Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements over April, May, and June 2021. The number of placements during this period is higher than any other quarter in the recruitment company’s 20-year history. Current figures are up 6% on the previous record set in 2019 before the pandemic. As one of the largest recruiters in Ireland, Sigmar has offices across the country and is present in all professional sectors. The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements breaking all records in the month of May, with June accounting for the second-highest month ever. Commenting on the rebound of the labour market, Sigmar founding Director, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “The jobs market in Ireland has never been stronger or more buoyant than it currently is. We’re seeing several macro trends converge all at once, which is creating significant churn in the market. Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunities no longer bound by location. This is coupled with a rising tide of consumer confidence, as many professionals find themselves in a stronger financial position than before the pandemic. “The last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, and the humdrum of lockdown has created a desire for change which is now resulting in unprecedented numbers of people moving jobs. Employee loyalty is increasingly under question, with remote work being less enjoyable, many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.” IT accounted for one-third of all job placements throughout the quarter, followed in order by Financial Services, Sales & Marketing, Accountancy, Life Science & Manufacturing, Office Support, Public Sector, Construction, Professional Services. Business confidence has also grown steadily over the course of the year, as vaccination gathered momentum. The “low-touch economy” is booming is sectors such as e-commerce, digital, and logistics. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: “The resurgence of permanent recruitment is somewhat unique to how we’ve rebounded from previous downturns, where we typically saw flexible work return quicker.” Although the vast majority of job placement in Q2 were understandably remote, Sigmar reports that the tide is beginning to change with the majority of employers now committing to hybrid work over the coming three months. Mac Giolla Phádraig advises: “As we now choose our workplaces, at a time when the power dynamic has shifted to the employee, employers need to ensure adequate work practices to reconnect the workforce with the workplace equitably. There is an inherent risk that new workforce inequities may emerge, such as “proximity bias”, where those closest to the centre of influence get greater recognition and therefore promotion opportunities as opposed to remote workers. When it comes to individual contribution the opposite could be argued that remote workers get the benefit of having less in-office distractions and their output is therefore greater.” Mac Giolla Phádraig likens remote work to long-distance relationships, which in many cases don’t work out. “We’ve gone from “living” with our employees in an office environment to long-distance relationships, which often sees commitment recede over time. The context of location also opens up new experiences and possibilities, which are now being explored on a scale never before seen.” He adds, “if we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. It’s now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”
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.”
There's been a lot of speculation about how workplaces will change because of Covid. A workplace survey by Sigmar Recruitment and Aon has findings from 250 companies on whether we will return to the office full time. Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig MacGiolla Phádraig, CCO of Sigmar Recruitment and founder of the Talent Summit and Laura Phelan, occupational psychologist and MD at Aon talk to RTÉ's the Business. Listen Now - https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21915388
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As an old saying goes you cannot fit a square peg in a round hole so before you take that job offer, ask yourself- ‘Is this company somewhere I can truly picture myself?’ You need to work in an environment that you look forward to being in everyday, an environment that inspires you to do the very best you can do. A positive company culture that suits you will drive your passion to succeed whilst fueling your ambition and determination to climb to the top of whatever cooperate ladder you belong to. Otherwise, it will be the cause of you wishing with every bone of your body as the 7am alarm buzzes on dark winter mornings, that you could go back to sleep. Here’s some things to do see if you are aligned with the culture of a company you may be looking to work for: 1. Do Your Research Find out as much about the company as you possibly can. Have a creep around their website, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Accounts or threads on boards.ie or Glassdoor can also be very useful for behind the scenes gossip but be very wary of them and take them with a pinch of salt as they are anonymous comments and we have no idea as to the honesty, profile or past experiences of the commentator. 2. Values & Goals Values determine behaviour and decisions so it is important that an employer’s and an employee’s values match. If you do not agree with the values the company complies by, the work load and even minute tasks will prove to be difficult for you. When we as employees cannot comprehend or agree with the values of a company the decisions we make will be out of alignment with the company’s current practices and that will cause a whole lot of extra work and stress, which nobody needs. Your vision for the future should also match where the company aims to go. There is no point accepting a job when you have no interest in what the company itself is aiming to build. 3. Work Environment If you are not fortunate enough to know someone already working there, use your interview to assess the work environment and way in which the company works. Some of you may be social butterflies who can work in an open plan office chatting the day away whilst still meeting your goals and deadlines. More of you may prefer a quiet space where you can put your head down, get your work done and scurry off before having to interact with anyone. Also do not forget that in your interview the employers are also assessing whether you would be a good cultural fit for their company or not. Some questions you could take the opportunity to ask the interviewers may include: If you could describe the company’s culture in three words what would you say? Are the work hours strict or do you offer flexibility? If lucky enough to get this position what type of office environment would I be in? Is there reward structures or incentives in place? How would you describe the work culture on this team? 4. Social Does the company’s present culture fit in with your lifestyle? Perhaps everyone in the office is an avid sports fan but you cannot tell a football from a tennis racket, or maybe the only out of work activity on offer is drinks in the local bar on a Friday night when you need to be at home with the kids. If social activities are important to you to get to know your colleagues and to also help you meet that work life balance that is congruent with positive mental health you need to make sure the social benefits and activities the company works around suit you and at the very least appeal to you! Finally let me tell you to listen to your gut! You more than likely got a feeling from the interviewers, present employees you passed in the hallway or even the receptionist at the front door as to what the atmosphere in the company is like and if you received warm, welcoming vibes that’s usually a good sign. Think about what you want, what type of workplace will work for you and just go find it! Maybe you are looking for flexible hours, need incentives to reach targets or seek a social club to build relationships with your colleagues, either way the company with the perfect culture for you does exist. You just have to relax and take the time to find it. So now, when offered your next position instead of accepting it right away based off its six figure salary (hey we can dream) take the time to consider is it really a good fit for you?
