Recruitment agencies are often underestimated. A lot of people aren’t aware of the value a recruitment agency can have on a person’s job search or a company’s search for candidates. We have created a list of the most common myths associated with recruitment agencies, to set the record straight once and for all… “Recruitment Agencies are Expensive” One of the most common assumptions people have with recruitment agencies is, that you have to pay an agency to help find you a job. This is completely false. The way it works is that a recruitment consultant receives a fee from their client for placing relevant and qualified candidates in a job. You don’t pay the recruiter; the recruiter is paid by the agency they work for and the company who hires the jobseeker. “Companies can look after their own Recruitment. Agencies are Obsolete” Finding the right employee can be a long and complex process that even the most established human resources department in a large company can find difficult. Many companies utilize the expertise of recruitment agencies. With agencies having such a large bank of candidates on file and their own pool of specialist recruitment consultants dedicated to finding talent, recruitment agencies are invaluable to companies struggling to fill certain roles. “Recruiters don’t have Industry Knowledge” Often people think recruiters don’t understand the industry they are recruiting for. This is incorrect. Reputable recruitment consultants specialise in the areas they recruit for and have vast product knowledge of their market. Often a recruiter has a background in the area they recruit for or he/she is trained in that area so they understand what is required to work in that field. “Recruitment Agencies don’t care about Jobseekers” The perception of recruitment consultants is that they don’t care about their candidates and only want to place them in a job so they can make their commission. This may be true of some agencies, so you want to make sure you work with a reputable company. The success of recruitment agencies is dependent on the quality of the candidate’s they put forward to their clients i.e. your success is their success. Therefore, your agency should be working with you to find you a suitable position, provide you with detailed interview preparation and essentially hold your hand throughout the process.
2018 is going to bring some exciting challenges and plenty of opportunities. Brexit, GDPR and artificial intelligence will all impact the insurance sector throughout this year and beyond. Thoughts on the Market 2017 continued to showcase Ireland’s recovery and this has been reflected in the growth in employment and increased FDI. The insurance sector has been voicing optimism for quite some time with the majority of companies expanding and we expect further growth in 2018 and beyond. The mood is positive for the year ahead, however some challenges have been identified such as the introduction of GDPR, the impact of Brexit and the skills shortage in an economy reaching near full employment. The skills shortage has seen companies expanding their search for talent internationally for positions that would traditionally have been filled with local talent. This trend is only going to continue in 2018 and multilingual candidates will become more and more the norm. The UK Brexit vote has led to many international insurers based in the UK outlining plans to relocate to another EU jurisdiction. Dublin has been identified by several large insurance and reinsurance companies as their intended EU base due to Ireland being the only English speaking country in the EU post-Brexit and availability of EU passporting benefits. Overall 2018 will be an exciting year in the insurance sector and it is going to be interesting to see how companies handle the challenges and opportunities facing them in the year ahead. But if anyone is going to lead the way in managing the risks these opportunities and challenges will bring, it must be the insurance sector. Life Assurance The life and health insurance sectors in Ireland have seen some interesting developments in recent years with several mergers and acquisitions as well as new entrants to the Irish market. Qualified financial planners and pensions administrators continue to be the main movers within these spaces and they show no sign of slowing down. Pensions administrators were highly sought after in 2017 and in particular candidates with defined benefit and defined contribution skills. With the rundown of large defined benefit schemes in Ireland and defined contribution schemes being the primary pension choice of large organisations, candidates skilled in the day-to-day administration of these schemes will continue to be in high demand throughout 2018. General Insurance Traditional skills such as claims, underwriting and brokerage consultants continue to be sought at a steady, if not spectacular, pace. The increased focus on insurance fraud has seen claims professionals with experience in this area in demand. Increasingly large compensation payments have highlighted the need for companies to focus more resources in their claims and fraud departments. There is no indication this will slow down in 2018 ,therefore candidates should be highlighting their experience in this