As companies work hard to stay competitive and provide exceptional experiences to their clients, the need for skilled staff in business support and customer service keeps growing. In this article, we'll look at the important skills businesses are looking for.1. Great CommunicationWhether you're talking or writing, it's vital to be clear. Nowadays, good communication also means being good with digital tools. Employers want people who can talk professionally with colleagues, clients, and customers, making sure everyone gets the right information.Top Tip for interviews: Prepare examples that highlight your proficiency in clear and effective communication. Share instances where you successfully conveyed complex information to non-technical stakeholders. 2. Problem Solving AcumenIn the world of business, problems come up all the time. The ability to think on your feet and adapt to unforeseen circumstances showcases your commitment to delivering results.Top Tip for Interviews: Prepare specific anecdotes showcasing your problem-solving skills. Describe situations where you identified a challenge, analysed options, and implemented a successful solution. 3. Technological ProficiencyFamiliarity with various software, tools, and platforms can significantly enhance your employability. Things like customer relationship systems, project management tools, and data analysis software are just a few examples of technologies that are becoming increasingly integral to business operations. Embracing technology shows you're ready to work in a modern business.Top Tip for your C.V: List the software, applications, and tools you are proficient in on your C.V. Make sure to also include any certifications or trainings related to these technologies on your LinkedIn profile. 4. Adaptability and FlexibilityThe Irish business landscape is always changing, which is why being flexible is so important. Companies want people who can handle change, learn fast, and switch things up when they need to. Being open to new challenges and being willing to upskill can set you apart in a competitive job market.Top tip for your C.V.: On your CV, talk about times when you changed and helped your team or company grow. For interviews, give examples of when you tried new things or took on jobs that weren't easy for you. Show your ability to thrive in dynamic environments. 5. Speaking Other LanguagesIreland’s strategic position in the European Union has led to an influx of international businesses and customers. If you know languages like Spanish, French, or German, this can be a significant advantage. It means you can talk to more people and understand more clients Multilingualism showcases your cultural awareness and ability to engage with a diverse audience.Top Tip for your C.V: Include a section that highlights your language proficiencies and any experiences where you effectively used them in a professional setting. 6. Being Kind and Focused on CustomersFor jobs where you help customers, being kind is important. If you know what customers want and care about their problems, they'll like your company more. Companies value candidates who prioritize customer-centricity, as it directly impacts customer satisfaction and long-term success.Top Tip for Interviews: Share stories of how your empathy positively influenced customer interactions, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and/or conflict resolution.7. Time Management and OrganisationKnowing how to use your time well and organise things can make you get more done. From arranging meetings to handling administrative responsibilities, these skills demonstrate your capability to juggle multiple priorities and meet deadlines consistently.Top Tip for interviews: Provide examples of how your strong time management skills helped you meet tight deadlines or manage multiple projects simultaneously. As the business world in Ireland keeps changing, the demand for proficient business support and customer service professionals remains steady. Cultivating these in-demand skills not only increases your employability but also positions you as an asset to your employer. Whether you're already experienced or just starting out, getting good at these skills can help you find great jobs and help Irish businesses grow, even when they're competing with companies from all around the world. At Sigmar, we're committed to connecting top talent with businesses seeking excellence in business support and customer service. Get in touch to explore how we can help you thrive in these exciting fields. Email your cv to email@example.com or check out current jobs here
With a focus on promoting equality and fairness in the workplace, the European Union has passed the Pay Transparency Directive, which aims to increase the transparency around salaries and existing pay gaps. The directive has significant implications for employers and job seekers alike. Here, we explore the upcoming changes and their potential effects on the employment landscape in Europe.Pay Transparency: Lessons from Finland and the United StatesFinland, known for its unique tradition of ‘National Jealousy Day’, publishes the taxable income of all its citizens on November 1st each year. This annual event is described as an “orgy of financial voyeurism”, which highlights the country’s commitment to transparency. Interestingly, the EU Pay Transparency Directive aligns with Finland’s approach by advocating for greater openness regarding income information.While Finland have been early advocates of pay transparency, the United States has also taken significant strides in this area. Since 2018, various states in the US, including Massachusetts, have implemented equal pay acts that prohibit companies from asking prospective employees about their current salaries. This approach has resulted in companies focusing on offering fair compensation for the role being advertised rather than relying on a candidate’s previous earnings.The Impact of Pay TransparencyOne of the key outcomes of pay transparency is the potential to address pay inequalities. By providing clear salary information, companies can attract more qualified candidates and promote greater equity in compensation. Studies have shown that job advertisements with salary details receive between 20-30% more quality applications, leading to improved hiring outcomes. The EU Pay Transparency Directive requires organisations with more than 250 workers to disclose pay information as part of the recruitment process. This means that candidates will no longer be asked about their current pay to determine job offers. Moreover, employers must provide workers with information on the criteria used to determine pay and pay progression. These measures aim to establish more objective standards for compensation and reduce the influence of previous salaries on job offers. Mike McDonagh, COO of Sigmar Recruitment comments, 'What it's actually done, or what it seems to have done with organisations is that they're now starting to pay people for the role that they're going for, rather than paying people for the role that they had.”Learning from the United States, where pay transparency laws are already in place in several states, organizations may be required to disclose pay bands for different roles and levels. This allows for greater clarity and transparency regarding what individuals should expect in terms of compensation for specific roles, skills, and experience. While the extent of public disclosure remains uncertain, the U.S experience suggests that companies may need to share pay bands or salary ranges, offering a clearer understanding of remuneration across organizations and roles.Benefits and ChallengesThe Pay Transparency Directive brings both benefits and challenges. Greater transparency can lead to increased trust among employees, as they have a better understanding of their worth and how it compares to others in similar roles. It can also contribute to narrowing the gender pay gap and addressing pay disparities for individuals from minority groups.However, challenges may arise. Some organisations may resist sharing detailed pay information due to concerns about internal discrepancies or potential negative reactions from current employees. Companies must find a balance between transparency and maintaining competitiveness. It will be crucial to implement pay transparency in a manner that encourages fairness while considering the unique dynamics and needs of each organisation.What’s Next?As the EU Transparency Directive takes place, the employment landscape in Europe will undergo significant changes. The move towards increased pay transparency aligns with global efforts to address pay inequalities and foster more equitable workplaces. By providing candidates with greater salary clarity, organisations can attract qualified talent, enhance retention rates, and promote fairness in competition.While challenges and concerns may arise during the implementation process, transparency can ultimately lead to a stronger, more inclusive work environment. As organizations can adapt to these new regulations, they must prioritise effective communication, skill acquisition, and employee well-being. By embracing pay transparency and its potential benefits, Europe takes a significant step forward building a more equitable and progressive workforce.
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.