Watch the replay of "Reigniting Irish US Relations in a Post Pandemic World", hosted by Ireland Gateway To Europe and the University of Notre Dame, and chaired by Sigmar CCO Robert MacGiolla Phadraig.This virtual event featured a lively panel discussion on bilateral transatlantic relations, from the business and political community in Ireland and the USA with special guest An Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Congressman Brendan Boyle and Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the United States.SpeakersAn Taoiseach Micheal MartinCongressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA 2nd District) PennsylvaniaAmbassador Dan Mulhall Ambassador of Ireland to the United StatesJerry Padian Chairman and Managing Director, Atlantic IP Services, LLCMaureen Pace President of World Trade Centre Dublin and WebPort GlobalPatrick Quinlan CEO & Co-Founder, Hippo Technologies, Inc.Aisling MacRunnels CMO, SynackKevin Whelan Director, Notre Dame Dublin Global GatewayRonan Quinlan Joint CEO, Taoglas
As restrictions lift and choice of workplace emerges, how we lead our distributed workforce needs to be geared differently to ensure equity amongst our workforce. Watch back this session on the emerging thinking and practices to ensure high touch leadership for low touch work. This session was run by France Ireland Chamber of Commerce, moderated by Michelle Fogarty (COO, Peptalk), and welcomed Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig (Founder Talent Summit and COO Sigmar Recruitment) and Aine Murray (Head of Marketing, Communications, CR & Bid Support, Veolia).
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.
Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig interviewed former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as part of the "Boston College Ireland Business Council Global Leadership Symposium" which took place on Dec 3rd. This was followed by an interview with former Taoiseach John Bruton, by Dr.Robert Mauro from Global Leadership Institute at Boston College.Both former leaders shared their thoughts on their term in office as well on the current political and economic landscape on issues such as Brexit and the US elections. This exclusive event was attended virtually by over 200 CEOs from both sides of the Atlantic and was the first time the event was held virtually.Born from partnerships formed during Boston College's college football game in Dublin in 2016, the BCIBC has grown to become a key business artery between Ireland and the US. The BCIBC is seen as the EU chapter of Boston College’s CEO Club, the second largest CEO forum in the world, next to WEF in Davos. This is the 6th instalment in our Global Leadership series and to date, we have welcomed over 2000 global CEOs to our bi-annual symposia.Previous speakers have included former heads of state, Ministers, Congressmen; Dermot Desmond, Willie Walsh (CEO of IAG); Denis O'Brien; Mike Mahoney, CEO of Boston Scientific; Pat Ryan, Chairman of AON; Andy McKenna, Chairman of McDonalds, Siobhan Talbot, CEO of Glanbia and Paul Coulson, Chairman of the Ardagh Group.Find our more: www.bostoncollegeirelandbusinesscouncil.com
In an age of big data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), relying on instinct, intuition or gut feel may seem like an inferior system when recruiting talent but it may just be the edge you need to recruit the best. We live in the digital era. Artificial intelligence (AI) guides our choices of restaurant, how we get there, and helps us get home later if we need a taxi. We talk about generations Y and Z as digital natives and organisations throughout the world are actively discussing their digital transformation strategies. It is also having a profound impact on the workplace where everything can be measured and reduced to a series of ones and zeros, and a growing number of activities and processes previously carried out by people are being automated in the drive to reduce costs and improve productivity. But the digital world is not necessarily a better one. Faster and less prone to error certainly, but better is open to question. And hiring people who will thrive in a given workplace is equally important, according to Sigmar head of European recruitment, Shaun O’Shea. The Sigmar recruitment framework addresses three dimensions, he explains, competency fit, motivational fit, and culture and values fit. It has been tried and tested and proven its worth in successful candidate selection over the years, but it also acts as an indicator for the limitations of technology in the recruitment process. “I have been in the recruitment business for eight years,” says O’Shea. “Eighteen months ago, we set up the largest tech-nology recruitment hub in Europe here in the middle of Kerry. We lean quite a lot on technology tools, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotic process automa-tion. I recruit for the technology sector, so I am very pro-technology, but you’ve got to build in human intelligence as well.” Technology has its limitations, he explains. “When you hear people talking about new technologies, they say they are quicker, more accurate and better. They certainly can be quicker and more accurate but not necessarily better. They lack human instinct, that gut instinct. You can use technology quite a lot for the first two elements of our recruitment framework. You can search for competency matches and so on but there is no questionnaire, AI algorithm or chatbot which can tell if the candidate lives and breathes the values of your organisation.” That’s where the interview comes in, when people can interact with each other to tell what they are really like. “People want to know what will happen when your backs are up against the wall, when the organisation is in dire straits, is the candidate a person who can be relied on to live and breathe its values. Technology is important, of course and we use all the latest tools. But we are combining technology with human instinct. We are using it to complement our own capabilities.” No matter how advanced, technologies like AI and machine learning can be prone to the same errors as humans. “They are designed to do what a human or a group of humans will do but will never have human relationship skills and instincts”, he notes. But they can repeat the