‘Work smarter, not longer.’ This is the attitude more and more employers are adopting as flexible and part-time working becomes increasingly normalised by businesses. There are only so many hours in the day – to avoid taking work home with you, it’s important to be productive in the time you have. In a world of short attention spans and incessant distractions, however, that can be difficult. Here are 10 small ways you can increase your productivity at work and better attain that mythical work/life balance. 1. Document Your Time Humans’ awareness of time is historically warped. In very few scenarios can we accurately estimate how much time has passed, with our perception able to be distorted by factors such as temperature, season, time of day or emotional state. It’s therefore a great idea to document how much time a day you actually spend on completing certain tasks. Having an objectively clear picture of how your day tends to be spread out will help you better structure your time in the future. 2. Set Deadlines Now you know where your time is going, try limiting the amount of time you spend on one task. ‘Perfection is the enemy of good,’ so they say. You can always return to an activity and polish it up later. In the meantime, however, it’s a good idea to keep up momentum and move onto a new task when you can – you may be surprised at how much you can achieve if you’re strict with yourself! 3. Hold Standing Meetings This one may not be for everyone, but the results behind it are interesting. It’s been suggested by research that standing meetings (literally meetings where everyone is standing) are more time efficient and productive. Without seats or tables, there tends to be less territoriality and increased group collaboration, not to mention quicker meeting times. One study found their average meeting length was reduced by 25% when participants were standing throughout. 4. Act, Don’t React It’s easy to let your day be dictated by phone calls and emails, putting out fires with every response. While this reactionary attitude is a great way to simply ‘cope’, it stops you making headway of your own with projects that require you to be proactive in how you handle them. While it’s difficult to ignore a pop-up notification or a blaring ring tone, carving out time in your schedule when everybody knows not to disturb you, or turn your notifications off. 5. Delegate Many busy leaders tend to believe it’s quicker to complete a task themselves (and definitely get it right first time) rather than explain the task to a co-worker and have them complete it (maybe not quite right first time). This can result in complete overwork on the part of the leader, and perhaps an unhealthy environment of mistrust or micromanagement in the workspace. Instead, consider assigning tasks to colleagues based on their strengths, and take the time to explain to them clearly what exactly you’re looking for from them. You might be pleasantly surprised when they do it as well, or better, than you could! 6. Stay Healthy One of the most effective ways to increase your productivity is to keep your brain in top shape. Some things you can do to maintain energy levels and sharp thinking are: Get a good night’s sleep Stay hydrated Keep healthy, nutritious snacks in your desk drawer Exercise regularly, particularly in your breaks Take a full lunch break Don’t take work home with you when you can avoid it 7. Take…Breaks? Taking breaks to improve productivity sounds somewhat counterintuitive. However, scientists have suggested that taking regular mental rests from work actually makes us more productive in the long run. As University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras elaborates: “Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused…From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!” Why not give it a go? Try working in 90-segments with a 10-minute break between each. Really disconnect from your desk during this time – take a walk, get some fresh air. When you return to the problem at hand, you’ll be forced to think about it globally rather than specifically for a few minutes, perhaps enabling you to see solutions and perspectives previously hidden from you. 8. Avoid Multi-tasking When your to-do list is overwhelmingly long, it can be tempting to hop from task to task, generating an illusion of control for your own benefit. However, studies have consistently suggested that we are most productive when we set our minds to one job at a time. While you might feel you are getting more done while multi-tasking, in reality you are wasting time as you jump between headspaces, losing the clarity that comes with continuous focus. 9. Try Listening to Music Research suggests that certain types of music at the right time can really boost productivity. There is disagreement as to why exactly this is – some credit the boost in mood, some claim it is the ability to drown out office chatter. Regardless, music can be really useful in helping workers eliminate distractions and power through a task, particularly repetitive ones. Instrumental music is particularly praised as a focus-tool. The lack of lyrics means it’s hard for you to get distracted by words and meanings, enabling you to dedicate 100% of your concentration to your work. Similarly, the soothing effects of classical musical can help alleviate stress, helping you be more productive. If you don’t have a work playlist ready to go, you can find some great ready-made ones on most music streaming sites, such as Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music. 10. Prioritise We all have most productive hours. If you’ve followed our first tip and documented how you spend your work time, you should know what hours those are for you. Therefore, it’s only logical that you should assign yourself your most difficult tasks, and the priorities, in those ultra-productive windows. That way, a task that would otherwise take you an entire morning could theoretically only consume half an afternoon, if that’s how you work. As most workers grow increasingly unproductive throughout the day, it makes sense to reserve the easiest tasks for the afternoon. You won’t have to channel the same level of energy into these tasks, while also ticking items off your list. These are just 10 ways you can increase productivity in the workplace. While these are useful tips you can enact in your everyday working life, it’s important to remember that productivity is primarily a state of mind. If you love your job and find your daily workload rewarding, you’ll likely be considerably more productive than someone who does not. If you’re struggling to maintain productivity across the working week, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and assess whether this position is really the right one for you, or perhaps consider that you are suffering from Burnout (just this week classified as a diagnosable illness by WHO).
