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.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult but having a hectic work and home life with little time for preparation can lead us down an unhealthy eating path prompting us to reach for convenience foods. By not adopting a healthy eating mind-set and not choosing foods that boost your energy levels and carry a nutritional value, you are making life – and work – more difficult for yourself in the long run. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you feel fatigued when you wake? Are you bloated and de-motivated? Are you tired at 3pm? Do you struggle to sleep? Do you find you have brain fogginess and an inability to focus? Are you sleepy after a meal with more than half a plate of carbohydrates? Do you find yourself procrastinating over picking up the phone to make that all-important sales call? If you can relate to these points, then it is possible you have a deranged metabolism resulting from insulin resistance– in other words blood sugar – imbalance. So, what do we mean by ‘blood sugar’? Blood sugar is simply the amount of glucose (sugar) in our blood. Whilst glucose is the main fuel molecule used by the body to give us our energy, too much or too little at any one time can cause several health issues. This article focuses on the result being – low energy levels, de-motivation, elevated stress levels and general feebleness. For professionals in general, this is not ideal when you are trying to hit targets, handle extra work loads and dig deep to find motivation. How does this happen? When eating a breakfast or lunch that is loaded with carbohydrates, our intelligent and resilient bodies digest these carbs in the digestive tract (stomach and intestines) by various enzymes for absorption into the blood stream. It takes around an hour or two for the digestive system to break down the carbohydrate meal into its digestible (monosaccharide) molecule form – or as we commonly know it, glucose or sugar, the form in which we get our energy. Your blood stream is now loaded with glucose after a heavy carbohydrate meal, which then activates and releases a hormone called Insulin. This wonderful and hindering hormone senses the heavy load of glucose and removes it from the blood, storing it in our cells (to make energy) and muscles. If our cells and muscles are full from overeating and reaching our quota then in come the fat cells, particularly fat cells around our waist as that is where our vital organs are located. This sudden shift of glucose can result in you having no energy half way through your working day. Now you are faced with the 3pm slump, feeling quite de-motivated. This is a very general explanation but hopefully it paints a picture. How do you fix this? There are several ways you can counteract the 3pm slump and boost your energy levels throughout the day. 1. Eat foods low on the glycaemic index. These foods release energy (glucose) slowly into the bloodstream. You can probably guess what they consist of: Vegetables, legumes, some fruits (the darker in colour the better) whole grains, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry and fish. 2. Include a snack in between main meals (only if you feel you need to) This will allow you to stay nice and stable throughout the day, avoiding those slumps and becoming too hungry, however you don’t want to over eat or eat just for the sake of it. Protein rich and quality fats are best. Eating every three hours can be a good start. 3. Eat protein with each meal. This can benefit your energy levels when you eat carbohydrates, as protein is harder to digest making the release of energy more stable. Protein is the most satiating macro-nutrient, meaning it releases energy slowly, which helps signal to the brain that you are full. Quality sources include lean meats and poultry preferably not out of a packet, any wild fish, nuts, seeds and legumes for those who prefer not to eat meat 4. Eat breakfast. Make sure it includes protein and healthy fats. These satiating macro-nutrients are sure to keep your blood sugars stable and help prevent you from feeling weak and irritable and prompting us to reach for sugary foods. 5. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. These are the main culprits of blood sugar spikes. They include white foods that have been stripped of their fibre. Examples of these are white bread, white rolls, large white pasta dishes and sugary snacks. When eating grains choose those high in fibre. These include – whole grain foods, rye, spelt, buckwheat and any grain dark in colour. Whole grains are harder for the body to break down and offer an array of nutrients including B Vitamins which are required to make energy in the body. 6. Avoid sugar filled drinks. These are filled with sugars, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, which can lead to a hormonal imbalance and blood sugar spike. Don’t fall victim to effective marketing, read the labels be mindful that anything over 5g of sugar per serving is moving away from low sugar foods. Also, if you don’t understand the ingredients you can be sure it is not that good for you. 7. Reduce stimulants. Caffeine, nicotine, and even alcohol all cause our blood sugar to rise due to a spike in adrenaline.