area. Compliance One of the areas that saw significant growth in 2017 was compliance and risk, as insurance companies brace for the introduction of GDPR in May 2018. With the countdown to GDPR in full swing, insurance companies are actively trying to alleviate the disruption to their operations by getting the right people in place. This has led to compliance and GDPR qualified professionals becoming some of the most sought-after people in 2018 with both permanent positions and project roles opening across the sector. Captive/Reinsurance Brexit brought about some interesting news for the Irish reinsurance market with several companies identifying (and several more still considering) Dublin as the location of choice for their EU headquarters. Actuarial Qualified and part-qualified actuaries are continuing to attract considerable interest. New graduates are also in high demand with internships offering a great path into a trainee role. Salaries in 2018 Salaries are continuing in an upward trend and skilled employees are, in certain cases, in a position to seek a 10-15% increase when moving. This was a similar trend for specialist roles in 2017, however, we are seeing similar increases now in the 1-3 years’ experience bracket. Top Tip For 2018 Our top tip for 2018 is targeted at employers and the need to move quickly when they have identified top talent. With the talent pool shrinking and the rise of counteroffers, companies are doing their utmost to keep hold of key people and potential employers will need to act fast to secure skilled candidates. Too often in 2017 we saw employers drag their heels with their recruitment processes and miss out on key hires. Hot Jobs Experienced Claims Handler Compliance Officer/Executive Pension Administrator Actuary Project/Change Management Top Skills Project Management/Prince2 or PMP Compliance and regulatory experience QFA/CIP DB and DC pension experience Product development Check out the latest insurance jobs here
We asked our specialist recruitment consultants across a number of industries what they think are the most crucial dos and don’ts for candidate CVs. Dos Structure Good CV structure is so important. You can do this by: Arranging your work history and education separately according to date and in chronological order. Keep education and work history in separate sections of the CV. Don’t use borders or tables or strange fonts or pictures/images. Always apply in word format, in standard text form. This might not apply to marketing jobs but I know financial services do not enjoy it. The formatting should be uniform and consistent. If you’re using bullet points, they should all be the same style and alignment. You should follow an obvious pattern. If you’re using Italics for role and Bold for organisation, you need to do this for every role. Details The more detail you give about your work history the easier it is for a recruiter/hiring manager to understand your experience, and know if you are suited to a particular role. Jobseekers often put just one word to describe their duties and when you consider the competition out there this isn’t enough detail to stand out. Statistics, facts and figures are essential. If you hit targets, made sales, achieved goals, employers want to see the exact numbers and/or percentages. Achievements Include what you’ve achieved in your professional career. Awards and certificates are very impressive to hiring managers. However, they don’t always have to be job related awards, they can be personal achievements too e.g. completed a marathon, raised money for charity, served on a community or student committee etc. It’s good to show on your CV that you’re outgoing and achieve goals outside of work. Extra Curriculars If you play sport or music etc. include this on your CV. This will make you stand out. However, don’t include ridiculous hobbies. Charity work and current hobbies are acceptable, but don’t put down hobbies for the sake of it, like “I enjoy walking”. Use that space on your CV for something more relevant. Don’ts Don’t Leave Gaps Hiring managers like to see exact timeframes on CVs. Dates on your CV should include month to month time frames, as opposed to year to year. Often people will avoid putting dates on a CV or will try to be vague about the dates. This can look suspicious to employers. It’s better to be honest and give reasons for any gaps instead of trying to hide them. Don’t Include Graphics Leave out fancy graphics, complicated formatting and decorative pictures where possible. They just tend to make it more difficult for employers to read. Keep things simple, clear and detailed. Don’t Forget to Include Contact Details You may just assume that sending your CV via email is enough for an employer to contact you but often CVs get forwarded around and saved on hard drives/desktops so the original email you sent could get lost along with your contact email address. Always put your email address and contact number on your CV. Don’t use Personal Details It’s good to show your personality through your CV and give the hiring manager a sense of who you are but some personal details are too personal for your CV. Avoid putting your relationship status on your CV e.g. married, divorced. It’s irrelevant information and it could affect you negatively.