same mistakes as humans. In the US, when AI was used in an attempt to overcome unconscious bias in the recruitment process it was actually found to perpetuate it. This was because the algorithms use data on previously successful candidates to hire from the next bunch, thereby repeating and possibly amplifying the behaviour of its human predecessors. Indeed, in 2018, Amazon ceased using AI assessment of CVs after it was found that the software was biased against those which include the term “women’s”, such as in “women’s team captain”. Again, this was due to trends in the dataset of previously successful candidates. This is not the only reason to be cautious of an over-reliance on technology. Mistakes are costly, says O’Shea. “The Work Institute published research last year that showed that wrong hires are costing businesses around the world $600 million every year. The average employee in Europe now changes job every 12 months. We have to look at why people leave, and it’s usually because they are not a technical or motivational fit. It’s generally about culture.” “Every organisation needs to hire the right people for them,” he continues. “Every hiring process should be unique, not off the shelf. Technology should be used as an enabler. It can be used for creating a long list of candidates and identifying a large talent pool. You need human input for short-listing and interviewing. If the recruiter works for the company, they will already know the culture. If it is an external recruiter, they will need to learn the client’s culture. I recently spent three days in Stockholm with a client learning their culture. Before that I was in Berlin and Barcelona.” It’s not about organisations having a good or bad culture. “I explain to clients that their culture is their culture. They shouldn’t try to hide it or represent the organisation as something that it is not.” But culture can vary. “It can be different from country to country, office to office, and between sales and production and engineering. You have to understand it, if you are to hire candidates who will be the right cultural fit.” He concludes by pointing out that the human interaction at interview stage is now critically important to hiring the best people. “The economy is now at full employment and financial, accounting, and technology candidates can have five or six job offers at any one time. It’s a two way process now. Candidates are as much as interviewing the company as they are being interviewed. It’s now almost a question of them hiring the company.” Mac Giolla Phádraig adds: “You can take the human out of the stone-age, but you can’t take the stone-age out of the human. Certain instincts are hard wired in us all, some in our self-interest; survival, fight or flight, reproduction and others which are altruistic; compassion, tribal instinct and a societal instinct.” Intuition is when you trust your instinct, which is often perceived as being “fluffy” as a decision-making factor when used to recruit. “We should not pit data against intuition, rather we should use our intuition to develop a hypothesis about a candidate and test that with the data in a experiential way at interview. Afterall, instincts are the fundamental drivers of how we behave and how we feel. I for one, would love to see a new recruit display, compassion towards my customers, tribal instincts towards my team and societal instinct towards the world at large. Use your instinct to hire for human instinct.”
To celebrate such a successful H1 of 2019, Sigmar held its annual Summer BBQ in Nolita Dublin. All regional offices from around the nation came together to catch up on the last six successful months.The day was full of terrible shirts and bright smiles as highly achieving consultants were given the fruits of their labour. Overall 13 consultants were promoted for outstanding work with 12 consultants being rewarded for their ongoing succesful contribution to the business. A well deserved day out for the company to celebrate H1 and kick off H2!
There can be no denying that the Irish economy has benefited hugely from foreign direct investment, particularly from the US. The statistics speak for themselves; today there are 700 US companies with Irish operations directly employing 165,000 people. But, the historical economical and political US-Irish relationship works both ways. With Murphys, Kennedys and O’Neills making their presence known in boardrooms the length and breadth of the 50 States, Ireland is well represented in the highest echelons on US soil. Likewise, the statistics on that side of the Atlantic speak for themselves; there are also 700 Irish companies with operations in the US who employ 100,000 US citizens.Recent changes to the political environment in the form of US protectionism has undoubtedly threatened our status as the location of choice for US companies, making up 12.1% of US FDI investment into Europe despite accounting for just 1% of the entire European economy. At a time of green shoots growth in the aftermath of one of the worst recessions the State has known, this hard won reputation in now in jeopardy.Speaking at the Boston College Ireland Business Council symposium, John Harthorne, CEO MassChallenge described protectionism as grabbing the largest slice of the pie. The responsibility of leadership should be to increase the size, not of the slice, but of the pie itself.So, what can business leaders do? Well, of course we can leave it to the Government and State agencies to do their job, or else we can get out there ourselves and deliver the message that Ireland is still a great place to do business.That is exactly what Ireland Gateway to Europe did on Wednesday April 11, 2018, when a delegation of more than 40 Irish business leaders arrived in Washington to deliver the message that Ireland’s trade partnership with the US is stronger than ever, is truly bilateral and that Ireland remains the location of choice for FDI in Europe.Ireland Gateway to Europe met with their US counterparts and political representatives on Capitol Hill with the purpose of strengthening existing business relationships and create new ones.This initiative is a not-for-profit annual trade mission made up of professional advisory firms who travel the US annually to provide a secure resource network for business expansion