From physical fitness to mental health, never before have employers been so aware of the benefits of workplace wellbeing. However, according to a survey commissioned by PepTalk in association with Sigmar Recruitment to mark the Workplace Wellbeing Live event taking place on Wednesday 20 September, 2017, just 14 per cent of employers have incorporated continuous wellbeing programmes sufficient to impact the longer term health and wellbeing of employees. A further 22 percent run no form of wellbeing programme at all. Commenting on the results, Marina Morrissey, Manager with Sigmar Recruitment says: “I am surprised and somewhat disappointed with these results. Never before have we been so aware of the impact that both physical and mental health has on not only productivity, but also happiness in the workplace; yet a mere 14 percent of employers would appear to be actively taking the mental and physical health of their employees seriously.” The largest impediment to implementing such a programme is financial with significant majority of respondents citing a lack of budget as the main reason why they do not offer such a programme. “This is a false economy,” warns Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan of PepTalk. “A happy, healthy workforce is a productive workforce and it is well worth investing in providing some form of wellbeing support from a productivity standpoint alone. At 70 percent, the survey would suggest that there is an enormous appetite amongst workers to take part in such a programme. This motivation is something that employers need to capitalise on. “While output is of huge significance in any company, employers also have a moral responsibility to look after their workers. It is increasingly becoming an employee’s market and perks such as wellbeing programmes do give a company a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talent. Our survey reflects this, with 86 percent of employers believing that companies will offer wellbeing programmes in the future as a means of attracting staff.” Marina (pictured above) is involved in designing and implementing a wellbeing programme for the 120 employees at her company. She says: “ At Sigmar, we take positive steps to encourage and protect the workplace wellbeing of our employees. We now run lunchtime and evening classes to include yoga and mindfulness, as well as organising challenges, such as the pedometer challenge; clubs, such as the cycling or running clubs; tournaments, such as the tennis or golf tournament; and fun events such as the “Runamuck” and trampolining events. We also encourage healthy eating and provide support in the form of food logs and providing fresh fruit daily. Nobody is under any pressure to partake in any of this, but we do find that there is a large uptake.”
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?
2016 was an exceptionally interesting year, with economic activity increasing and then coming under threat from the impending Brexit. That being said, there seems to be no ceasing in companies and firms in Ireland growing their legal divisions. There has been a lot of conflicting commentary over the timing and potential impact of Brexit on the global economy and in this context Ireland’s prospects post-Brexit. Whilst no one can be sure, Ireland seems to be the “Hot Topic” when it comes to companies and firms discussing post-Brexit life. Ireland is an obvious choice when it comes to top UK law firms and companies contemplating a move of headquarters. That being said, the pressure is on for Ireland to prove that our infrastructure can handle this growth. Lawyers have been and will continue to play a key role in any development in this area, and thus we anticipate an upsurge in legal recruitment continuing throughout the rest of 2017. UK, Australian and New Zealand Returners As a result of the recession and personal circumstances, many Irish legal graduates or professionals moved to different jurisdictions to either begin or continue their legal careers. This could be attributed to the fact that people were not being trained in certain areas of law linked to a strong economy such as corporate, commercial, banking, construction etc. As such, there is a gap in the market at this level (NQ to 5PQE). Our clients are keen to speak with those who may be interested in a return home and Brexit is expected to increase the flow of people back to Ireland from the UK. It is always a personal choice however, and salaries in London are at an all-time high. Given the busy construction and energy market in Australia and New Zealand, we are finding that Irish returners from these jurisdictions can offer amongst other things strong non-contentious advisory and contentious experience in large scale projects. The newly adopted construction contracts act in Ireland draws similarities to legislation in New Zealand and Australia so this experience is very relevant. “Hot Property” in the Legal and Company Secretarial Market Whilst recruitment is steady across a variety of legal disciplines in Ireland, it is clear that