Sigmar led a delegation of 50 Irish and US business leaders to London last week for trade missionIreland Gateway To Europe, to promote US/UK/European trade. We hosted a number of events in the London over two days welcoming over 300 guests.
We were joined by the team from The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk, who broadcast live from our trip.
Boston College Global Leadership Dinner - RAF Club (19th Oct 2022)
Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig was MC at the The Boston College Ireland Business Council Global Leadership Dinner which took place in The RAF Club in London. There were fascinating conversations with:
Dame Sharon White, Chairman John Lewis & Partners;
Conor McEnroy, Founder and owner Sudameris in Paraguay;
Executive Director, BC Chief Executives Club.
The event was kindly hosted by Rosaleen Blair, CBE.
Listen to Robert MacGiolla Phádraig, Conor McEnroy, and Neil Naughton The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk
Boston College CEO Club Lunch at Bloomberg (Oct 20th 2022)
There was a full house for the first BC CEO Club lunch ever held in the UK, hosted at the amazing offices of Bloomberg. Guests from London, Ireland, the US and a number of Boston College alumni attended to hear about global economic trends and Europe's energy crisis from our speakers:
Fernando Vicario, CEO, Bank of America Europe
Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig, CCO, Sigmar Recruitment
Sonya Twohig, Secretary-General of ENTSO-E
Gerard Reid, Co-founder, Alexa Capital
Warren Zola, Chief Executive, Boston College Chief Executives Club.
The London Irish Centre (Oct 20th)
The delegation visited the London Irish Center, an established charity offering advice, support, culture and community services to the Irish in London from our centre in Camden. It was absolutely amazing the scope of what they do and the difference they make.
Listen to Séamus MacCormaic, CEO of the London Irish Centre on The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk
Reception at The Embassy of Ireland, London (Oct 20th)
We were delighted to end our trip as guests of Ambassador Martin Fraser at the Irish embassy in London.
Posted by Jamie Harnett on 24 October 2022
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 www.talentsummit.ie----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 www.talentsummit.ie
Adie McGennis Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
Adie McGennis Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
We are delighted to announce that our founder and CEO, Adie McGennis has been recognised for his remarkable career, personal and professional standing, and in particular his achievements over his twenty-year tenure as Sigmar’s CEO. On Friday at the Employment & Recruitment Federation Awards, hosted at The Shelbourne Hotel, Adie was presented with the James Kilbane Lifetime Achievement Award. Our Sales & Marketing team were also the winners of the “Best in Practice – Sales & Marketing Recruitment” award on the night. Beginning his career in recruitment in the 90s with Interstaff Recruitment after a brief stint in London, within a few short years, Adie became Managing Director of Marlborough Recruitment. It went on to become the largest recruitment agency in Ireland and the first Irish professional services company to be listed on the stock exchange. In 2002, he left to help set up Sigmar Recruitment and since then, Adie has built Sigmar into a thriving, global company that has won over 60 awards. Adie is the ultimate servant leader; humble and sincere, measuring himself by the leaders he creates and not by his own achievements. His ethos has undoubtedly shaped Sigmar’s culture and purpose. Commenting on Adie’s achievement, Frank Farrelly, COO of Sigmar Recruitment said:“I am absolutely delighted that Adie has been recognised by the Employment & Recruitment Federation. Adie is one of the most recognizable and well-liked recruitment professionals in Ireland. In a career spanning over 30 years, he has made numerous lifelong friends and he has been one of the most collaborative and helpful people to many in the industry be they colleagues, competitors or members of the ERF. He truly embodies the spirit of this award and I am delighted to see him being awarded by his peers. Through Adie’s leadership, values, and entrepreneurial spirit, Sigmar has continued to grow and evolve as a business and will continue to do so! Thank you Adie, for all that you have done! Huge congratulations on behalf of all team Sigmar!” Find out more about Sigmar’s story here. Find out more about the Employment & Recruitment Federation Awards here.
Sigmar CFO on "Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing 2022" List
Sigmar CFO on "Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing 2022" List
We're delighted to announce that Sigmar CFO, Dervla Owens is on the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) 2022 list of the Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing. In its eighth year, this annual list recognizes women for their outstanding efforts and achievements in elevating the workforce solutions ecosystem.Sigmar CEO Adie McGennis comments: "We are all delighted that Dervla is rightly included in this prestigious list. It is great that the global industry recognises the huge contribution that Dervla makes to Sigmar, the industry and business in Ireland. Always 100% professional and willing to support, many of her initiatives have driven growth in our Temp business, as well as supporting the development of Sigmar for last eleven years. Congrats Dervla!"“These forward-thinking women have turned challenges into springboards to success. From heading up impactful organizations to steering essential projects to fine-tuning the hybrid model, they have led with grace and empathy,” said Subadhra Sriram, SIA’s editor and publisher, media products. “Congratulations to this year’s honorees who are navigating, adapting and innovating in this new world of work. The remarkable women gracing our 2022 Global Power 150 list exemplify strength and leadership in the staffing industry.”SIA’s research consistently shows that despite women dominating offices worldwide in the staffing industry, only a few women make it to the top roles in organizations. The Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing shines the spotlight on female leaders making a difference inside and outside of boardrooms. The 2022 Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing debuted today with profiles highlighting each honoree now available online here.
Sigmar's Difference Day: Saplings Special School
Sigmar's Difference Day: Saplings Special School
Following on from 10 of our staff raising €42,775 on the Paris2Nice cycle, over 40 of us descended on Saplings Special School, Kilkenny to take part in our first-ever Difference Day, to put the money raised into action. Our goal was to help transform the outdoor areas of the school to enhance the environment for the children and teachers of the school. A total of 5 projects were carried out on the day including building 2 outdoor classroom spaces, new seating and planters, painting the playground area and constructing a fence to make the front area of the school safe for the kids.There was lots of hard work but the fantastic principal Sandra, her staff and the wonderful pupils of Saplings kept spirits high throughout the day. It was extremely rewarding when the team were able to reveal the completed projects to some of the teachers, parents and pupils at the end of the day. Their reaction made all the manual labour worth it!A huge thank you to Difference Daysand Outdoor and Spaceswho helped us bring this project to life! It was an absolute privilege to be able to undertake it.