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 jobDon’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 developFor 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 wayDon’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.
Marcel and Emma from Sigmar Recruitment chat about trends within the Irish Engineering recruitment market as well as on talent attraction and retention. What are skills and qualifications are currently in the highest demand and how did COVID 19 impact the industry? If you are looking for a job in engineering or medical devices email your CV to Emma Ward - email@example.com
As a whole the Medical Device Technology Industry is estimated to be worth somewhere between 173-193 billion euro and Ireland are the second biggest exporter of medical technology in Europe with giants like Boston Scientific and Medtronic employing 5200 and 4500 respectively in Ireland alone. The main area of expertise lies in Cardiovascular (Abbott, Medtronic and Boston) but there are plenty of Orthopaedic (J&J and DePuy) and Diagnostic (Beckman Coulter) MedTech companies too. The West of Ireland specifically has roughly 40% of the employment in the MedTech sector and 31% of that is stationed in Galway city and county. Eight of world’s top ten med tech companies are established here. The only downside…the companies in the West need more Engineers as their growth is surpassing the local development of graduates. So why not be part of the wave of new job opportunities washing over the West? Galway – the beating heart of the Medical Device Sector It’s a well-known fact that Dublin has overtaken London as the most expensive city to live in Europe. It’s also far to say that there is plenty on offer across the south in the biomedical engineering sector, but it is spread very far apart with one location not necessarily leading the way. It’s also no secret that multinational MedTech companies have identified Ireland as one of the best companies to develop their excellence, manufacturing and R&D operations. Don’t worry though as the Wild Atlantic West has plenty to offer and particularly in the MedTech hub, Galway. With the IDA developing Parkmore, Mervue and the other business parks and with most of the working professionals either directly or indirectly employed by a MedTech business, the future seems as bright for the West Coast of the emerald isle. Galway also has a thriving cultural scene, even winning the European Capital of Culture for 2020 where they aim to flood the city with cultural activities and tap into the deep history and sense of community. Galway has been named UNESCO city of film and awarded the European green leaf award as the most environmentally sustainable small city. Start-ups or Multinationals? The choice is yours! Whether you’re looking to get into an established company and to learn from the best in product excellence and R&D like Boston, Medtronic or Merit or have your heart set on getting into that niche start-up and making a life changing new product, thereby claiming your place in the Global Medtech Innovation. There is so much opportunity. A client of ours made waves after starting off in the engineering start-up program with NUIG by making ground breaking neurovascular devices and were recently acquired by J&J to help the Galway based site grow further with a global network of sister sites in America and Europe to help with manufacturing, compliance and product development. Similarly, another start-up called Novate was sold in a deal worth up to $150m due to their success in developing a blood filter. Also, with the likes of Capsos, Neosurgical and Veryan there is a large possibility, the amazing ability of the Irish and particularly Galway to innovate will continue strong, further adding to the vast opportunities for Engineers here in the West. Start-ups aren’t the only ones pushing the boundaries in Research and Development as Boston had 21 successful patent applications last year for their Galway site. They are also the largest medical device employer in Ireland and the Watchman implant has the MedTech sector very excited. Medtronic too have added the likes of Covidien life support products to their growing catalogue and founded their global site of excellence and development here in Galway for a reason, the continued success of the Galway talent pool to innovate and improve patients’ lives. Similarly, academic studies into MedTech are securing massive investment such as the Cúram research centre at NUI Galway (NUIG) which secured 22 million in funding from the EU. Finally, a key aspect which many of the MedTech companies here are involved in is Additive Manufacturing and the research of 3D Printed medical device solutions. Specialists in Polymers, Compliance/Regulatory Affairs and Manufacturing will have their choice of the lot when it comes to the jobs of the future. Innovation has been and will continue to be a massive part of the West’s success story in Medical Devices. Why the West? From Sea Sessions (outdoor music festival on the Atlantic coast which is not to be missed) in Donegal, Other Voices (an unmissable acoustic experience in Mayo) and the Galway International Arts Festival. The music scene has something to be seen and heard all year long. Galway has become renowned for attracting the music stars of the future, with no small mention to Ed Sheeran who busked and based a world-famous song on the city. If trad music is what your searching for, Sligo Live or one of the many traditional pubs will be sure to give you a great night out. Regarding food, the Galway farmers market has a baffling variety of Indian, German, traditional Irish and even more types of cuisine. Similarly, the likes of Kai (Awarded Michelin Bib), Cava, Dela, Ard Bia and the Galway Bay Brewery (Several best in Ireland beer awards) all have fantastic locally sourced food but as a whole Galway has been highlighted as the Gastronomic must visit city of Ireland. Sport-wise and activity wise, there are plenty of local sport clubs across the city and suburbs to join with the Medical Device companies offering sports and social clubs too. Also, Connacht have enjoyed plenty of success domestically and in internationally. The Sportsground is very centrally located and is always worth a visit. Croagh Patrick and Westport offers a decent challenge to mountain and hill climbers with spectacular views. As annual exports of medical devices valued at over 7 billion euros it would only make sense that investment has been made to further develop the infrastructure in the West of Ireland. With two airports, both seeing increased global services including regular flights to the UK and Germany from Knock and massive long-haul flights departing from Shannon as of late, the west is well serviced. Also, it is very well connected by road and rail to the other beautiful parts of Ireland. It’s hard to argue with how amazing the West of Ireland and how much further potential it has is. With a bright future in the medical device sector, come visit us or contact us directly for all of the details on the top jobs in MedTech here in the West of Ireland.