1. Autocratic An autocratic leader is one who dictates all policies and procedures. Employees and team members have no say whatsoever in how things are done and are expected to follow the command and control of the leader. 2. Coaching This leadership style is about helping others to improve themselves and achieve their goals. They are there to provide guidance and counsel. This leadership style can only work if the follower is open to being advised. 3. Charismatic A charismatic leader is one often adored by their followers. Their undoubtable charisma and personality may lead people to follow their every word. They can be sometimes viewed as manipulative because their intentions may be often self-focused. 4. Transformational Transformational leadership is where a leader works with teams to identify a change that is needed, creates a vision and then guides their followers by inspiring them. A transformational leader won’t only assign tasks and goals but allow teams/ direct reports to decide their own goals to align with the overall company objectives. 5. Laissez-Faire This leadership style gives employees complete free reign with little or no supervision. This can lead to low productivity among staff. 6. Affiliative An affiliative leader promotes harmony among his or her followers and helps to resolve any conflict. This type of leader will also build teams and ensure their followers feel connected to one other. 7. Visionary This type of leader inspires others and really drives progression. They would be well respected among their peers and colleagues and they strive to encourage confidence in their direct reports and other colleagues. 8. Bureaucratic The bureaucratic leadership style was first described by Max Weber in 1947. The bureaucratic style is based on following normative rules and adhering to lines of authority. Bureaucratic leaders are similar to autocratic leaders in that they expect their team members to follow the rules and procedures precisely as instructed. 9. Transactional This form of leadership would be seen in a sales environment. Leaders will incentivise goals and give teams targets to achieve in order to gain reward. The incentive will usually be in the form of monetary and will be granted to staff if tasks are completed or if they reach the top 10 performers. 10. Democratic Leadership This type of leader is one that takes on board what other people have to say. A democratic leader allows and even encourages others to participate in decision making. Do you see any similarities in these leadership styles and the one in your company? Or do you recognise yourself as one of these leaders? Understanding these styles of leadership is a great way to realise what works and what doesn't in your company. It helps you to know the outcomes you want to achieve. Each leadership style encourages different types of performances so it’s good to know what one works best for you.