Let's face it, probationary periods are hard. Whether you were unemployed or you moved jobs, you’re going to put yourself under a lot of pressure to succeed in this new position and the added pressure of knowing you’re on trial doesn’t help. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you pass your probation with flying colours. 1. Dress to Impress Firstly, make sure your personal hygiene is impeccable. One of the worst office habits is bad body odour. Secondly, dress smart. Dressing well will impress your superiors and your fellow colleagues. It will also give a little extra confidence while you’re finding your feet in your new job. 2. Timekeeping Traffic, public transport, school runs, they can be a nightmare in the mornings and we’ve all been there, but it’s no excuse to be late for work constantly. Want to make a good impression and pass your probation? Be on time! Even if it means you have to leave earlier in the morning. If you want to make a good impression you have to make real effort and show you are reliable. Bad time-keeping is a pet hate for managers and it’s a definite way to ensure you won’t pass probation. If it does happen that you are late, show you understand that time-keeping and attendance matters and always inform your manager. 3. Holidays and Sick Leave Myth Obviously during probation, you want to make the best impression possible and you don’t want to come across as someone who is not serious about their role. I have read several articles about probation, doing research for this blog and I’ve noticed that a lot of people say you shouldn’t request time off under any circumstances. Probation periods can last between 6 – 11 months and that’s too long a time to not take a day off. Don’t be afraid to speak to your employer about taking annual leave. Ask them what the most important dates on the calendar are that you need to be in work for and request time off around those dates. You should consider one day at a time and not block booking, at least until the probationary period is over. As for sick leave, when you’re sick there is very little you can do. Show your doctor’s note and apologise to your employer for the inconvenience. Employers know when an employee is not taking their job serious and when they are out of work for disingenuous reasons. Be fair with yourself and your employer about time off and you will be fine. 4. Socialise Part of your probationary period is not just to see if you can do the job you’ve been hired to do, but to see if you gel with the rest of the staff and integrate with culture of the business. It can be hard to come into a new place where everyone knows everyone and you’re the newbie but a little effort can go a long way. Go to work social events and ask different colleagues to lunch. Soon you won’t feel like such an outcast and part of a team. This will go a long way with managers as well as your colleagues. 5. Stop Being so Hard on Yourself You were chosen for this job. YOU not anyone else. You applied for the job and out of all the applicants you were chosen for interview and after your interview process, you were the one they offered the job to. So well done. Give yourself a pat on the back for coming this far. It’s so important during your probation to try steer your focus away from the negatives of being on trial and think of all the positives that got you the job in the first place. Cleary your employer saw something in you so why don’t you try see it in yourself? Always remember that probation is for you too. It gives you a chance to see the company and the role first hand and decide if it’s for you. Just as your employer can decide, you can also choose to leave at any time during your probation period. If you are considering leaving, get in touch with us at Sigmar and we can help you find something that will be a better fit.
Searching for jobs is a job in itself. It can be challenging and time consuming but there are ways of making the task a little easier. If you are planning on finding a new job, Sigmar Recruitment has devised a list of top 5 job searching tips to help you in your pursuit of the perfect job. 1. Get Employers to Come to You Uploading your CV online can increase your chances of being seen by employers. Most job searching websites like; Jobs.ie and Monster.ie allow jobseekers to create an online profile using their CV content. This online profile can then be viewed by potential employers and recruiters. There is also an option when you create your account to highlight specific jobs and organisations you’re interested in and receive email notifications when positions become available. This is useful for any jobseeker as it does the hard work for you and allows relevant job vacancies to come directly to you. 2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile The first thing you should do before applying for a job is ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all your relevant work experience. Often employers will search for you online while reviewing your CV. It’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date as it could be the reason you get called for an interview. Extra Tip: If you are unemployed and don’t have an issue with making your employment status public, you may want to update your LinkedIn profile headline to something like, “Currently seeking (insert type of role here) in (insert location here)”. This will let others know that you are currently job seeking. 3. Target the Right Companies It’s important to know what type of company you are looking for. This all comes down to your personal preference. Knowing what you want will make it easier. Would you rather be; “a big fish in a little pond” or “a little fish in a big pond”? By eliminating the type of companies you don’t want in your search, you will narrow down the available jobs suited to you. Extra Tip: If you know of a company you think you would like to work for, search for reviews of the company online. Glassdoor.com lets you search millions of reviews of companies that are all posted anonymously by employees. This is a great way to get an honest appraisal of organisations you’re considering applying to or considering accepting an offer for. 4. Network Use the contacts you have to enquire about available jobs and get the word out that you’re looking for a new position. Often jobs can be found through people we know so it’s a good idea to get in touch with any relevant contacts you may have. Building on your current network can also give you an advantage in your job search. Attending conferences and job expos are a great way to network and find out about career opportunities. 5. Keep Positive Finding the perfect job isn’t easy and may take time. As rejections start coming in, it’s important to always try to stay positive. It’s only natural for you to feel deflated when things aren’t going according to plan but try to use the rejection as a motivation to work harder. The right job is out there for you and you will find it if you stay persistent and optimistic. Don’t have the time to job search? If you find yourself not being able to find the time to search for jobs properly, you can contact us in Sigmar Recruitment. You can upload your details and CV to our website, create an online profile and one of our 125 specialist recruitment consultants will contact you to discuss potential job opportunities.
