The Talent Leaders Pulse Report was commissioned by Sigmar Recruitment as part of Talent Summit 2023."The power dynamic between employer and employee is rebalancing after two years of hyper competition, with early signs of a shift back to office. The fallout of remote working has seen employees pitted against employers as we look to sustain flexible working practices and settle on desired places of work. We are witnessing the remote work rebound, with twice as many workers now working a hybrid model over full-time remote. The hybrid workers now make up 51% of the current workforce, while the remote workforce has reduced by 54% within the last 12 months. This reflects employers’ sentiment that 87% of employees do their best work in a hybrid model.”, says Talent Summit founder and Sigmar CCO, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig.Talent Summit 2023 Employment Survey Highlights at a glance:Hybrid WorkHybrid workforce grows by two-thirds, remote workforce down by 54% as employees spend more days in office.2023: 51% working hybrid (30% in 2022), 25% full-time remote (44% in 2022) and 24% in-office (26% in 2022). Of the Hybrid workforce more time is spent in-office over the last 12 months: 81% work 2 days or more in 2023 compared to 74% in 2022.Tuesday (68%), Wednesday (78%) and Thursday (67%) are the most popular days to be in-office with Monday (18% ) and Friday (8%) being the least.Employers believe employees do their best work, working a hybrid model (87%), followed by in-office (11%) with full-time remote (7%) considered the least productive model.Headcount2023 set to see the largest reduction in headcount in the last 5 years with 18% of employers expecting a reduction this year. 62% expect an increase and 20% expect their headcount to remain the same.HR PrioritiesThe Top 5 priorities for HR for 2023 show competing priorities creating a confusing labour market: (1) retention (2) labour costs (3) recruitment (4) sustaining a dispersed culture (5) performance management.Pay63% of employees expected to receive a pay rise of 6% in 2023 (the lowest % pay rise in 6 years)READ THE FULL REPORTThe current labour market is a confusing one and 2023 looks set to be challenging with many contradictions at play which in turn is creating a tug-of-war of work on four main fronts:Workforce: Employers are looking to balance workforce reduction, employee retention and continuous recruitment needs at all once; Work practices: The need to offer individual flexibility to all employees is often at odds with the collective need for greater productivity;Workplace: Work is shifting back to the office with the hybrid workforce spending more days in office and as employers believe employees are least productive full-time remote;Labour Costs: The rise in the cost of living is driving employee salary expectations yet at the same time employers are tightening budgets with economic uncertainty on the horizon.Commenting on workplace, Mac Giolla Phádraig adds: “The workplace has been the topic of conversation since the pandemic and employers have polarised preferences. The intense competition for talent the last two years has seen employers who favoured in-office, soften their view as employees demanded greater flexibility in a hyper-competitive labour market. As that demand recedes, those employers find their voice once more, albeit veiled in language around performance and challenges around sustainable work practices. The flexibility offered to employees now seems to be rebounding to more days in office.” READ THE FULL REPORTABOUT THIS SURVEYThe Talent Summit Pulse Survey 2023 was commissioned by Sigmar Recruitment as part of Talent Summit 2023. This is the sixth year the study has been conducted, measuring the pulse of Talent Leaders on a range of Talent Topics. 244 talent leaders from across Ireland took part in the study, comprising of senior executives responsible for talent decision making within their respective organisations, ranging from CHROs, CEOs HR Directors to Heads of HR functions such as L&D, Recruitment, Organisational Development and Performance Management.Europe’s largest HR, work and employment conference, Talent Summit 2023 will take place in Dublin’s Convention Centre on Thursday, 9 March, 2023, welcoming 1500 guests.www.talentsummit.ie
IT Jobs Market 2023According to a report released by Eurostat, employment in Ireland in NACE category J62 (Computer programming, consultancy, and related activities) reached almost 120,000 at the start of 2022, increasing from 80,000 as recent as the end of 2019. The market is now moving from what was an unsustainable level of demand for technology talent to a more sustainable level- ensuring the market remains highly competitive. Whilst there has been news of layoffs in SaaS Technology companies, traditional industries such as Finance, Banking, Fintech as well as Life Sciences/Biopharma continue to hire at rapid rates, ensuring the market is still holding strong. Employers across multiple sectors (particularly Fintech) are still hiring highly skilled tech talent and are now more open to candidates relocating from Mainland Europe. Onboarding and Aftercare remain highly important as candidates are still prone to receiving multiple offers due to high levels of competition. Download our 2023 IT Salary Guide for IrelandAreas of DemandSoftware engineering remains the most highly sought-after skillset, with a particular focus on DevOps, Java, Python, .Net, React and Angular Js. With the continued rollout of digital transformation projects across Irish businesses, QA also remains in high demand. This move towards automated processes has allowed employees within heavily manual positions to upskill in areas such as SDET and RPA. Within an uncertain marketplace, businesses continue to be data driven; choosing to lean on their analytics teams