€13,100. Yes, seriously. A 2018 survey by Adare Human Resource Management estimates this to be the average price tag on a botched recruitment process in Ireland – and it’s only set to increase. With Irish business’s annual turnover exceeding the European average of 7.4% with a whopping 11%, and unemployment levels dropping to the lowest in a decade at 5.4%, it’s a jobseeker’s market and the pressure is on for companies to secure the best applicants in the shortest amount of time. It’s therefore impossible to overstate the financial benefits of using a recruiter to streamline the hiring process. Time is of the essence The longer a job vacancy remains open, the costlier it will be. The company is losing revenue every day that position remains unfilled. It is possible to work out roughly how much an open role costs a business using formula such as these. Recruiters work fast. They understand the interest in filling the vacancy as quickly as possible and act with a brisk efficiency enabled by years of practice in this specific field. Using a recruiter reduces the time it takes to find the candidate right for a position. Find the hidden gems It is getting increasingly competitive to secure strong applicants who are fielding rival offers from multiple companies, due to the aforementioned high turnover and low unemployment rates. However, using a recruiter taps into a category of contenders invisible to the untrained eye – passive candidates. Skilled workers who are not actively searching for a new job could be ideal applicants for a posting. According to a 2015 LinkedIn report, 70% of workers are not currently seeking a new job. Recruiters know how to seek these people out, widening the talent pool into a talent ocean! Save on Training A 2017 survey revealed that, on average, American businesses spend $1,886 training each new employee. Recruiters advise companies to hire candidates with the most experience and prior training available, reducing the amount businesses then have to spend on training them. Avoid a Bad Hire When you’re losing out on revenue each day from an empty position, it can be tempting to fill it as soon as possible with a candidate who may or may not be suitable for the role. However, that €13,100 figure is a strong argument for utilising all resources available to you to ensure that you select the right candidate – such as using a recruiter to streamline and advise your search.
The fantasy medieval HBO series, Game of Thrones has become well known for its controversial themes. Kings, queens, knights and rebels all play a deadly game to gain control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and sit upon the Iron Throne. 8 years later and it's safe to say the series would be nothing without its leaders and just like the real world, these leaders come in all shapes and sizes. We have listed 7 different leadership styles portrayed in Game of Thrones. Are you any of these leaders? If not, maybe you’ve worked with one? Maybe you know a Cersei or a Jon Snow? Autocratic Leadership An autocratic leader is one who dictates all policies and procedures. Employees and team members have no say whatsoever in how things are done and are expected to follow the command and control of the leader. Cersei Lannister would be classed as this type of leader. She decides the rules and demands that everyone follow her ways. via GIPHY Democratic Leadership This type of leader is one that takes on board what other people have to say. A democratic leader allows and even encourages others to participate in decision making. Davos Seaworth is this kind of leader. He displays effective listening and sharing. He is also great at building teams which can be seen in his collaboration with Jon Snow (or Aegon Targaryen). via GIPHY Coaching Leadership This leadership style is about helping others to improve themselves and achieve their goals. They are there to provide guidance and counsel. This leadership style can only work if the follower is open to being advised. This style can be seen between Tyrion Lannister and his relationship with Daenerys Targaryen. He provides her with knowledge and guidance when she seeks it. He is well respected, and his advice is highly regarded. via GIPHY Charismatic Leadership A charismatic leader is one often adored by their followers. Their undoubtable charisma and personality may lead people to follow their every word. They can be sometimes viewed as manipulative because their intentions may be often self-focused. Jamie Lannister portrays this style of leadership. His family name automatically gave him status, however his charm, fighting ability and good looks made him a charismatic leader. via GIPHY Transformational Leadership Transformational leadership is where a leader works with teams to identify a change that is needed, creates a vision and then guides their followers by inspiring them. This can be no one other than Daenerys Targaryen. On her relentless mission to rule the seven kingdoms, she uprooted long standing and outdated traditions to achieve her vision of a just and fair world for all. She freed slaves in Astapor, Yunkai and Mareen, freeing all unsullied while gaining their allegiance. via GIPHY Laissez-Faire Leadership This leadership style gives employees complete free reign with little or no supervision. This is very like Sansa Stark’s leadership style in season 7 when she ruled the North in Jon Snow’s absence. Sansa was preoccupied with her reuniting her divided Stark family while keeping a close eye on the cunning Littlefinger. Sansa did very little of her own ruling, seeking refuge in John’s commands. via GIPHY Affiliative Leadership An affiliative leader promotes harmony among his or her followers and helps to resolve any conflict. This type of leader will also build teams and ensure their followers feel connected to one other. John Snow encapsulates this form of leadership. He created once unthinkable alliances putting himself in the firing line to ensure all conflict was resolved. John’s only concern is others and he does his best for everyone while ensuring everything is communicated correctly so everyone understands his rulings and makes sure they feel heard. via GIPHY Let us know what leaders you've come across in your working life.
