Nrf 2018

Sigmar IT and Graduate of the Year Julie Valentine win at NRF Awards 2018

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The 12th annual National Recruitment Federation Awards took place in the Shelbourne Hotel on Friday night, November 30th. Sigmar were delighted to attend and to come away with not one but two awards on the night.


Best in Practice: Sigmar IT

It’s been a big year for our IT Team, with the launch of their European IT Recruitment talent hub in Tralee, so picking up Best in Practice Technical, IT & Telecoms in one of the most closely contested categories of the night was the cherry on top. Speaking of the award, Associate Director, Eoin Langdon said that he was delighted their hard work had been recognised.


NRF Cert RP Graduate of the Year: Julie Valentine

The NRF Cert RP Graduate of the Year Award recognises those who have achieved the highest results in the NRF Certificate in Recruitment Practice exams in 2018. Sigmar was thrilled for our Sales Recruiter Julie Valentine to be recognised for achieving the highest grade of the 2018 graduates.

Speaking on Julie’s win, Sigmar Director, Malwina King said; “I am truly delighted that Julie achieved Top Graduate of the Year at the 2018 NRF Awards. Julie, we are super proud of you and your success is very well deserved! Not only was Julie one of the most active participants in Sigmar’s Recruitment Excellence Programme but this award is a testament to her hard work, industry expertise and ‘can do attitude’ that is appreciated by both clients and candidates alike. Well done Julie!”


We were also delighted to have Claire Kelly shortlisted for Permanent Recruitment Consultant of the Year and for our Office Support and Technical, Engineering & Science teams being shortlisted in their respective categories. 


Posted by Julia Purcell on 3 December 2018

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Sigmar Recruitment (Grand Prize Winner, 51-Plus employees, Ireland, 2023)

Sigmar Recruitment (Grand Prize Winner, 51-Plus employees, Ireland, 2023)

