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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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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. Cybersecurity Unsurprisingly with the adoption of remote work and the planning for transition to the next “normal”, we have seen huge demand for infrastructure and security professionals which we foresee continuing in 2021. As organisations pivoted to work from home models, security engineers rushed to establish secure connections and prevent network threats that targeted remote workers. At the same time, with the surge in online shopping and e-commerce transactions, they had to bolster their organisation’s e-commerce platforms. 2021 will see organisations continue to increase their spend on cybersecurity as companies look to how they will operate in a post-pandemic world. With many organisations such as Google planning for a “Hybrid” work-from-home model, i.e. employees working a few days in the office and a few at home, network security will be a priority. 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. All-in-all, we are optimistic about the IT jobs market in 2021 with plentiful opportunities across digital transformation, cybersecurity, MedTech, pharma etc. The roll-out of the vaccine should increase confidence and create further opportunities as the year progresses. Download our IT Salary Guide Ireland 2021 (PDF)

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Salary Guide 2021

Salary Guide 2021

  Download - Salary Guide Ireland 2021 (PDF)     Executive Summary From Adie McGennis, CEO   We thought we had seen it all! If someone said in January; that most of us would fundamentally change the way we work (possibly forever), that some markets would be down over 80%, that we’d all feel awkward when not wearing a mask, that we couldn’t meet any clients or candidates for most of the year, that international travel would be nearly impossible, and that in Ireland record levels of employment would turn to record levels of unemployment in a few weeks; you would probably expect a more volatile salary comparison guide at the end of 2020. Indeed, the personal and health toll for many puts business considerations in context, so we wish everyone well, good health and wellbeing.   Obviously, some areas suffered more than others and many areas even thrived, but overall, the stability in professional salaries may be the remarkable aspect of 2020! Generally, in volatile times temporary and contract work increases and this was very much the case in 2020. Many companies had to deal with a rapidly changing landscape in terms of their market, remote work, government supports and varying degrees of lockdown. Progressive companies hired professionals on a temporary or contract basis, and even on a remote basis, so demand and rates did increase for contractors in areas such as IT. We see this continuing even as the rate of change is slowing and hopefully stabilising. For some years now, we have been talking about career plans being fluid and dynamic, and flexibility and contracting increasing. This definitely took a leap forward in 2020.   Sector wise, life sciences, including pharmaceutical got increasingly busy throughout the year and from R&D to manufacturing to distribution, this looks set to continue growing for the next few years. Financial Services was more challenging, as their market and way of work changed so quickly. Certainly, towards the end of the year it seems to be stabilising. At the end of 2020 Brexit is again looming and Dublin’s and London’s financial services will experience change and opportunity as well as challenges, for at least the next few years. Construction really slowed in 2020, but again steadily picking up in last few months, as general demand returns but also the way construction sites work has evolved.   As a group generally SMEs in Ireland handled the craziness really well. Agility, pivoting and bootstrapping seemed like management school concepts until out of necessity, many businesses changed their model, their cost base, their strategy, and their mentality very quickly to go from Survive to Thrive in a few months. So many inspirational stories. They deserve the opportunities that we hope an improving landscape will present.   So, our outlook for Ireland in 2021 is positive. There will be more challenges in coming months, but we are optimistic that the general picture will improve. From a national perspective the short-term funding required will necessitate strong budget management in coming years to enable businesses to grow back. Ireland still carries a lot of debt and politically there may be pressure to increase public expenditure beyond sustainable rates. But as long as we get this right, we have every reason to be optimistic and put 2020 down to learning experience.     Download Salary Guide Ireland 2021 (PDF)     Salary Guide 2021 by department Accountancy & Finance  Construction & Property Services  Financial Services HR Insurance IT Legal & Compliance Life Sciences Manufacturing & Engineering Marketing Multilingual Office Support Sales Supply Chain