On Thursday the 9th of October, Fire Restaurant on Dawson Street provided the setting for a breakfast briefing entitled ‘Grow – Drive Your Business Into its Next Phase of Growth’. The event, organised by Sigmar Recruitment and CurrencyFair, featured three speakers from three relatively young companies who have experienced major expansion since their foundations here in Dublin. The three speakers were: Michael O’Donovan, COO, CurrencyFair; Michael Cunningham CCO, CarTrawler; and Dermot Costello, Head of Operations EMEA, Qualtrics. Sigmar Recruitment’s Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig moderated a discussion between the three companies’ representatives, where the panel outlined the fascinating evolution of their respective companies. The audience were given an insight into what drives these hugely successful organisations and what has helped them to grow and become what they are today. Listening to the speakers, a pattern began to emerge and it was evident that the twin pillars of ‘hiring the right people’ and ‘customer service’ has been inherent to their growth. Hiring the right people It’s often said in business that employees are a company’s most valuable asset. Each speaker emphasised the importance of hiring people who are the right fit for their company. Michael O’Donovan spoke how it’s crucial to hire the right people for the right roles. CurrencyFair look for candidates with energy, people who will deliver on what they promise to deliver. They like people that are a bit pushy as that usually indicates drive and a will to succeed. Positive people are especially valued as they have the ability to energise those around them. Michael Cunningham talked about how they invest a lot of time and trust in their staff at CarTrawler. 25% of employees were promoted in the last year as part of their growth while 10% of employees are getting their 3rd Level education paid for by the company. The organisation is very mindful of having people working in roles that they are suited to. Dermot Costello outlined the traits they look for in potential new hires in Qualtrics. They seek out people who are super smart, motivated and possess great interpersonal skills. Crucially though, they also look beyond the here and now when recruiting. Can this person work at two levels above what they’re hiring them for, in the future? Can they pivot? Do they have the ability to scale into different roles as the business is constantly evolving? Customer service Ensuring that an excellent level of customer service is maintained is a core philosophy of all three companies, and has been a key element in their growth. Michael O’Donovan (CurrencyFair) stressed the value of everyone in the company being very good at customer service. Every new hire spends time working as part of the customer service team so as to get an appreciation of the importance of providing great customer support. Michael Cunningham explained how CarTrawler tailor their service to suit all their different customers. A person hiring a car in Germany may have different needs to a person hiring a car in Ireland. Dermot Costello emphasised how crucial providing top notch customer service is to Qualtrics. They have a policy in place where if a phone rings more than three times, a light goes off. Somebody has to get to that customer. Keeping the customer happy is always at the forefront of their thoughts. Finally Sigmar Recruitment would like to thank our partners for the event CurrencyFair for their support; our speakers for their insight; and our attendees for battling the rain on the morning. We look forward to seeing you again at future events. For more pictures from the morning see https://www.flickr.com/photos/currencyfair/sets/72157648148550189/
Sigmar Recruitment placed in Ireland’s top three organisations to work for 2013 (under 100 employees). This prestigious accolade was presented at the Great Place to Work Awards in the Burlington Hotel Dublin on Thursday 7th March. The event was attended by Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton who complimented all the organisations for creating high trust workplaces which she said leads to a clear competitive advantage especially when trading internationally. Commenting on the wonderful achievement by 49 organisations, CEO of the Great Place to Work John Ryan, said that competition for places on the list was at its highest in 10 years as more organisations had chosen to go through the assessment process, clearly appreciating the business benefits of having a high performing workplace where employees are seen as having a critical impact. “This is a fantastic achievement particularly given the difficult economic backdrop, proving that if you invest time and effort in developing the right culture in your organisation your people will be your best asset and will be key to your business success”.
Congratulations to Sigmar’s Chief Operating Officer Frank Farrelly who has been re-elected as President of the National Recruitment Federation (NRF). The National Recruitment Federation is a voluntary organisation set up to establish and improve standards and codes of practice for the Recruitment Industry in Ireland. Representing recruitment agencies throughout the country, NRF Members aim to communicate their commitment to providing quality service by agreeing to abide by a strict Code of Conduct. Founded in 1971, the NRF seeks to provide its members with the best possible service in terms of support, communication, advice sharing and problem-solving and in doing so to promote professional competence within the industry. As part of this mission the NRF has inaugurated a formal education programme in Recruitment Practice to ensure all new entrants to the industry have a solid ground in legislation, customer service operations and sales to equip the graduates of the programme with the tools and knowledge to provide a quality service to Clients and Candidates alike. Over the last 40 years the Recruitment Industry has changed beyond all recognition, the introduction of job boards and social recruitment have all presented challenges to the fundamentals of how the industry operates. The NRF has supported its members through the adoption of all these new tools each of which have revolutionised the industry in its own way. One of the key roles of the NRF it to promote excellence in recruitment by ensuring all member organisations comply with the NRF’s Code of Conduct which ensures NRF Members deliver a professional service to job seekers. The NRF also acts as the voice of the industry lobbying at National and European level in relation to legislate changes that impact on the NRF’s members. This is Frank’s second year as NRF President and no doubt it will be another fantastic year!
