Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements over April, May, and June 2021. The number of placements during this period is higher than any other quarter in the recruitment company’s 20-year history. Current figures are up 6% on the previous record set in 2019 before the pandemic. As one of the largest recruiters in Ireland, Sigmar has offices across the country and is present in all professional sectors. The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements breaking all records in the month of May, with June accounting for the second-highest month ever. Commenting on the rebound of the labour market, Sigmar founding Director, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “The jobs market in Ireland has never been stronger or more buoyant than it currently is. We’re seeing several macro trends converge all at once, which is creating significant churn in the market. Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunities no longer bound by location. This is coupled with a rising tide of consumer confidence, as many professionals find themselves in a stronger financial position than before the pandemic. “The last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, and the humdrum of lockdown has created a desire for change which is now resulting in unprecedented numbers of people moving jobs. Employee loyalty is increasingly under question, with remote work being less enjoyable, many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.” IT accounted for one-third of all job placements throughout the quarter, followed in order by Financial Services, Sales & Marketing, Accountancy, Life Science & Manufacturing, Office Support, Public Sector, Construction, Professional Services. Business confidence has also grown steadily over the course of the year, as vaccination gathered momentum. The “low-touch economy” is booming is sectors such as e-commerce, digital, and logistics. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: “The resurgence of permanent recruitment is somewhat unique to how we’ve rebounded from previous downturns, where we typically saw flexible work return quicker.” Although the vast majority of job placement in Q2 were understandably remote, Sigmar reports that the tide is beginning to change with the majority of employers now committing to hybrid work over the coming three months. Mac Giolla Phádraig advises: “As we now choose our workplaces, at a time when the power dynamic has shifted to the employee, employers need to ensure adequate work practices to reconnect the workforce with the workplace equitably. There is an inherent risk that new workforce inequities may emerge, such as “proximity bias”, where those closest to the centre of influence get greater recognition and therefore promotion opportunities as opposed to remote workers. When it comes to individual contribution the opposite could be argued that remote workers get the benefit of having less in-office distractions and their output is therefore greater.” Mac Giolla Phádraig likens remote work to long-distance relationships, which in many cases don’t work out. “We’ve gone from “living” with our employees in an office environment to long-distance relationships, which often sees commitment recede over time. The context of location also opens up new experiences and possibilities, which are now being explored on a scale never before seen.” He adds, “if we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. It’s now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”
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 ReturnersAs 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 MarketWhilst 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 RecruitmentExperienced 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 MarketThe 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-House2016 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 Practice2016 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 ConsultantTel: (0)1 4744617 Email: email@example.com
The one question I am always asked when preparing a candidate for an interview is “how do I answer the weakness question?” The worst reaction you can have to this question is to say I don’t have a weakness. Everyone has a weakness and the reason the interviewer is asking this question is to see how you act outside your comfort zone. People often make the common mistake of trying to turn a negative into a positive. An example of this would be I’m a perfectionist or I work too hard. These answers are boring and show the interviewer you have put very little thought into his/her question. Also you are not actually answering the question you’re just trying to put a clever spin on it.Another mistake candidates make is being too honest. Never mention a weakness that you have if it is going to stop you from getting the job. So don’t answer “I’m lazy” or that “I’m always late” as this is not what your potential new employer wants to hear. The trick to answering this is in the same way you would answer any interview question and that’s by preparing your answer in advance. It can be very difficult to talk about your flaws in a stressful situation like an interview so make sure you spend time preparing your answer. These are a few ways to best answer the weakness question: 1. Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job Don’t pick a skill or requirement that is on the job spec that you don’t have and say it is your main weakness. This will only put doubt into the interviewers head. 2. Pick a weakness that you can develop For this type of answer you might think of an example where you had a weakness but developed it over the course of your time in prior employment. 3. Describe your weakness in a concise way Don’t go into loads of detail on this question. They are asking you your weakness so be brief and don’t come across as negative. A common answer that candidates often use when asked the weakness question is on their delegation skills. Here you can mention a time when you used to have the mentality that only you could do the job but over time you realised that it was actually slowing the work down and by delegating to other staff members the job was done quicker. This answer is perfect to give but it depends on what job you are going for. If you are going for a managerial role where managing and delegating work will be part of your job description then don’t use delegating as your weakness. Every question in an interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself, so it is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the weakness question is no different. Treat it like you would any interview questions that you find hard and prepare your answer.