to help US investment succeed in setting up operations in Ireland.Founded in 2012 as a response to the economic challenges at that time of global recession, Ireland Gateway to Europe is now in its seventh year of US, UK and global trade missions. Ireland has traditionally enjoyed a particularly strong business, cultural and political relationship with the US. However, in light of the recent announcements of trade tariffs, data privacy, immigration and other protectionist policies, our concern is that there may be a perception that Irish-US trade linkages may have subsequently diminished. The fact of the matter is that the transatlantic economy grew stronger, not weaker over the past year, as did Irish -US trade with US exports to Ireland up 9% and imports to Ireland up 6%.While the Washington mission was the focal point of the 2018 trade mission, the second leg of the trip saw the group travel to Boston to engage directly with the US business community at the stateside launch of the transatlantic Boston College Ireland Business Council (BCIBC).Having launched this side of the Atlantic in Dublin last October, the US BCIBC launch took the form of a Global Leadership Symposium where US CEOs met with their Irish counterparts. The event looked at Global Leadership, where a panel of global CEOs discussed how they, as a transatlantic leadership community, can create opportunities against the backdrop of economic challenges.The purpose of the BCIBC is to establish new, and strengthen existing, transatlantic business ties between the two countries, and it is designed to enhance transatlantic business between the US and Ireland through creating connections that allow for entrepreneurial ventures to grow and prosper.The Global Leadership Symposium is one of a series of planned BCIBC CEO Exchange events that will take place twice annually over the coming years, both in Ireland and in the US. The nest event is scheduled for Dublin this coming October.Founded by the Global Leadership Institute, Boston College, and Ireland, Gateway to Europe, and Chaired by Neil Naughton of GlenDimplex, the main aim of the BCIBC is to bring influential business leaders from both communities together once a year in Dublin and in Boston to create one deeply connected transatlantic trade artery.By establishing the BCICB, the tight commercial and social bonds we share with the US can be strengthened and build upon bilaterally, business to business, in spite of any potential external or internal protectionist political policies. It’s widely known that cultural ties between Massachusetts and Ireland are deep but possibly lesser known are the strength of economic ties with 11,000 people employed by Irish companies there and Ireland being the 6th largest exporter from MA.With threats from the uncertainty of the Brexit situation ringing in our ears from the East and murmurings of protectionism coming from the West, Ireland is again in a unique position to act as the economic transatlantic hub.What will the future hold? As it stands nobody knows for certain, but the community of transatlantic business leaders has a collective, critical role to play to ensure the future foundation of business relations is maintained for generations to come.Those business relationships benefit both Ireland and the US. Let’s both grow our slices of the pie by growing the pie itself.Article featured on The Business Post
From dealing with candidates and clients on a daily basis, a common question is how does a recruitment agency actually works. To help address this, I’ve outlined the recruitment agency process below. Stage 1: Candidate attraction Once a recruitment consultant is requested by a client to recruit for a vacancy in their organisation, the consultant will begin searching for the right candidate. Candidate attraction comes in many forms, advertising the vacancy on the agency’s website, various national and international jobs boards along with an assortment of social networks. At the same time, the recruitment consultant will activate a search within the agency’s database to try and match live candidates to the position. The recruitment consultant will then compile a shortlist of candidates to contact and inform them of the position, location, salary, benefits, potential start dates etc. If the candidate is interested in the position, the recruitment consultant will conduct an in-depth phone/face to face interview on the candidate to see if they fit the job description as set out by the client. As a candidate, we advise you to always meet your recruitment consultant in person. It is easier to convey your experience, ambitions and motivations in person than over the phone. Also it is the starting point to building a relationship with your recruitment consultant. Stage 2: Candidate Submission Once the recruitment consultant is satisfied that the candidate is a good match for the role, the candidate will be submitted to the client. Stage 3: Interview Process & Feedback Once the consultant receives responses from the client, they will inform their candidate as to whether they were successful in reaching the next stage or not. Unsuccessful candidates will return to the consultant’s active pipeline and will be provided with feedback. Candidates successfully called for interview will be informed by the consultant of the interview details (Location, Time, and Interviewer). At this point the consultant will also prepare the candidate for interview covering potential questions, dress code etc. From CV submission to first round interview it usually takes one week to hear back from the client. Once the interview is complete feedback will be provided and second round interviews will be conducted on successful candidates. An important point to note is that depending on the client, the time taken to give feedback on candidates may vary from client to client due to clients internal procedures. Stage 4: Offer & Acceptance Once final round interviews are complete an offer will be made. Offers are always dependant on the successful completion of references checks which will be conducted by the recruitment consultant. Once the reference check is complete and successful the candidate is formally offered the position. The recruitment consultant will manage the offer and negotiation stage on behalf of the client.