We get a lot of emails. A LOT. Probably more than we can handle. And smartphones haven’t helped with constant access to your emails, along with social media apps sending you a notification every time someone even thinks about you. So rather than moaning about the number of emails you have, why not re-evaluate your email habits and see what changes you can make. Here are some tips we’ve put together to give you a helping hand. 1. Unsubscribe Email subscriptions is one of the biggest causes of unwanted emails so take a little time out to start unsubscribing. You’d be amazed at the amount of things you may have signed up to months or even years ago that you just automatically delete without thinking about it e.g. Google alerts, online shopping offers, group alerts from LinkedIn. Just think, is it something you absolutely HAVE to be notified about? Will the world end if you catch up on those offers in your own time, by actually logging in to the website and having a look for yourself? Probably not. 2. Send less emails It seems obvious but sometimes you don’t need to reply to every email. Responding leads to responses so just assume the other person doesn’t want as many emails in their inbox as well and you may notice things slowing down. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude; perhaps pick up the phone? You can say things far more effectively and save time by having a two minute call rather than a 20 email conversation. Besides, with email and chat taking over, a little social interaction is long overdue. 3. Chat A big part of email issues can be being included on email trails between colleagues that have no real bearing on the work day. Office chat and banter is great for morale but not great for productivity. It may be a good idea to remove yourself from group emails and avoid being overloaded by office spam. Management often see this sort of spam as negative for business and reflects badly on you so be selective in how many group emails you are involved in. 4. CC Folder A great trick is to create a folder where any email you have been cc’d on goes in to a separate folder, which you can view when you have the time. Let people know you’re doing this though so as to ensure you’re not missing important emails or deadlines. It will make a huge difference to your inbox and your workload. And also, don’t cc people who don’t have a real interest or bearing on the topic. Put yourself in their shoes – I’m sure they are also sick of being cc’d on emails. 5. Don’t delete Lastly, deleting emails is the most effective way of clearing your inbox but when you’re trying to find something from 2 months ago usually the easiest thing to do is ask whomever sent it to you to re-send right? Wrong. You now have that email twice, for no good reason. Start saving emails in folders. Not just in your inbox but on your hard drive.
The supply chain industry in Ireland continued to grow in the last 12 months with a number of multinational companies setting up EMEA manufacturing or virtual headquarters across the country from Galway to Cork and Athlone to Dublin. Candidates are coming to the Irish market in large numbers, in particular experienced Irish supply chain professionals are returning from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. This in turn increases supply of candidates but they are being more selective of the jobs and the salaries they require. There is currently a gap in the market between what companies are paying and what candidates can now demand. In 2016 salaries increased in the pharmaceutical, medical devices and food industries, however companies with exposure to Brexit in terms of exports will keep salaries constant as they navigate the ramifications of the changing political landscape. After speaking with senior managers and directors all year about developments at their companies a number of key trends have emerged. Real-Time Tracking for Consumers is Paramount for Customer Engagement For any company that is supplying produce or specific products directly to consumers, real time tracking is essential to keep the customer engaged. With the world being “smaller” and more connected, consumers have a myriad of choice when it comes to spending their money. This leads to impulse buys and the expediency of a speedy delivery, is essential. This is making the visibility of tracking technology used by the company directly or third party logistics (3pl) providers vital. Plan, Plan, Plan – Improvements are Always Needed Brexit, currency fluctuations, increased tariffs, geographical disruption – supply shocks are everywhere. 2016 was a year of turbulence and change with most of the aforementioned occurrences unpredicted at the start of the year. However, regular planning or even reactive planning to changing market conditions was essential for nearly every company dealing with a changing geo-political environment in Ireland, the EU and beyond. Flexible Supply Chains V Lean Supply Chains The focus over the past number of years, and rightly so, has been to champion Lean principles throughout the supply chain. This has led to companies reducing costs and trying to improve processes on a regular basis. Between supply shocks and the changing global economic and political landscape, companies can be left with major stock shortages affecting key parts of their supply chain. With consumers being more transient, keeping or maintaining service delivery through a period of disruption is key. More and more companies have set up excess stock facilities and depots for excess raw materials to insure continuation of supply instead of irreparable damage to their brand over the long term period. With expansions and new system implementations rampant as companies seek to increase market share and deliver a better service offering to consumers, supply chain experience to improve and create a flexible supply chain for a European marketplace is being sought in the form of senior contractors for certain durations from 2 months to 2 years. For those in Supply Chain or interested in getting into it, courses to upskill in a different ERP system would be hugely beneficial the movement evermore to Big Data and its usages across the supply chain function. Supply chain qualifications as a primary degree are becoming more in demand, putting certain candidates at a disadvantage therefore bettering a qualification is advisable. Undertaking a supply chain course, particularly one with classroom participation, thus drawing from other students’ supply chain experience would be advisable as more and more companies are looking for people to have a supply chain qualification on top of their initial degree.