Your CV is your sales document. Make sure to target your CV for each job you apply for. Your CV should mirror the job spec of the job you are applying for, ticking all of the requirements for the role. Create a first draft Write all your qualifications, experience, employment history, personal history, hobbies and interests, including all relevant information under headings. Now write down everything you’ve gained personally from these experiences – skills, insights, personal growth (in paragraphs). At this stage just write as many pages as you need to get the brainstorming process done – only later on will we be concerned with cutting it down. Filter out the unimportant You can’t tell potential employers your entire history, but you can highlight the important details for them: these will include skills, insights and abilities that you have been able to develop, as well as your academic qualifcations and what you gained from your studies and experience. Keep it concise Eliminate unnecessary details. HR departments have lots to do, so don’t make the mistake of asking them to read through an unnecessarily long CV. HR departments won’t read a lengthy CV if they are short on time, short on patience, or have a lot of CVs to wade through. Remember that there may be a pile of CVs a foot high for some positions! CV’s should be around two pages in length, although it may be longer if you have to describe a lot of relevant work experience. Even a two page CV is of no advantage if it’s full of information that isn’t reasonably applicable to the position you’re qualified or applying for. Use the space only if you need it to fully disclose your accomplishments. Include the Basic information Even if you have entered this information into this site, you should still include it on your CV. When the recruiter makes the call to say you have been accepted, your CV is the only document he or she will hold in their hands. Make sure it at least has all your personal information such as: Name Address Telephone Number Date of Birth Nationality, including visa and work permit status Languages (level for both written and verbal Driving License (if you have one) State long term objectives What are your short and long term career aims and objectives? Do you have any preferences for the type of work you want to undertake? (Don’t be too restrictive. It is better to be general about your career aspirations at this stage, for example, Business Related, IT). Don’t include short term objectives Your short-term objectives should be clearly articulated in your cover letter. If you do include objectives, be specific. Vague statements, such as “Looking to utilise my marketing skills” or “seeking a rewarding position” add nothing to a CV and may in fact make you appear insincere. Include your Employment history All your employment is important whether it is part-time, temporary, voluntary, vacation work or Saturday only. It should be presented in reverse chronological order, most recent first. Give dates, name of employer, job titles etc. Include your Education history List your most recent qualifications first, including: Dates, Institution – Name of Degree Course etc Degree Classification. It is not necessary to list all the modulesyou have studied Technical qualifications Achievements / Positions of Responsibility Include Hobbies / Interests Be Positive! Use “power words” such as “developed,” “managed,” and “designed” to emphasise your accomplishments. Stick your chest out and don’t be afraid to tell people what you’ve done. Produce a well-organised professional document You’ll generate a better response from your curriculum vitae if it is well organised and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or career objective. Be honest! There is a huge difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified CV can be easily spotted by a recruiter or employer (if not immediately then certainly through the interview process), and if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the job, it will cost you the job later on. Use good document layout Make your CV easy on the eyes. Use normal margins (one inch at the top and bottom, one and a quarter inch on the sides) and don’t cram your information onto the page. Allow for some “white space” between the different sections. Avoid unusual or exotic font styles; use simple fonts with a professional look. Do not use more than two fonts throughout the entire document. If you aren’t sure of the fonts to use, try a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica for the headings, and a serif font such as Times Roman for the rest of the text. Put the good stuff at the start One big mistake that job seekers often make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your CV, prioritise them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement, which uses power words and quantifies, will affect every statement under it. Re-read! Read through your CV. Ask someone else to read through your CV carefully once you are finished. When you have been working on your CV for hours, it can be difficult to spot the errors.