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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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Post-Covid US trade mission planned for April 2022

Post-Covid US trade mission planned for April 2022

  By Adam Maguire Business Journalist, RTE View Original Article on RTE   Business group Ireland Gateway to Europe has announced plans for a post-Covid trade mission to the US next year. The mission is scheduled to take place in April 2022, focused mainly on Boston and Chicago. It will seek to encourage US firms to invest in Ireland, while also helping Irish companies that are looking to get a foothold in the American market. As travel options are currently limited, IGTE is also planning two further virtual events for later this year. However Adie McGennis, founder of IGTE and CEO of Sigmar Recruitment, said those online functions did not have the same draw as an in-person trade mission. "Obviously the Irish-US relationship has been really strong over the years so I think meeting in person certainly excites a number of our members over here, and importantly a lot of the people we'll be meeting over there too," he said. IGTE was established in 2012 and has hosted a number of trade missions already - mainly to US cities, but also some to London. Mr McGennis said that, over the years, they had developed particularly strong links in Chicago and Boston, which is why the mission will focus on those cities. "Particularly the relationships with Notre Dame and Boston College has been really strong, the access they give to politicians, to businesspeople, to the Irish community over there, has been immense," he said. "Chicago and Boston will form the core of it, though we may tag on one more city." Certain US cities are synonymous with specific sectors - for example San Francisco’s connection to tech and New York’s link to finance - however Mr McGennis said there was no particular type of company they were looking to connect with for the Boston/Chicago trip. He said there were some areas where the cities are having particular success, but that did not mean firms from other industries were not welcome.   "We're pretty open," he said. "The east coast, particularly around the Boston area, is synonymous with medical devices and pharmaceuticals… but also tech around the Boston area and the east coast generally, has been huge for Ireland for the last couple of years. "Chicago has got quite a mix… so we’re pretty agnostic as to the nature of the business." Recently the Biden Administration has pushed forward with plans for a 21% corporation tax on US multinationals' foreign earnings - which some argue would undermine the attractiveness of Ireland’s 12.5% rate. Mr McGennis said it was not clear what impact that would have on companies’ interest in Ireland, but he was confident that there were a number of factors that made the country attractive to US firms. "The simple answer is that we don’t quite know how the 21% is going to pan out," he said. "If it does prove to be a challenge, and there have been challenges in the past, all the more reason to go over. "Our strong argument for years is that US companies have set up deep roots in Ireland and it definitely was not all about tax; the talent, the quality of life, the EU access right now post-Brexit - have become a lot more important issues." He also said that, while the Biden plan could be a challenge for Ireland, the new administration there was generally felt to be a positive for the country. "A lot of Joe Biden’s administration we hope to be participants in some of our events, because they’re certainly embracing the whole Irish-US relationship on various different fronts," he said.

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SURVEY: Just one third of Workers to Return to the Office Full-time Post-Covid

SURVEY: Just one third of Workers to Return to the Office Full-time Post-Covid

According to the Sigmar/AON Pulse Report on the future of work post-Covid, just 34% of workers will be returning to the office on a full-time basis once Covid restrictions are permanently lifted. 22% of employees are expected to work full-time remotely with the remaining 44% to work hybrid between home and the office. Of this hybrid cohort, 92% will spend three days or less in the office. The Sigmar/AON survey  polled 253 companies in Ireland to get insight into the future of work practices post-Covid. Commenting on the findings Talent Summit founder and Sigmar chief commercial officer Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says:  “Recent speculation about the future of work has seen a division in thought between commentators and experts regarding the role the office will play in working practices post-Covid. With this poll, we have real insight into how employers are planning for the world of work once restrictions are lifted. The reality is that two thirds of Ireland’s workforce will see permanent changes in their work practices. That is a massive shift that affects the majority of us.”   Remote Working to Spark a Global War for Talent The Sigmar/ AON survey finds that 22% of employees will work full-time remotely. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig:  “Remote work is the emerging front of a world war for talent, being fought virtually and our remote workers the spoils of this war. “Ireland is globally recognised as an epicentre of highly skilled and educated workers, making this cohort of employees an attractive proposition for employers from around the world. “There is now global competition for local talent, requiring an arsenal of new methods and systems to compete, as it’s more about hearts and minds than before. “International competition of this cohort of workers will be fierce, effectively opening up a whole world in which 22% of our workforce can work.” The Future is Hybrid 44% of Ireland’s workforce will work hybrid between office and home.  92% will work three or less days in the office. The reality is that many of us will work hybrid between the office and home. Last year we were challenged by the forced dislocation of the workforce from the workplace. This year, however, we will choose how, by whom and where work gets done, which requires deep consideration as we re-architect work over the coming months. This is a critical moment in time for the next generation of work. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: “ “According to this survey the future is hybrid.”