There is extensive demand in Ireland for speakers of multiple European languages with German, Dutch, Swedish and French being the most commonly requested. The flow of companies basing themselves in Ireland to deal with their European customer base is constant and this is predominantly in sales, customer service and technical support. Staff retention is a constant challenge for these companies, especially for junior multilingual roles. Candidates will often move without hesitation for an increase in salary and they have little or no loyalty to the organisation they are working for. With regards to senior roles candidate retention is highly prized and can be obtained through benefits, pay rises and changes in job role that the person may not be able to get elsewhere. The multilingual sector is coming under increasing pressure as more and more companies move here and seek to draw on the same pool of candidates. The demand is fast outstripping supply, particularly when it comes to languages such as German and Dutch. One solution to this problem is to source candidates internationally and bring them to Dublin. A challenge with this relocation however is that it is only typically offered in specialised cases or for particularly senior roles. Location is a massive draw for a lot of candidates in the multilingual sector and there are huge challenges for candidates new to Dublin to find suitable accommodation. Offices on the outskirts of the city (Park West/Citywest) are becoming more prevalent due to the lack of office space in the city centre but candidates have a preference for their work to be based in the city which creates additional challenges on attraction and retention. This is something that is likely to turn but will be slow. Mid to high level sales roles have seen exponential rises in both basic salaries and on target earnings. A successful salesperson with 3 years’ experience could be earning €40-45k basic with potential to earn up to €90-100k. Outside of this, marginal increases for junior roles is the order of the day, across numerous types of roles. Essentially, salary comes down to supply and demand, the fewer people based here who speak the language the higher your salary potential. Foe employees in the industry a top tip is to develop your technical skill set – what software packages have you used? Are you familiar with terminology in online advertising? There are lots of short term courses out there to upskill yourself and sometimes a little bit of research will answer any questions you may have prior to any interview. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then you need to show your knowledge!
The market trend in the sales industry at present, is that a lot of companies are hiring, which offers more opportunities to graduates. By far and away the industry with the most marked increase is the construction and technical sector. After a number of hard years for both clients and candidates, there is a tentative upsurge in this area. Numerous companies are now returning to the market, hiring additional staff. In the IT sector there has been very strong growth in inside sales functions with many businesses investing in graduates or junior sales people, so that they can grow them through the ranks. Domestic IT companies have returned to the market with field based sales roles becoming more common after years of cutbacks. Things are looking bright for the Irish FMCG Market for the rest of2017, particularly for many smaller companies and SMEs. The rise in popularity for diverse ranges of produce such as artisan food and craft beers has led to the creation of many more local operators within the industry. Demonstrated sales experience is key. In interviews candidates are being quizzed on their figures and achievements and an inability to demonstrate these clearly makes the difference between getting the role or not. There is a slight disparity across all industries in relation to what candidates are seeking and what is on offer from businesses. Companies want to hire people who can generate new business, whilst candidates are seeking more senior account manager type roles, having ridden out the recession years. This puts a strain on the market as business development roles get turned down in favour of more appealing account manager positions. Salaries in the ICT sector have seen the biggest increase as multinational companies with deep pockets have been driving entry level and experienced salaries up. This has put pressure on smaller companies who can’t compete at those levels. Irish companies need to realise, that they are now competing with multinational companies for talent, as graduates from all backgrounds work in Google, Twitter etc. If you as an employer want someone with 12 months sales experience – so does half the country so be prepared to compete for them. Another factor that is affecting salaries is living costs. A lot of people are struggling with living costs when working in sales roles, especially if commission or bonuses are not paid on a monthly basis. If as an employer you are offering a low base and an annual bonus, you run the risk of failing to attract quality staff or losing them to employers who reward their staff more frequently. Those looking for a career within sales need to get online and make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and relevant to what you want to do next. Every recruiter and company out there is going to look you up online and they want to see someone who is professional and connected regardless of the industry they are in.