The one question I am always asked when preparing a candidate for an interview is “how do I answer the weakness question?” The worst reaction you can have to this question is to say I don’t have a weakness. Everyone has a weakness and the reason the interviewer is asking this question is to see how you act outside your comfort zone. People often make the common mistake of trying to turn a negative into a positive. An example of this would be I’m a perfectionist or I work too hard. These answers are boring and show the interviewer you have put very little thought into his/her question. Also you are not actually answering the question you’re just trying to put a clever spin on it.Another mistake candidates make is being too honest. Never mention a weakness that you have if it is going to stop you from getting the job. So don’t answer “I’m lazy” or that “I’m always late” as this is not what your potential new employer wants to hear. The trick to answering this is in the same way you would answer any interview question and that’s by preparing your answer in advance. It can be very difficult to talk about your flaws in a stressful situation like an interview so make sure you spend time preparing your answer. These are a few ways to best answer the weakness question: 1. Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job Don’t pick a skill or requirement that is on the job spec that you don’t have and say it is your main weakness. This will only put doubt into the interviewers head. 2. Pick a weakness that you can develop For this type of answer you might think of an example where you had a weakness but developed it over the course of your time in prior employment. 3. Describe your weakness in a concise way Don’t go into loads of detail on this question. They are asking you your weakness so be brief and don’t come across as negative. A common answer that candidates often use when asked the weakness question is on their delegation skills. Here you can mention a time when you used to have the mentality that only you could do the job but over time you realised that it was actually slowing the work down and by delegating to other staff members the job was done quicker. This answer is perfect to give but it depends on what job you are going for. If you are going for a managerial role where managing and delegating work will be part of your job description then don’t use delegating as your weakness. Every question in an interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself, so it is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the weakness question is no different. Treat it like you would any interview questions that you find hard and prepare your answer.
Face to face interviews can be scary, but with the added pressure of presenting during an interview anyone can become a nervous wreck. Here are our tips to help you ace your interview presentation. Structure Your Presentation A strong structure is the most important thing to get right. The aim is to keep the interviewer’s attention through presenting engaging and relevant content. Plan out what you want to say through brainstorming. Draw a map showing how each point links to the next. Make sure the points you are making fit within the companies aim and objectives, thus showing the research you have done. The key thing is not to waffle. A basic outline for any presentation should have: Introduction: Give a brief overview of the subject of the presentation and what you wish to cover Elaborate: Discuss the subject in as much detail as time will allow using as little slides as possible Conclusion: Sum up what you have spoken about adding in your thoughts where necessary N.B. A useful slide to include would be a “Why Me?” slide. At the end of the day you want them to hire you for the job so this should be one point they take home. Be Visual Use your slides to keep the panel engaged as reading from slides will send anyone into a daydream. Use bullet points and images as much as possible to keep your audience attentive. Other things to include: Provide hand-outs for them to read and to take away (but give them out at the end!) Have inviting body language (do not cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets) Do not be afraid to use gestures (it will draw their attention back to you) Practice Makes Perfect Preparation is a vital part of any interview and this will help overcome nerves. You should be given enough time to prepare your presentation in advance. Use this time wisely and practice until you know everything off by heart. Additional things to perfect include tone of voice and gestures. Worried you might trip over your words? Ask a friend to help you practise your presentation until you’re completely confident. The key is to talk naturally as this will show the panel that you understand your area and that you are the best person for the job. Pronounce Every Word Clearly When you are nervous there is a temptation to speak fast to quicken the whole process; you must resist this. Add commas to your notes to signal where to take breaths and regularly pause to collect your thoughts. Speaking clearly will ensure that the panel understand your points and won’t be interrupting the presentation to ask questions. Eye Contact Presentations can be a lot harder than face to face interviews as the interviewee is the main talker. One sure way to ensure that people stay engaged is to maintain eye contact using friendly eyes. It is important to shift eye contact to everyone on the panel to keep everyone engaged and listening. There Will Be Questions Doing a presentation doesn’t mean that you will not be asked more questions. It is still an interview and the interviewer/s will still have questions to ask. They will more than likely ask about you and your presentation so be prepared. For further interview advice and/or to discuss career