where possible. Data Engineering appears to be the role highest in demand within this vertical, closely followed by data science. With the continuation of a hybrid working model, infrastructure remains as important as always. Most Irish based companies are choosing to move towards a serverless environment, which means there is a high demand for Site Reliability Engineers, Systems engineers, Cloud Engineers as well as technical support specialists at all levels. Ireland has a rich talent pool for executive level talent within IT, ranging from Software Engineering Managers to CTOs. With the continued pattern of new market entrants on the FDI side, these positions remain in high demand. Competitive PackagesTo ensure competitive advantage, employers must offer base salaries, benefits, and perks in line with the market expectations or else risk losing strong candidates from recruitment process. In terms of monetary benefits, healthcare remains the most highly sought from candidates post-covid times followed closely by pensions. This could be linked to a heavier focus on financial security for the future. An interesting development of late, is the increasing number of companies using sign on bonuses to secure new hires- We expect to see this continue throughout 2023 as companies fight to retain current employees and attract new hires. To maintain a competitive advantage, employers also need to be mindful of employee experience.Individualized experience proposals given to candidates or employees may be beneficial for employers to remain competitive in:CollaborationEquity in cultural experiences for remote/in-office workersEmployee well-being How employers handle these elements will ultimately determine how successful employers will be in the battle for talent. Demand for Remote WorkHybrid working policies are now the most popular model offered to permanent employees, with 85% of our clients offering 3 days in office/2 days remote working. With the balance in the tug of war for talent shifting more in favour to the employer, companies are now addressing WFH policies on a more individual basis rather than a blanket policy. Flexibility for fully remote work appears to be offered however to candidates in the most demanded areas, with the caveat that they are based in the Republic of Ireland and will travel to the office on an ad-hoc basis when required. This may reverse as job security heightens as a priority in a tough economic climate. ContractorsBusinesses are continuing to look to Contractors to fill gaps in their teams in tandem with permanent positions; a trend we foresee continuing throughout 2023. An interesting development in the market is that it is no longer just large organisations leaning on contractors. SMEs are also now tapping into the contractor talent pool as a way of supplementing their workforce- especially now that permanent salaries appear to be on par with contractor daily rates due to market inflation. We particularly foresee an increase in demand of contract roles across Cloud, Data and Development.Outsourced IT functions also appear to be on the rise for more commercially focused IT positions (Business Analytics, Project managers) as well as infrastructure support. Increased RatesAs a result of the increase in demand, due to several variables ranging from talent availability, higher levels of competition, perceived instability of the IT market portrayed in the media as well as a somewhat limited talent pool, contract rates have been on the rise and will continue to increase in 2023.It is now common practice for a contractor to ask and receive rate increases when their contracts are up for renewal. Recruitment and retention therefore remain high priorities for companies using contractors. Remote WorkWith organisations now comfortable with remote work arrangements, the market has opened up to all areas of Ireland. A noticeable trend has arisen for IT Contractors based in the regions who are now being able to work for large multi-national organisations in their own cities whilst receiving the same rates of those based in the capital.This has therefore resulted in daily rates within regional areas of Ireland to be on par with those of in the major cities.All-in-all, we are optimistic about the IT Contracts job market in 2023 with plentiful opportunities across infrastructure, development and data in particular. IT Salary Guide 2023Download our 2023 IT Salary Guide for Ireland
This Inclusivity Employment Toolkit drawn up by the Open Doors Initiative is aimed at assisting companies working with our three groups – people with disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. Jeanne McDonagh, CEO of The Open Doors Initiative said: “We are delighted to work with Employers for Change, one of our key supported programmes, along with Atlantic Technological University, to produce this Inclusive Recruitment booklet and training. Many of our companies have asked for guidance in this space and it is a much needed resource to ensure an inclusive workplace. We wish to thank the participants who gave us their expert knowledge and experience in putting this together and look forward to engaging with companies in this important training.” In creating this toolkit, which is supported by AIB, research was carried out in partnership with Atlantic Technological University (ATU) to understand the specific barriers for people from marginalised communities when seeking employment and the best strategies for becoming truly inclusive in the hiring process.DOWNLOAD PDFSigmar is a member of The Open Doors Initiative to help provide opportunities to some of the marginalised members of our society: refugee, asylum seekers and non-native English speakers; young people under 25 with educational barriers; and people with a disability.This information is taken from the OpenDoors website.