Taken from Silicon Republic Leaders’ Insights, Sigmar’s Adrian McGennis discusses building a brand overseas and why a ‘land and expand’ model isn’t always the best option. Adrian McGennis is CEO and co-founder at Irish recruitment company Sigmar. Prior to Sigmar, McGennis was managing director with Marlborough and he has been involved in two successful IPOs. He holds a degree in engineering from University College Dublin and has garnered several postgraduate management awards. Founded in 2002, Sigmar has been named as a Best Managed Company by Deloitte for the past three years. Last August it opened a new European talent hub in Co Kerry as it announced plans to create 50 roles. Describe your role and what you do. As part of a team to grow a meaningful, profitable, worthy business and enjoy the experience – this involves developing people in a positive, learning, achieving culture. As well as building great relationships with clients and candidates, we are passionate about contributing to community. How do you prioritise and organise your working life? At all levels we have really great teams at Sigmar, so we get a strong buy-in to the company goals. This will be the basis of prioritisation. Maintaining the culture is the basis for values and growth, so spend a lot of time with colleagues and customers. Thankfully, our partnership with Groupe Adéquat has been very positive and they are like-minded in values, so prioritisation and organisation haven’t changed much. What are the biggest challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them? Having enjoyed 10 years of strong growth, the potential for economic uncertainty could present a challenge. We are talking with clients more and have the scale and agility to provide flexible solutions for them. Thankfully, we have been innovative in using technology, but we need to be constantly aware of optimising our offering utilising better communication, AI, analytics etc. What are the key sector opportunities you’re capitalising on? We are very positive on the sector, but the rate of change is increasing. We see, therefore, new opportunities in managed services, new sectors, onsite staffing, statement of work etc. Our new model based in Tralee, servicing the IT market in Germany, is working and scaling really well and forms the basis of expanding into new European and US markets. Talent solutions really is an exciting place to be right now. What set you on the road to where you are now? When we completed our MBO in 2009, many of the team were involved. We had ambitions to develop a commercially strong business (which has been successful), but also to build a great Irish business which would be recognised internationally. Innovations like the Talent Summit, Ireland Gateway to Europe and National Employment Week have helped position ourselves to achieve both these goals. What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it? We did underestimate the importance of brand when expanding overseas in 2005/2006. Some of our overseas operations did create impact, but with limited resources it was a challenge to develop deep routes through a ‘land and expand’ model. Now, we are successfully servicing clients and developing relationships in overseas locations before opening a significant office. How do you get the best out of your team? The quality and commitment of the team is high so, really, allow them to do their job! We encourage risk and learn from any failures. We do have strong respect and equally celebrate success. From day one we all agreed to our culture/values, so anyone joining Sigmar is clear on where we are going and, hopefully, how to get there. What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it? We did underestimate the importance of brand when expanding overseas in 2005/2006. Some of our overseas operations did create impact, but with limited resources it was a challenge to develop deep routes through a ‘land and expand’ model. Now, we are successfully servicing clients and developing relationships in overseas locations before opening a significant office. How do you get the best out of your team? The quality and commitment of the team is high so, really, allow them to do their job! We encourage risk and learn from any failures. We do have strong respect and equally celebrate success. From day one we all agreed to our culture/values, so anyone joining Sigmar is clear on where we are going and, hopefully, how to get there. STEM sectors receive a lot of criticism for a lack of diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and other demographics. Have you noticed a diversity problem in your sector? What are your thoughts on this and what’s needed to be more inclusive? When I did engineering (a long time ago!), in a class of 250 there were maybe 10 girls, so we’ve improved a bit since then. I do think ongoing positive discussions have helped and will continue to redress the gender balance. We have hosted a few events on diversity and specifically gender balance, and I believe an honest dialogue is required to actually make real change. I believe most people agree where we want to get to, but healthy, honest conversations and listening are required to get us there. As it goes, the recruitment sector has been very inclusive and probably really embraces diversity better than most, maybe because it is a relatively new sector or it’s a meritocracy. Who is your role model and why? If I had to choose a role model right now, it would honestly be Joe Schmidt. I’ve heard a few current and ex-players speaking recently and they are 100pc clear on the objectives and plans. He also seems to instil authenticity, and even humility, into high performance. The analytics, data recording/management, team building, results focus are all very impressive, but the simple imparting a message to ‘do your job’ really works and seemed to be enjoyed. What books have you read that you would recommend? I liked Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Didn’t necessarily agree with all his theories, but does make one think. I was recommended Legacy by James Kerr, and I have to say it does simply articulate the collective belief in high standards exhibited by the All Blacks. I am now recommending it to some of our teams to read/review/implement. What are the essential tools and resources that get you through the working week? Phones, a computer and coffee are all good – oh, and a pint on Friday evening. We do use various tools to gather regular data across the company which is important, but I feel equally important is to speak with people about what we need to do as a result of the data.y to Europe and National Employment Week have helped position ourselves to achieve both these goals.