​As featured on SIA website- ​Pride in PurposeCreating a place where employees enjoy the day-to-day​Sigmar Recruitment understands that its success begins with genuine investment in its own people. The firm’s values — “Going Further, Faster, Together” — uniquely embody its corporate spirit and leadership mentality, consistently playing out in the day-to-day life of employees. Sigmar prides itself on being people-first, socially responsible and unafraid to challenge the status quo — and it is this philosophy that has helped the firm earn a grand prize on SIA’s Best Staffing Firms to Work For – UK and Ireland for the third time.Despite business changes and market hurdles, Dublin, Ireland-based Sigmar Recruitment has never lost track of its values and the drive to have an impact. Established in 2002, the firm has grown steadily and in 2018 formed a strategic partnership with French staffing firm Groupe Adéquat, expanding Sigmar’s reach even further. Today, the firm is home to 130 internal employees and places candidates in temporary, contract and permanent positions across various sectors, including accounting and financial services, construction, engineering, life sciences, marketing, office support and sales.​Coming HomeCEO Frank Farrelly makes his vision for the employee experience clear. “I want it to be a place where they can enjoy the day-to-day,” he says. “Whether that’s working remotely or from the office, I want them to enjoy it — and as important, I want them to know their impact and have all the support, mentoring and confidence they need to succeed in their careers.”To Sigmar’s internal employees, this is what makes the firm different from other places to work. Senior Public Sector Recruitment Consultant Madeline Donovan shares, “The work is enjoyable, but I also love the culture. The people I work with are good friends of mine. It’s easy working with them.” Noting that teamwork is common and the atmosphere in the Dublin office is casual, she adds, “If someone else needs a hand, you offer it, and even though your role could be one thing, everyone jumps in to help each other out.”That culture of teamwork and belonging helps people feel like more than just employees, no matter where they are located. Take Marcel Skolimowski, a recruitment manager working from Poland. Coming to the Dublin office daily is not feasible, yet he experiences the close-knit environment even as a remote worker. “In my previous company, I never had a direct path to the CEO where I was able to pick up the phone and call him with any issue or have a normal conversation,” he says. And whenever he does travel to Ireland, the way he is welcome is “like I’m coming home. You get hugs, and everybody smiles. We go for lunch and pints after work together.”​Giving BackFrom its earliest days, Sigmar Recruitment came from a place of giving back, changing lives with the job opportunities and career advancement they provide to external candidates and internal staff alike. The firm’s mission to have an impact on the lives of others is woven throughout the day-to-day work that Sigmar does as well as through socially responsible activities employees are empowered to be a part of — something that Farrelly sees as a reason why people stay with the firm. “We are commercially focused but put people first and make decisions that recognize people as our most important asset,” he says proudly. “First and foremost, throughout time, through all our history, we have done the right thing by our people and for our society. We have a strong social conscience. We give back.”Donovan speaks enthusiastically about various activities she has been involved with at Sigmar, including helping out at their annual “Talent Summit,” Ireland’s largest HR and leadership conference, in which speakers from around the globe present on topics influencing work today and in the future. She appreciates how Sigmar makes it fun and easy to contribute to a range of activities, many with a social cause. Employees have opportunities to get involved as a team, helping to carry each other forward in doing great things for their communities and beyond.For example, Sigmar last October raised over €40,000 through its participation in Paris2Nice, a 700-kilometer charity cycle event completed by 10 of their staff; the firm used this money to send 30 volunteers to help transform the outdoor spaces of a school that looks after children who have autism and other special needs.​Breaking NormsUnderlying Sigmar’s values of Going Further, Faster, Together is a sense of empowered risk-taking and experimentation. Reflecting on 20 years at Sigmar, Farrelly recalls the success stories — the people who, despite struggling, surmounted their challenges and made a space for themselves in the business. “All these people who’ve grown with us — consultants, managers, support staff — Sigmar is providing an ecosystem and the autonomy to make mistakes, to ask questions, to learn, and the encouragement needed for success.” Under Farrelly’s leadership, Sigmar is a place where employees are empowered to question the status quo and where “norm breakers, not norm takers” are rewarded.From this company culture and supported autonomy come “small success stories,” as Skolimowski proudly recounts. After working several years in the Cork office, Skolimowski was presented with an opportunity to return to Poland — but despite the move, he knew he wanted to stay with Sigmar. “It was quite easy, surprisingly enough,” he says, recalling the conversation he had with leadership about the move. “Even though you are with a company for some time and you think that you know everybody, [I was a little afraid] to have a conversation like that. But then they were like, ‘No problem.’” Where some companies may have parted ways with an employee when faced with a relocation request, Sigmar valued Skolimowski enough to make it work. And as a result, today, Skolimowski steers a small and growing part of the business out of Poland, including an office with an expanding headcount.​Passion Beyond SizeSmaller organizations are often close knit in their operations, but Sigmar leaders and team members alike know their culture is driven by something more than the size of the business. It is more than having an open-door policy; it is more than professional training and development. People at Sigmar embody and promote an environment that allows others to excel on their own terms, in many ways reversing the standard operating procedures of corporate life; Sigmar exists to support its people, not the other way around. And in response, the firm’s internal staff follow a philosophy of treating people the way they themselves want to be treated, a mindset that will continue contributing to Sigmar’s growth and success in the future.

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Sigmar Recruitment Announce Frank Farrelly As CEO, Adie McGennis to Step Into Executive Chairman Role

Sigmar Recruitment Announce Frank Farrelly As CEO, Adie McGennis to Step Into Executive Chairman Role

Today, Sigmar Recruitment announce that our co-founder and current CEO Adie McGennis will step into the role of Executive Chairman, and our Chief Operating Officer, Frank Farrelly will become Sigmar’s CEO.​Frank has been with the multi-award-winning recruitment company since it opened in 2002, serving as COO since 2011.  He is a former President of the Employment & Recruitment Federation (ERF) and currently chairs the steering group for the Apprenticeship in Recruitment.   On his appointment Frank comments: “I’m really excited to continue my journey with Sigmar.  I look forward to working with our great team to continue our story in Ireland and around the globe ensuring all our clients, candidates and community stakeholders get the best of Sigmar. I’m excited to lead the company into its next phase of growth as we further our momentum in the marketplace.” ​Frank Farrelly’s appointment was announced and warmly welcomed by current CEO Adie McGennis who will move into the role of Executive Chairman and will have a continuing involvement in the business focusing on international projects for parent company Groupe Adéquat.During his time as CEO McGennis led Sigmar to significant growth becoming the largest organically grown recruitment firm in Ireland before its strategic merger with Groupe Adéquat in 2018. This impressive baseline sets Farrelly up to continue solidifying Sigmar as Ireland’s leading recruitment agency. “I am delighted to be staying on as Executive Chairman and thrilled that Frank is formally taking the CEO role. Frank is an industry legend and his leadership from day one and into the future, brings exciting times for Sigmar, nationally and internationally,” says McGennis.​All the team wish Frank and Adie every success in their new roles. Massive Congrats!