Whether you have been working in the same company for several years, or if you’ve been working within a wide array of industries in a variety of roles, at some point, we have all experienced the ‘Job Interview.’ We each have our own experiences with job interviews, some good, and some, unfortunately, less so. Interviews can be a very daunting concept, with the mounting pressure that the next step of your professional career hangs on the balance of your performance within the next 30–60 minutes. However, like many challenges in life, this process can be made significantly less stressful and much more successful with the right amount of preparation. Therefore, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular questions that an employer will ask you during an interview, and crucially, what the employer is hoping to learn about you from the answer you give. Familiarise yourself with how you should approach each question and the traps you could fall into. Think of ways you can apply the given examples to your own experience and you’re sure to leave your next interview feeling full of confidence. Tell me a little bit about yourself and what has led you to applying for this role? What may on the surface seem a relatively innocuous question, it is actually one of, if not the most important question of the interview. This is most likely the first time you and your potential employer will be sat face to face, and they are going to want to see how you hold yourself, convey information and how you act when meeting new people. Answers given may also provide openings to further conversation, though try not to waffle. My advice would be to give a brief overview of your education and relevant experience, the moment, or ‘thing’ that attracted you to this particular industry and a ‘golden skill’ that has allowed you to become successful in your working life. Wrap this answer up with your career goal and its close link to the role that you are being interviewed for and you will have provided a very strong introduction to your interviewers. Can you describe your Strengths and Weaknesses? This question can prove to be somewhat of a ‘gotcha’ moment in the interview if you are not prepared, as the interviewer will not only be interested in your direct response to this question, but the manner in which you address it: Strengths The key thing to keep in mind when answering this question is to not come across as boastful or arrogant. Of course, you are going to want to sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the job, however there is a fine line between providing relevant skills vs listing your long and attributed list of accolades. Employers will be looking for skills relevant to the role, so study the job description and focus on three key qualities you possess that can be directly applied to the role. Make sure to give relevant examples too! Weaknesses Despite what the word weakness implies, you’re going to want to avoid being too negative when providing this answer. The key when answering this question, is to let the employer know that you have recognised an area of personal weakness, and that you are taking steps to improve upon this so that it will no longer hinder your performance at work. It is important to give examples of the steps you have taken to improve, show your current progress, and emphasize that your progress has been acknowledged. Example – I would say my greatest weakness, is the fact that I sometimes find it quite hard asking other people for help. I tend to try and figure things out for myself, instead of asking the people in my team for guidance, which would be a faster way of working. Having said that, I am seeking to improve on this, and have since become more mindful of situations where this may occur in the future. Why do you want to work for us? This is a great opportunity to convey your passion and interest in not just the role, but the company as a whole. Preparation for this question is key, as knowledge of a company’s history, practices and its various accolades that have incentivised you to apply for this position, shows an employer that you acknowledge the companies’ key practices, ethics and progression within the industry. Discuss how this particular role is best suited to your own particular set of skills, and that your values and goals are aligned with those of your employer. What are your salary expectations? This question is almost certain to come up at some point, and if you aren’t prepared, it can cause a moment of panic in an interview. You don’t want to price yourself out of the job by asking for a salary that is too high, neither do you want to undervalue yourself and end up getting paid a lesser amount than what you could, or should, be working for. In order to avoid an uneasy atmosphere, prepare your response in advance. Research similar roles within the field and look out for consistencies in pay. The job you’re applying for may even have a listed salary attached to the description. We here at Sigmar prepare a yearly salary guide that covers many different roles in a wide range of industries. Take a look at this year’s guide, it will give you a good starting point when considering the salary being offered to you. This link will take you to our Sigmar Salary Guide: https://www.sigmarrecruitment.com/blog/2022/02/salary-guide-2022 How would you deal with potential conflict in the workplace? This question is an open door to an employer for assessing your level of emotional intelligence. By demonstrating your capacity for empathy, and your understanding of different personality types, you will show that you are highly emotionally intelligent, and understanding that ‘teamwork makes the dream work.’ However, you will want to be mindful of not appearing overly negative when answering this question. Generally, negativity should be avoided during an interview, however, like our assessment of the question regarding personal weakness, there are ways to address negative issues in a constructive way. Key points in the right direction are to lead with empathy and compassion, focus on your own subjective experience without pointing out flaws in others, and replace ‘but’ with ‘and,’ which deescalates a conversation from an argument to a discussion. In Conclusion Of course, we have only covered a select few questions in this post, and no doubt you will have come across one or two more ‘repeat questions’ in different interviews. We will be exploring further interview questions in later posts, however, these 5 questions are certainly amongst the more popular questions interviewers will pose to you, so preparing you’re answers to these will certainly increase your chances of a successful interview.
