momentum as opposed to a function within an organisation. There is a broad realisation that “followship” is in fact the critical point of engagement that drives discretional effort and delivers desired results.”

Posted by Julia Purcell, Marketing & Communications Manager 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.”