Sigmar Recruitment is today the first class to complete an educational programme designed and executed by Trinity College Dublin in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame. This is the first time that Ireland’s premier university and the number 1 ranking in Bloomberg’s Businessweek’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools have teamed up, offering the first half of the course at the Trinity campus in Dublin City centre and the remainder at the Notre Dame campus in Kylemore Abbey in Galway. The programme undertaken by Sigmar Recruitment was the Executive Leadership Programme, a programme programme designed to enhance leadership capability and accelerate growth trajectory. “The Stayer Center for Executive Education at the University of Notre Dame is very pleased to be able to design and conduct a bespoke programme for Sigmar Recruitment Consulting Limited at historic Kylemore Abbey,” says Paul Slaggert, Director of the Stayer Center. “This is our first custom programme in Ireland and we are honoured to partner with Sigmar on its design and delivery. The programme will assist the executive team at Sigmar further develop their leadership depth and capabilities It builds on and extends work they have already completed with Trinity College. This unique partnership allows all three organisations to combine to deliver a unique programme with both immediate and lasting impact.” “Leadership has become a vital element to our continued success at both home and abroad so it seems only natural that we would choose the leading universities in both Ireland and the US to benefit from the most cutting edge education available,” says Sigmar Recruitment COO Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig. “We are of course delighted and honoured to partner with the University of Notre Dame and Trinity College in participating in this unique Executive Leadership Programme – the first of its kind in Europe. This programme sees the first executive education programme in Notre Dame Global Center at Kylemore with a unique transatlantic twist. We believe that undertaking this prestigious course will further consolidate our position as one of the most respected and progressive recruitment agencies in Europe.” About Notre Dame in Ireland The Kylemore Abbey Global Centre works closely with the Dublin Global Gateway to dynamically broaden Notre Dame’s engagement within Ireland and foster international connectivity, serving as a conduit between campus and the wider European and American university network. Programme activities at Kylemore are comprised of courses, retreats, and cultural opportunities that enliven students’ experience and enhance Notre Dame’s mission in Ireland. The focus is on academic excellence, faith formation via connectivity and partnership with the Benedictine community at Kylemore, and community outreach. In addition to Kylemore Abbey, the University of Notre Dame has several major initiatives in Ireland. Nestled in the heart of Georgian Dublin, the Dublin Global Gateway hosts academic programs and summer internships for both undergraduate and graduate students. Modern facilities make this Gateway—also known as the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Center and the O’Connell House—an ideal location for scholarly conferences and special events of up to 80 participants. Notre Dame has agreed to steward Newman University Church in Dublin, and to found there the Notre Dame–Newman Center for Faith and Reason. Built by the then-rector of University College Dublin, Blessed John Henry Newman, the church opened in 1856 and has since been an iconic landmark in Dublin’s city centre and a testament to the harmony of faith and reason.