In last week’s blog we looked at 5 Tips to Build Your Professional Network, this week we want to take a look at why networking is so important to your professional development. It can be a daunting task for those who wouldn’t consider themselves overly social, but the rewards to your professional and personal growth are endless. 1. Get Help and Be Helped One of the most significant parts of building a professional network is the opportunity it presents you to ask others for help when you need it and to help other people in your network. It happens to all of us at some point when we need an extra pair of hands to help us solve a problem. All jobs present bumps in the road and it’s great to have a professional network you can lean on in times of struggle and vice versa you can lend a helping hand when your network need help. 2. Be Inspired by Ideas Networking can be so beneficial to our creativity and inspire us to do more in our work. If you’re feeling a little lost or not as pumped about your job as you once were, go to a work event or conference and start talking to people! These people can have a similar role as you or a completely different role, or just work in the same industry. Don’t focus on what level they are either. Different levels of experience will bring you all kinds of different insights. It doesn’t matter what role they are in or what level they are, they will always share something new with you. It’s a great way to come back to the office with new and exciting ideas. 3. Build a Good Reputation Building your network will get you known among those in your industry. More visibility is a great way to build your reputation. Getting yourself out there and being noticed by your peers will help you make a name for yourself. Word of mouth can go very far and if you make enough good impressions a level of trust for you and what you do will follow. This will stand to you if you decide to apply for a new role. You may not know your interviewer directly, but they may have a connection to you through a mutual contact, who has nothing but positive things to say about you. 4. Grow your Confidence Career advancement isn’t the only benefit to networking. It can help with your personal growth as well. By continually putting yourself out there and meeting new people and stepping out of your comfort zone on a regular basis, will help you to build invaluable social skills and self-confidence that you can take with you anywhere. The more you network, the more you’ll grow and learn. 5. Gain New Friendships The last benefit doesn’t impact your professional career, but it doesn’t make it any less significant. Spending time socialising and building your network will naturally lead you to making friends. Some of the strongest and long-standing friendships have started as work connections. The people you network with will be like-minded with similar aspirations and struggles as you so it’s not unlikely that a work relationship could develop into a friendship. We have heard it time and time again, advancing in your career is just as much about who you know as what you know. That’s why networking is so important to your career, but networking can benefit you personally just as much as it can professionally. Spending time networking will be very worthwhile and the best part is that it’s never too late to start investing in your network.