opportunities call 01-4744624 or send a confidential email to Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Performance reviews can be slightly nerve wrecking especially if it’s your first one in a new company or with a new manager. These meetings are used to set future targets, review ongoing or past projects, and discuss career progression. Employees can use these meetings to their advantage by bringing up issues they have in their roles, discuss ideas that could improve the company’s processes and explain the outcome of different projects that they have done. Here’s our guide on what to focus on and how to get the most out of your time with your manager. Performance: You need to have an open mind when speaking with your manager regarding your performance and understand that all feedback, good or bad, is delivered to ensure you improve. This is not an exercise in shaming you or making you feel inferior – if your manager expresses concern or gives you advice on poor performance in an area, ask them what you need to do to improve. If you have a genuine reason in response to their concern express it, but don’t get defensive. This could show your inability to take criticism which is a very important trait if you want to become successful. If you get good reviews, be gracious and don’t do the Irish thing and brush it off! Take it on board and move on. Career Progression: Don’t run before you can walk. The key thing to remember is to not start your review by asking for a step up. If you want to ask whether you’re up for promotion, first hear what your manager has to say. Your manager is the one who will know if you are ready for a jump so listen and listen well, if you have more work to do, ask what needs to be done and get the head down. Salary: This is always a question that makes people nervous to ask their boss. While you may be in line for a raise, if you haven’t got the guts to ask you most likely won’t get one. A salary increase should reflect your increased performance against a target or a general overall improvement in your work or increase in responsibilities. Go in with a positive attitude and make sure you to back up your request with success stories or good figures and ask with good grace. Be prepared: Remember to give yourself plenty of time to prepare your figure, accomplishments and a list of what you want to discuss. If you have been sitting on a problem for a while, this is a good time to get it off your chest but make sure you have things straight in your head. A good manager is always willing to listen to your concerns but if you waffle on and have no real information, chances are your point will be missed. Clear your diary beforehand so you are fully prepared and no late nights the night before. You need to have your game face on and be ready to wow and impress and tackle any questions you’re faced with Finally, a review is an important part of a role and it’s good for building relationships with your manager so if they are particularly busy, try to gently remind them that you are due a catch up and you feel it’s important to you and your role. Take on board what your manager has to say and stay positive! Most reviews end well so chin up!
One of the easiest questions to fall down on in an interview is answering the question “What would you consider to be your greatest strength?” The reason the interviewer asks this question is to help him/her decide whether or not you are the strongest applicant for the job. People tend not to like talking themselves up but this is the perfect opportunity for you to do just that. When you are asked the question about your strengths it is important to pick attributes that will qualify you for the job. Candidates often make the common mistake of saying the generic strengths like “I’m hard working” or “I’m a perfectionist” but this is not the best way to answer the question. You need to make it specific to you and relevant to the job for it to carry weight with an interviewer. Make sure you pick a strength that you actually possess not one just because it is in the requirements as you will be caught out if the interviewer decides to probe you a bit more. When answering this question in an interview you should use the job spec as a guide. All job specs will have a list of requirements or attributes needed for the role so before the interview take time to match your strengths to the requirements of the job. Tips on how to answer the strengths question: Describe your strengths in detail Go into as much detail as you need to best sell yourself. This is a chance to put your best foot forward and show the interviewer you are the best candidate for the job. Use the job spec as a guide The job spec tells you exactly what they are looking for. Use it as a guide when coming up with your relevant strengths. Use examples Use examples to back up your answer. It’s all well and good telling the interviewer your strengths but you need to back them up with examples. Examples help to show you have the experience required. Common mistakes to avoid: Lack of preparation Most candidates who answer this question poorly fail to prepare sufficiently. Prepare your answer in advance and it will be much easier to articulate in an interview. Picking vague strengths Not picking a strength unique to you. Try not to mention a strength that anyone off the street can use. Pick a strength that is personable to you but also that is relevant for the role. The trick to answering this is in the same way you would any other interview question and that is by preparing your answer in advance. If the job you are interviewing for fits your skills set and personality then answering questions like this should be easy to answer. It is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the greatest strengths question could not be a more perfect setting for selling yourself.