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.”
One of the most common questions we get asked by recent graduates or people looking to alter their career is about working in Digital Marketing. It is the Holy Grail for a lot of people coming out of a business/marketing qualification and is one of the mostly highly competitive spaces to go into when searching for work. It is difficult to get these positions but not impossible. First of all why do you want to work as a Digital Marketer? Are you techie, a nerd or a geek? To be successful in this space you need to be passionate about the tools you are using to reach the people you are trying to target. This is a space that moves so fast that knowledge gained can be redundant within 6 months and if you don’t have the desire to keep pace you will get left behind. Keep embracing new technologies, be an early adopter and don’t fall by the wayside. Now that we know you really want this career let’s see how you can gain an edge against your competition: 1. Get a qualification. You are going to need a qualification in marketing with a strong focus on digital in it. If it’s not in the title then mention the digital courses in your education. Any additional courses you can do for free in your spare time should be mentioned – Companies want you to be good with software packages like Hubspot – download it and play around! 2. Build an online presence! You are applying for a digital role so you need to have a digital presence – Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter – all should be up to date and active (especially Linkedin as this is the first place a recruiter or hiring manager will look). Blogs, digital portfolios or anything that shows contribution or activity online can be an effective tool. You want to stand out so blog about something you are passionate about! 3. Specialise in something. Social Media, Digital Content and e-Marketing are probably the 3 biggest areas within Digital Marketing and if you can show that this niche is your gig then you will fare better in applying to those roles. 4. Work experience This is the tricky bit. Most employers want to see some experience on your CV so where possible do internships and ask for work while there. Also look at volunteering to improve the online presence of local clubs or businesses – do they have a Facebook page and can you increase the amount of likes they get? 5. Mention all of this on your CV! As a recruiter I don’t have time to read a cover letter from every applicant so if the info isn’t on your CV then I won’t see it. Be clear and concise but make sure I see – education, digital experience, and digital skills. The key thing about getting work in digital is to realise that the person you apply to will immediately check out your online presence and level of activity. If I am looking for someone to publish content online and you can show that you do that on a regular basis you should be a step or two ahead of some of your rivals. None of the above will guarantee you a job in digital marketing, but it will certainly set you on the right path!
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.
Online Marketing has been an area of significant growth over the last few years. Seeing as your CV is your first point of contact with potential employers, many jobseekers have been utilising their CVs to convey their creativity and suitability for online marketing roles. Used well, a creative CV can really give you the edge over the competition. Not only does it reflect your personality, it speaks volumes about your creativity and problem solving skills. A well designed CV is the first impression a future employer will get of you, your style, and your methods of working. However before you run off and start working on your CV masterpiece bear the following in mind; Don’t skimp on Relevant Information Whilst it’s easy to get carried away on a creative buzz, don’t skimp on relevant information for the sake of design. An effective creative CV finds the balance between design and information. It’s important for employers to know what you’ve achieved and where you’ve been so make sure you stress your experience and include all relevant information. At the end of the day, it is the most important factor. Don’t overdo it It is very easy for the design to overwhelm your CV, so show a little bit of restraint and taste when it comes to designing your CV. Content is king at the end of the day so make sure it’s easy to read, well organised and clear. As previously mentioned the competition for jobs in the online marketing sector is strong and each candidate is fighting a new fight with each application. You can be one step ahead of the competition by highlighting your CV through creativity; from there it is down to your experience and your ability to perform in the interview process. But being 1-0 up before you get to that process is of great benefit!