Kate Feeney is a Learning and Development Consultant at Insights who was amongst 600 guests who attended The Talent Summit on March 1st 2017 at the Convention Centre Dublin. See her original post on LinkedIn Here are her 5 takeaways from the event: 1. Sinead Kane is a Visionary ”I could choose to be blind, or I could choose to be a visionary. I chose to be a visionary.” You might know Sinead as the Cork woman, with 5% vision, who ran 7 marathons on 7 continents, in 7 days. What you might not know about Sinead, is that she studied for her law degree 3 words at a time –painstakingly– using a magnifying glass. What you may also not know is that Sinead couldn’t secure a job as a solicitor after graduation because – employers were blinded to her potential, by her white cane. Sinead took a voluntary position, and commuted from Cork to Dublin – a casual 6-hour daily commute – for 6 months. The takeaway for me here was: we’re kidding ourselves if we think we’ve cracked diversity and inclusion, and the time has come to address it. This message was reinforced by Director of Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Services, EY – Olivia McEvoy who eloquently noted: “millennials are intolerant of intolerance, and they ought to be”. 2. Allow for Leaders in the Pack Rather than being leaders of the pack, managers who facilitate a team’s development of leadership capability – win out. Bernard Brogan, Dublin superstar and Commercial Director of Pep Talk, put the success of the Dublin team, in part, down to the fact that management have encouraged the team to lead from within. In reviewing their success, or failure on the pitch – Brogan noted that the Dublin team are encouraged to come up with their own solutions and recommendations. New squad members are encouraged to lead training exercises, whilst more established players are asked to follow the lead of the newbies. Perhaps it’s this player empowerment that has nudged the Dubs to repeated All-Ireland success (perhaps it’s also influenced in part by our disproportionately large talent pool/population – before someone trolls me!). Pep-Talk founder Michelle Fogarty and former HR Leader at Twitter EMEA, also emphasized the need for leaders to be honest about the challenges they’re facing in the recruitment process – and to invite candidates to come and help solve them. Later in the day, author, Dan Pink, sang from the same hymn sheet – reminding us that no one has ever sung the praises of a manager who: “watched my every move”. 3. Be a Culture Crafter (and Keeper) Clodagh Logue shared her experience of crafting the culture at Fitbit, EMEA. It was very compelling to hear how the mission of Fitbit, to empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life, has been translated into an organisational culture by Clodagh and her colleagues. The mission, for example, is reflected in the goals of employees (everyone’s working towards a wellness goal of some description); the flexibility of working hours, and in the office fit out here in Dublin (yep, there is a meeting room with treadmills lined up opposite each other). A particularly timely takeaway from Clodagh was in the importance of not just signalling the culture you want through signs, policies and symbols, but also protecting that culture by addressing behaviour that runs counter to the promise of that culture. (I say timely because: Uber). The type of culture that gets crafted of course is influenced in large part by who’s at the helm. We heard from Darrell Hughes, Deputy HR Director at Ryanair, that they don’t do slogans on the wall. It’s easy to conjure an image of Michael O’Leary rolling his eyes at such a thing. Finally, culture is heavily influenced by the long-term strategy those in leadership employ. Jonathan Campbell of Social Talent shared compelling research on the model of organisational design / strategy that yields the best results. Exec summary: the commitment model, which employees are invested in and partnered with over as long a period as possible, is by far the most successful. 4. Know Thy Organisation Shane McCauley, Director of People Systems and Analytics at Twitter, shared the outcome of organisational research that they’ve conducted into what their people want from their employee experience. By Shane’s own admission – there was nothing ground breaking in the research output. People want: to learn and grow, a great manager, challenging work, team work, great co-workers, and total reward. What is potentially ground breaking is that Shane and his team at Twitter are endeavoring to put their research into action to fight attrition. Therein lies the art and science of organisational development. Alison Hodgson, Country HR Director for McDonald’s, also called out how studying their own workforce has shaped their strategy regarding recruitment. Research revealed that working-mothers, for example, really like working at McDonald’s because of the flexibility it affords. Knowing this means McDonald’s know who to target, with their recruitment ads – to find people who will thrive in their organisation. 5. Do – Learn – Re-Do In 2016, Lieutenant Commander Darragh Kirwan, and his crew, rescued 14,000 people whilst deployed on a humanitarian mission to the Mediterranean. In explaining the preparation involved for such a mission, the Commander referenced the defence forces learning philosophy which is: train for the known and educate for the unknown. My takeaway regarding the approach the Defence Forces takes to education is: the recognition of the importance of reflection – in tackling the unknown. After every element of the operation, the crew conducted a wash-up session to codify what worked, what didn’t, and what to do next time. How often do we do this with precision in corporate learning?
Sigmar Recruitment is travelling to Boston this month to host “Ireland Gateway to Europe” which takes place from April 20th-22nd 2016. The main event will take place on the 22nd of April. Co-founded by Sigmar Recruitment in 2012, Ireland Gateway To Europe (IGTE) is a not-for-profit collective of Irish service providers who showcase Ireland as Europe’s premier investment location by providing U.S. companies seeking to expand into Europe with a secure resource network for business expansion, and access to an experienced, professional network of service providers. 48 executives from 21 organisations will take part in 9 events over 3 days in Boston. The C-Level Investment Summit, taking place on Friday 22 April, is an open event and will showcase why the world’s best companies choose Ireland as their base for EMEA operations. Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot is the headline speaker for the C-Level Investment Summit. For further information about the week’s events or to find out how to become a participant of IGTE, please visit their website here.