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Talent Summit 2023

Talent Summit 2023

​Founded at the height of the financial crisis, Talent Summit is now one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe. Sigmar CCO and Talent Summit Founder Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig talks about this year’s event, HR trends, and why the tech slump is an opportunity for indigenous firms. (Featured in The Currency)---The Currency is media partner of Talent Summit. It will be producing a series of podcasts with executive and thought leaders in human resources participating in the event. The Currency’s podcast stage is sponsored by Employee Financial Wellness a financial education and advice company supporting Talent Summit. For the full line up, tickets and more visit​Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig remembers founding Talent Summit back in 2011, when unemployment surged to more than 10 per cent and the country was on the brink of economic collapse.Mac Giolla Phádraig, who had co-led the management buyout of recruitment firm Sigmar just two years earlier, decided to launch National Employment Week as part of a not-for-profit effort. The aim was to connect employers who were still hiring with the tens of thousands of people who were losing their jobs amid Ireland’s economic implosion.“The idea was to set up a job activation initiative,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “Unemployment was peaking, and we just wanted to do something to help.”Twelve years later the event has transformed into Talent Summit, making March 9 this year an important date in the Human Resources calendar. Between 1,500 and 2,000 HR professionals attend the summit, making it one of the biggest events of its type in Europe. There are 35 speakers from around the world scheduled, ranging from Evelyn Doyle, the head of people and culture at Patagonia, to Eddie Wilson, the chief executive of Ryanair. A smaller basecamp event takes place the day before for 100 chief people officers from Ireland and overseas.During Covid-19 the event became virtual before returning to being in-person last year. HR had changed a lot during the pandemic.“People really wanted content,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “They were trying to figure out what was next for people strategies.”The other thing they wanted to do was convene and network. “They hadn’t been together for two years,” he said. “The conference is about the experience as much as the content. That’s why this year we’ve gone for a whole new look and feel that is flexible and open-plan for delegates.”The VHI will be operating a wellness experience, whileThe Currency, with the support ofEmployee Financial Wellness, is operating a podcast corner. Comedian Joanne McNally is closing the event at an evening reception.Mac Giolla Phádraig, the chief commercial officer with Sigmar, says that putting together the programme for this year’s Talent Summit gave him a unique insight into the challenges and needs of HR leaders.“I think it’s a very confusing labour market right now,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “The challenges have been largely talent-led the last two or three years. We’ve seen unprecedented levels of churn in the market with the fallout of remote working all of which is talent driven – it was all about the shortage of talent and how to retain it.“But this is now changing as the economy gets tougher. We’re seeing a lot of contradictions which is the theme of this year’s conference which is the tug of war of work.”He added: “Employers and employees can have opposite priorities. Before there was the swing of power from employer to employee but now it is moving back to the employer quite a bit.“At the same time, flexibility is going in the direction of employees and not necessarily for employers.”​New opportunities and leadershipAccording to Mac Giolla Phádraig, the future of work could be thought about in a simple way: “You have a workplace, a workforce, and then work practice. Work practice is what enables and facilitates both workplace and workforce to collaborate and deliver the product or service.“The burning challenge right now is to make sense of how you can maybe be reducing your workforce, but still have pressure to recruit, while retention remains your number one priority, all under increasing cost pressures. That’s a very confusing message to manage, and a confusing strategy to execute.”Mac Giolla Phádraig said this was a big theme of the conference, not just for tech companies but also for other sectors that may be considering job cuts. The chief people officers of two of Ireland’s best tech unicorns, L. David Kingsley from Intercom, and Stephanie White, from Fenergo are both speaking at the event on how they see the HR market for tech.“We want to drill into, with them, where lies the opportunity in the current market?” Mac Giolla Phádraig said.He added that another theme of the conference was leadership development with Lise Render Nielsen from Lego and Leah Hollander from NASA among the speakers.“When you think about the talent supply chain,” he said. “You buy talent by recruiting it, you borrow it by taking on temporary or flexible people or bot it by automating processes.“Or you can build it. Building your own talent pipeline has been less focussed on in recent years and probably underinvested in, so we’re looking at what you can to increase that.”Mac Giolla Phádraig recalled the story of how President John F Kennedy visited NASA for the first time in 1962: “As he toured the facility the President met a janitor, and asked him: ‘What is it you do here?’ and he replied: ‘I’m helping put a man on the moon.’ That is being purpose driven. With the HR director of NASA we will be taking a deep dive into the driving force behind that level of purpose-driven followship and how it drives discretionary effort, the holy grail of performance.”Many technology companies, he said, had relied on a “seven-star kind of office experience” as a symbol of their culture, but now it is all about mission. “When tech companies lost that competitive advantage of the office experience they doubled down on a deep sense of purpose, their nobility in solving major problems and trying to create a kind of family feel by supporting their people’s wellbeing and so on,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said.“But we’ve had a bit of a wake up call and maybe people feel (because of redundancies) that employers aren’t family, performing well trumps wellbeing and many of their causes are a little less noble perhaps.”“When decisions are made based on the profit and loss account a business can lose its soul somewhat. I think a lot is being played out right now and it will be interesting to see where we end up over the next 12 months.“The golden handcuffs of share options were one of the main challenges in headhunting tech talent for companies who are in growth mode. But as valuations plummeted last year, we saw them change to bronze handcuffs.”​People power“Talent Summit has become of the largest HR conference series in Europe.”Employees, he said, were more prepared to move, and this offered more opportunities to Irish-owned companies and startups to hire good people. “It isn’t all bad news, as indigenous tech and earlier-stage companies can now get access to international talent based in Ireland,” he said.Inflation was putting pressure on employers to increase pay, but again there was tension as the jobs market was not as buoyant as it was. “It’s another tug of war,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “Some employers are saying ‘We can help and support you with your financial well-being, but our job isn’t to match inflation.’ It is up to the talent market to decide who wins or loses in these battles.”Traditionally, the route to becoming chief executive officer is often via becoming chief financial officer or chief operating officer first. Talent Summit however is talking to two of Ireland’s most respected  CEOs – Eddie Wilson of Ryanair and Noel Keely of Musgrave – who both came from a HR background. “The answer to the financial crisis was very much the CFO,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “The Chief People Officer was the answer to the people crisis and really came to the fore during the pandemic, and they’re still there.”“We’re starting to see how the perception of that function and its impact has changed,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “There is a new trend of the CPO moving into the CEO role, so that’s why we have two former heads of HR who have made that journey talking about this.“A lot of the problems to be solved in business are to do with people. HR has a really big impact on organisations especially when they are undergoing transformation. That’s why chief people officers are becoming of ever greater importance as leaders in companies.”​Wanting something moreIn September 2022, the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard gave up his ownership of the company to a trust dedicated to fighting climate change. Head of People and Culture Evelyn Doyle is going to talk about the impact this has had on Patagonia.“She is going to talk about what it means to be a ‘for planet’ business – what challenges it has brought, and how they create a unique sense of purpose and belonging in their company. Not every company is going to go as far as Patagonia but I think it has ideas that a lot of HR leaders can adopt, and help them to think about impact in a greater way.”The Talent Summit also has a panel discussion on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) with speakers Laura Matthews from Bank of America and Joe Creegan from Zurich. “We want to understand what ESG means to different people in the room?” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “In any talent decision – hiring, retaining, leading – it is about winning hearts and minds.“We want to explore the conversation not just between the employee and the employer but also the customer and society. There is a lot of talk about this, and some of it is window dressing.”He added: “We want to talk about how to create real, material, impactful strategies. HR leaders really showed up for their teams during the pandemic, but now the call to action is what impact can they have on society and making the planet a better place.”Talent Summit aims to combine access to the best HR executives, as well as thought leadership.Dave Ulrich, an author of over 30 books and one of the most influential people in the world in HR, is delivering a keynote speech on “Unleashing human capability for stakeholder value.”“Dave is the godfather of modern HR,” Mac Giolla Phádraig said. “The current HR model is the one he developed and what he is going to talk about is remodelling it post the pandemic. He will be sharing his latest thinking on what we need to do to be more competitive and how HR can have greater impact on all stakeholders.”Ireland, Mac Giolla Phádraig said, had shown it could attract the best companies and talent but it couldn’t afford to be complacent. “We have been a great home for multijurisdictional companies for over 30 years,” he said.“We do have challenges like housing and the cost of living, but we also have an innate sense of storytelling that can build and lead teams. Talent Summit has become of the largest HR conference series in Europe, and we want to make HR better and give Ireland a voice as a great place to work and build a business from.”The Currency is media partner of Talent Summit. It will be producing a series of podcasts with executive and thought leaders in human resources participating in the event. The Currency’s podcast stage is sponsored by Employee Financial Wellness a financial education and advice company supporting Talent Summit. For the full line up, tickets and more visit