Social activist, global public speaker and contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Monica Lewinsky has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at Talent Summit 2019, for which tickets are now available for purchase. In recent years, Monica has been at the forefront of leading global societal change around the “culture of humiliation”. At the heart of Monica’s personal story and what she advocates for is more human compassion and personal resilience, unique human traits and actions that are fundamental to leading change in transformative times. Talent Summit will take place on Wednesday 27th of February 2019 at the Convention Centre Dublin. Talent Summit has grown to become recognised as one of the most respected and largest HR conferences in Europe. With over 20 global thought leaders contributing and speaking, this summit is aimed at business owners, corporate executives, HR leaders and those with a professional interest in shaping the workforce of tomorrow. Talent Summit was founded by Sigmar Recruitment and is proudly supported by EY Ireland. Welcoming the announcement, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, founder of Talent Summit commented: “With the talent agenda ranking as the number one priority for business leaders around the globe, we need to reimagine how we create better workplaces and working lives in an increasingly complex world of work. At its core, Talent Summit is a humanics conference focused on people and our interaction with technology. The workforce is augmenting, becoming more digital, diverse, global and automation-savvy which presents major opportunities for HR leaders to influence how their organisations invest in people in parallel with technology to attract, organise, develop and drive the performance of their people. This year’s theme is “The Talent Revolution; Leading Change” where we will unlock global thought leadership on how HR leaders can lead desired change to develop their workforces.” “We are delighted to partner with Talent Summit again this year. In an environment characterised by disruption and uncertainty, rapid technological development and fast-paced economic growth, successfully leading organisational transformation remains critical. Having culture change and employee experience at the forefront of transformation will be central to achieving sustained success. In addition, to support continued growth, businesses in Ireland need innovative workforce-planning strategies in place to attract the best talent in the market, and to retain and up-skill their existing workforce, equipping them with the skills and expertise needed for the future. The world of work is changing, and a changing working world needs a new approach, with focused and strategic leadership. The calibre of speakers at Talent Summit this year is second to none, and we’re honoured to be part of such an inspiring international line-up. The event promises to be full of stimulating discussion and we’re looking forward to meeting colleagues from Ireland and around the world,” Niamh O’Beirne, Partner, People Advisory Services at EY Ireland, added. The central theme of Talent Summit this year is The Talent Revolution: Leading Change. Key topics covered on the day will include: The New Talent Supply Chain: Buy, Build, Borrow or Bots Unlocking Performance through Engagement. Leadership in the Digital age Leading Organizational Transformation & Cultural Preservation Future of Learning, Development and re-skilling Keynotes from over 20 national and international expert speakers will be given on talent; attraction, development, leadership, performance and transformation strategies. There will be real life case studies from successful global and local brands, as well as panel discussions and audience Q&A. Tickets for Talent Summit are now available for purchase. Please see www.talentsummit.ie
Changing the way that employees understand and interact with culture can significantly increase engagement in the workplace. We’ve listed 7 ways to increase engagement among employees through cultural realignment: 1. Talk About Culture Management need to communicate the culture of the company to all stakeholders in order for everyone else to understand what the company believes in. Buy-in from management is essential. 2. Energise Existing Jobs Offer job rotation, job sharing and combine tasks so that staff are not doing the same thing every day. Introducing a new task which will improve abilities or push employees to learn new skills will motivate staff to improve in their role. Forming self-directed teams can help employees feel like they are in control of their jobs and have a say in the company. 3. Hire for Fit When hiring for new staff it is important that companies don’t just hire people with the right skills, without judging if they will fit in with the company culture. An introverted project manager can be detrimental to an IT project so knowing your culture and the culture of the job role you are advertising is paramount. If outsourcing the hiring process to a recruitment company, it is important that the company understands the culture that you are portraying. In a climate where new recruits are hard to keep and are constantly changing jobs for a better company fit, knowing both the culture of the company and the role can save a company time and money 4. Leverage Manager/Employee Relationship Employee satisfaction relies quite closely on the affiliation they have with their manager. Frequent praise and recognition will empower employees to keep up the good work but if managers are too busy to take notice of their team or to spend time talking with them this bond will turn stale, leading to eroded trust and confidence on both sides of the relationship. Taking the time to schedule meetings with team members and keeping note of the work that your team is doing will leverage this relationship allowing a confiding and open connection. 5. Upward Mentoring Mentoring does not always have to be downward. For employees that have been in the company for a longer period of time and understand the inner working of the company they can provide valuable insight that managers may not have thought of before. Fresh eyes can alert companies to newer technologies and more efficient ways of doing jobs so do not discount something until you have tried it 6. Job Referral Bounties Offering rewards for employees finding and placing workers in your company that suit your culture can prove a successful recruitment strategy. Presenting long-term bounties are even better as employees are motivated to help others progress through impromptu coaching and team working. 7. Measure Improvements Send out surveys every two to three months to measure key performance indicators to see if the culture is changing for the better and if people are becoming more engaged. Measuring the profit and productivity levels in the company overtime can also highlight how successful the project is. Conducting six monthly reviews where employee satisfaction rates are measured and bench-marked can show if some employees are lacking culture fit. Having a programme in place to help these employees find their feet can further increase engagement in the company as you are showing staff that you value them.