certain areas are in strong demand. We are finding that all leading commercial firms are seeking transactional lawyers in the areas of banking, funds, corporate and commercial property. ICSA company secretaries will continue to be in high demand throughout 2017 both in-house and in legal and accountancy practices, given the implications of the Companies Act 2014. Company secretaries with experience across investment funds are required across financial services and legal practices and these professionals often attract a higher salary. On the in-house side, companies continue to grow their legal and regulatory teams and people with niche experience in areas such as pharmaceutical, financial regulation, utilities, telecoms, aviation etc. are highly sought after. Partner/Senior Associate Recruitment Experienced hires are often a strategic move and it is important for candidates to know their worth. If a candidate can offer a skill set in a particular niche or emerging market or has a strong following of clients, law firms are more than happy to consider taking advantage of this and many leading firms hired in 2016 at a senior level. NQ Market The market is highly competitive at this level. Despite strong retention levels in Ireland, firms have needed to add to their offering to avoid lateral moves and relocations to London, off shore jurisdictions or the Middle East. In-House 2016 was a busy year for in-house recruitment with candidates strongly motivated to move in-house from practice. Areas of growth include aviation, pharmaceutical, FinTech, life sciences, asset management, funds etc. Continued FDI in Ireland and the possibility that Brexit will increase demand, should create further opportunities during 2017. Private Practice 2016 saw private practices focus on sourcing London returners as competition for talent increased, with 3-5 years PQE the in-demand level of experience. With strong solicitors often lost to in-house departments, law firms are placing a lot of emphasis on the non-tangible benefits they can offer their talent. Money often dictates whether talent will move on and law firms are increasingly flexible to attract lateral movers. With regard to salaries in the legal sector the race is on for legal talent and some firms are increasing their salaries to prevent their trainees from leaving upon qualification. There is also a growing amount of flexibility in terms of what firms are willing to offer. The banded salary model often does not exist when it comes to a specialist lawyer or a strong candidate returning from London. When it comes to senior candidates, your salary offer will often come down to a business case (i.e. what clients/fees can you bring to the firm). The Legal market in Ireland (and particularly Dublin) is continuing to show clear signs of growth. Lawyers are key partners to businesses and levels of recruitment both in-house and in practice indicate economic confidence. 2016 has been an exceptionally interesting year, with economic activity increasing and then coming under threat from the impending Brexit. That being said, there seems to be no ceasing in companies and firms in Ireland growing their legal divisions. If you are looking for specialist advice please contact Cailim Boyle, Senior Legal & Compliance Recruitment Consultant Tel: (0)1 4744617 Email: 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!
Even with Christmas on the horizon, the short days and cold, damp weather can take a toll on everyone. Below are six tips for staying happy and healthy this winter. 1. Connect with friends Catch up with good friends as much as you can. Being around happy people will lift your mood. Avoid pessimistic friends for some bonding with a happy-go-lucky pal. Why not meet up with friends after work for some mulled wine at the Dublin Christmas markets. 2. Exercise While it’s easier to turn on a television and watch “I’m a Celebrity..” or endless “X Factor” repeats, your body and mind will thank you for regular exercise. Join a gym, go for a walk, sign up for a 5k/10k or exercise indoors. 3. Plan a Break While a few days in the sun can do you the world of good, with money a bit tighter even a change of scene will make you feel better. Think of visiting a friend or family member away from where you live. If you are in a position to travel abroad, try and grab a last minute deal or book something for early next year so you have something to look forward to. 4. Volunteer Look into some volunteering this Christmas. Get in touch with Focus Ireland or the St. Vincent De Paul. You can make a big difference to an elderly neighbour if you take the time to call in and check on them as winter is especially tough for them. 5. Eat Well Keep healthy and warm Eat plenty of healthy soups and vegetables. Soups can be easily be made at home and are really cheap to make. 6. Sleep Well Again, very obvious but many people don’t get as much sleep as they need. Head to bed a little earlier and make sure you are getting the eight hours your body needs so you wake up rested and ready for another day.