It’s the dreaded words that no manager wants to hear from a good employee, “I quit”. All employers want to keep their talented staff for as long as possible. Not only is the turnover of staff expensive it is also difficult to find good replacements, along with the uncertainty of how they will work out. Sometimes there are reasons that an employee may leave, that you unfortunately can’t prevent such as personal reasons, or they have been offered an opportunity that was too good to let pass by. However, often there are other reasons that are preventable, below are some of the most common reasons. No Opportunities For Promotion Every employee wants the chance to better themselves and get ahead in the company they are working in. However, employers can often just focus on getting the work done and ensuring targets are met. If a member of staff feels that they are not going anywhere in the company, they will look elsewhere for better opportunities. Therefore it is important for managers to take the time to talk to their staff with regards to their career progression and where they would like to see themselves going in the company. They Are Overworked It can be easy for managers to overwork their best employees, however this can be counterproductive. It can make employees feel like they are being punished or that they are being loaded with too many responsibilities without getting the pay or title to go along with it. They Don’t Like Their Boss It is not necessary for employees and their manager to be friends, but it is important that there is a relationship there. The boss is too much a part of an employee’s daily life at work to have an awkward or uncomfortable relationship. Having a bad relationship with a manager can discourage staff members from doing a good job. Commitments Aren’t Honoured Managers can often promise their employees the sun, moon and stars, however they don’t always follow through on their promises. This can be extremely frustrating for employees when they have put in the work and effort but are not rewarded with the promotion or raise that they were promised. Making empty promises to good employees can often result in them finding work elsewhere. They Are Bored No one wants to be unchallenged or bored with the work that they do. Employees that perform well, need to be challenged in their work and given the chance to develop their skills. By giving employees more meaningful work, they use more of their skills and can often find better ways to get things done. If staff do not get to engage creatively, they are more likely to become restless in the job and begin looking for a more stimulating job elsewhere. The important thing to remember when trying to retain top staff, is communication. Think about how you treat your staff and if you would be happy in their position. Often factors for employees leaving are preventable, therefore it is important to be actively developing staff members as much as possible. Good employees have the talent that gives them plenty of other options, so make sure they want to stay working for you.
Working as a Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Recruitment Consultant I’m very interested in educating people on a career in the building services industry. I’ve been recruiting in the industry for nearly three years and have noticed a significant drop in the amount of Building Services graduates entering into the workforce. M&E Engineering firms are constantly calling looking for assistance in filling positions they can’t seem to fill themselves. A career in Building Services can be very challenging and rewarding with several different types of positions available in the industry. It combines a flair for design and problem solving along with dynamic working environments in Ireland and abroad. According to the CAO, points for a place in Building Services have been relatively low over the last few years which is surprising given the job opportunities. What is Building Services? Building Services Engineers are responsible for designing and installing energy systems in buildings. These systems include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, water supply, fire protection, power, lighting and data communication systems. They work alongside architects and other engineering disciplines to design, develop and manage new technologies that impact the economy, utility, durability, and comfort of buildings. Working in Building Services Building Services Engineers can either work on the consultancy (design) side or the contractor (installation / commissioning) side of the industry. Both require knowledge of Building Services but are different in terms of day-to-day activities. Working for the Consultant – Design, Flair & Problem solving. Meeting with Clients. Tender / Concept design. Research new designs, technologies, and construction methods. Design calculations. Layout designs / drawings. Simulations. Working for the Contractor – Dynamic, Hands on, Commercial. Installation of M&E services. Commissioning of M&E services Interpret technical drawings and schematics. Environmental, Health and Safety on site. Provide feedback to design engineers on Client problems. Quality assurance. Careers & Opportunities Working as a Building Services Engineer there are several areas one can specialise in ranging from Residential / Commercial projects such as apartment complexes, offices and retail units to large Industrial / Pharmaceutical projects such as food processing plants, power stations and manufacturing facilities. As well as these projects happening in Ireland, there are plenty of opportunities in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and also Africa. Projects in the Commercial sector use conventional HVAC systems however above is a photo of the mechanical services in a Pharmaceutical plant. Plants like this have a higher demand for air, water, steam and other hazardous materials hence the larger and more specialised equipment. Salary Information Position Salary (1 – 2 years) € Salary (2 – 5 years) € Salary (5 years plus) € CAD Technician 25 – 27 27 – 30 30+ BIM Modeller 25 – 27 30 – 35 35+ Revit MEP Modeller 27 – 30 30 – 40 40+ Mechanical Design Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 50+ Electrical Design Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 50+ Mechanical Project Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 60+ Electrical Project Engineer 25 – 28 35 – 45 60+ Mechanical Project Manager N/A 40 – 60 70+ Electrical Project Manager N/A 40 – 60 70+ Software Building Services has come along way over the years in terms of the software used by engineers. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the most talked about / required package in the industry with it being used by both consultancies and contractors. It describes the process of designing a building collaboratively using a system of computer models rather than separate sets of drawings, this helps reduce the risk of errors through integrated design, engineering and fabrication workflows. Below is an image of how a coordination issue between the structural engineers and HVAC engineers was resolved long before the construction phase began, saving precious time, manpower and money. Before BIM, this issue may only have been spotted when the mechanical services were being installed and this issue would have been sent back to the consultants to reroute the services. Most companies nowadays will have BIM as a requirement on their job specifications however, if you have never used it before there are several types of courses available to do. Other software used in Building Services includes: Revit MEP IES Navisworks AutoCAD Dialux Hevacomp Having worked on very exciting roles with extremely innovative and dynamic companies, I find it hard to believe that there is not more of an interest in Building Services as a career. If you see yourself as someone with a flair for design, an interest in energy systems and good at problem solving then why not give me a call to discuss the first / next step in your career.
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.