What a fantastic year 2018 was for Sigmar Recruitment. We achieved a lot and had some fun along the way. Here's a look back at our year.. January In January we brought all our staff from our Dublin, Cork, Galway and Tralee offices together for our annual company meeting. It was great to get everyone together to discuss company developments and psych ourselves up for the year ahead. February February was a really exciting month for us in Sigmar. Firstly, we were announced as one of the Best Medium Workplaces at the Great Place to Work Awards. Followed by the news of our strategic partnership with French staffing giant Groupe Adéquat. And finally, we held Ireland’s largest HR conference, Talent Summit in Dublin’s Convention Centre. Talent Summit has grown year on year with over 650 HR leaders in attendance, showcasing the latest thinking on talent topics from around the world. We were honoured to have the most viewed TEDTalk speaker of all time, Sir Ken Robinson headline the event. March We can’t speak about March without mentioning the snow. The whole country came to a standstill and we were compelled to close our offices.That didn't stop our Galway team from achievening their best month ever (since opening in 2005). After the snow storm passed we had a couple a nights of celebration as we were announced as winner of the HR Supplier of the Year award and Deloitte Best Managed Company award. April April was another busy month. We hosted our Gateway to Europe events in Boston and Washington to provide practical information for US corporates who are interested in establishing operations in Ireland and the EU. We also held a pub quiz in aid of our charity partner Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. May In May a brave group of Sigmar staff, including our CEO, Adie McGennis took part in the Malin 2 Mizen cycle for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. They cycled the entire length of Ireland on behalf of the charity - a phenomenal achievement! Talent Summit Cork also took place in May in the Clayton Hotel, Cork. June In June we held our second regional Talent Summit in Galway in the g Hotel. A group of Sigmar ladies took part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon on behalf of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. July We held our Summer BBQ in Opium, Dublin. All our offices came together to enjoy the good weather and some tasty BBQ food and beers. August In August we announced our new “European Talent Hub” Sigmar IT International in Tralee, Co Kerry. We launched the office offering 50 jobs to candidates from “all backgrounds” regardless of experience and education, to fill the positions. September "40 Kilometres, 48,000 steps, hamstring gone, shin splints, hips need replacement! Just over 6 and a half hours!!............totally worth it!!" - Tom Deane. Tom Deane once again pushed himself to his physical limits in the name of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland taking part in the Head 2 Head walk from Howth to Bray! October In October the Boston College Ireland Business Council hosted their Global Leadership Symposium in City Hall in Dublin. This exclusive event welcomed 150 leaders from the Irish business, political community as well as a c-level delegation travelling over from Boston. November The 12th annual National Recruitment Federation Awards took place in the Shelbourne Hotel on Friday November 30th. Sigmar were delighted to attend and to come away with not one but two awards on the night, Best in Practice Technical, IT & Telecoms and NRF Cert RP Graduate of the Year: Julie Valentine. December We finished off the year with a bang, sending 88 of our staff to Belgium to enjoy two nights in the beautful Bruges and our Tralee IT International team were treated to two nights in Alicante. For those who couldn’t attend either were given a lunch in Dublin and Cork. Celebrations all around!