Let’s be honest here, the first week of job hunting can feel pretty demoralising, spending hours, days or weeks applying for jobs whilst receiving little to no response from employers. I myself, have been personally guilty of the somewhat selfish mindset when faced with a lack of an immediate response during my days applying for positions, in a similar narrative to ‘Yes, I know you’re a massive company and you’re very busy, but please respond to me!’ The fact of the matter is that employers receive hundreds of new applications every day and must give time to all potential candidates who have shown an interest in the company. Of course, the way to stand out in this particular crowd is to make your CV as eye catching, optimised and applicable to the role as possible, but that’s a blog post for another time. So how do you stay motivated during the job search? You’re Not Alone, We’ve All Been There Everybody has to start with one foot on the ladder before they can start to climb and all successful men and women in business would have started exactly where you are. The payoff with spending time applying for jobs is landing yourself a position where you can flourish, feel motivated and ultimately progress to your career goal. Though things may seem bleak or monotonous right now, have faith in your own self worth and abilities, and trust that the right employer will recognise your skills and potential. The Hard Part is Over Of course, many would consider the most challenging part of the job application process to be the interview, but we aren’t worried about that step just yet! The most important thing to remember is that at this point, your professional materials are in the best shape they can be. You’ve spent time making sure your LinkedIn is professional, your CV is in the best state, and your cover letter is engaging and conveys all your passion you have for the role in question. Perfecting these will have taken time, with a lot of trial, error, re-writing and designing. So with these fully optimised tools at your disposal, you can apply to jobs with confidence that your personal marketing material is bound to turn heads and catch eyes. Set Your Goals By FAR, the best way to avoid getting demotivated or bogged down with repeated job applications and searching is to set yourself a control or goal to make sure you’re not spending every hour of every day at your computer. Namely, a set time or set number that you can work towards. This could be a set number of hours you spend searching for and applying for jobs, or perhaps a set number of applications you can complete each day. By spreading out your time, you’re taking steps towards your future career without compromising on your downtime, which will result in you feeling less demotivated and worn out. For example, you may choose to complete 7 applications a day. That adds up to nearly 50 applications in a week, which will drastically increase your chances of a response! Switch Up Your Location Spending every hour of every day in the same space can lead to cabin fever setting in pretty quickly. So, break out of the routine and find yourself a new setting to complete your applications. Spend some time outdoors if the weather is conducive. Take your laptop into a coffee shop and work from there. You’ll find the benefits of being around others very motivating and being surrounded by life and conversation will stop you feeling lethargic. Don’t have a laptop? Download jobs apps like LinkedIn or Indeed to your smartphone! You can apply to jobs through these apps via an uploaded CV attached to your profile, or even save jobs applications to complete the next time you’re sat at a computer. Surround Yourself With A Supporting Network Never underestimate the value of surrounding yourself with like-minded, motivated people. The positive energy of strong supporting friends or family that want you to succeed will be essential in helping you take the first steps. These people will remind you of your own merits and bring the best out of you, which will stop any feelings of negativity or demotivation creeping in. Listen To Motivational Materials We all like to fill time in our day with audible media, be it during a walk, or a commute, or even just as passive listening in our homes to fill the room with a sound. So why not switch out your playlist for some motivational content. There are many different forms of communicating information than just reading books about business, so do some research, find people in your industry you identify with, and engage in their content, be it podcasts, lectures, talks or even just their Twitter feed. You’ll be surprised how one TED Talk can strike a chord with you and give you a new burst of motivation and energy. And Most Importantly, Be Your Own Biggest Supporter Everyone has the capacity to be WAY too hard on themselves sometimes. When things don’t go to plan, or life throws us a curveball, we often give ourselves a rough time. Recognise your own self-worth, and constantly remind yourself that each day is another step in the right direction to achieving your goals. Visualise where you want to be and remember your value doesn’t decrease just because someone hasn’t noticed it yet. Keep on going until the right person recognises your potential and soon enough, you’ll look back at this process and see that the hours spent job hunting all paid off in the end.
Talent Summit Employment Survey 2022 - The Talent Summit Employment Survey 2022 was commissioned by Sigmar Recruitment in partnership with Globalization Partners, the world’s leading global employment platform, as part of Talent Summit 2022. At a glance:35% of Ireland’s current workforce has never been to the office. Major social/ psychological implications. 26% now full time in office, 30% hybrid, 44% full time remote81% of employers to recruit in 202269% of employers to offer pay rise of 9% in 2022 (while 84% of employees expect pay rise)New Legislation - 53% of workforce can choose where they work. 68% of this population expected to choose to work from home. Says Talent Summit founder and Sigmar CCO, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig: “The world of work has been in a flux for the past two years, as things begin to settle, the question of workplace remains up for debate as unprecedented levels of churn within the workforce has caused the power to shift from employer to employee. Many people are now choosing to work permanently from home, which in turn is being supported by the new legislation, forcing many employers to soften their rhetoric around returning to the office. Does this work for the employer and employee? Well, I think the remote experiment seems to have worked in the short term at least with full-time remote here to stay, but not at its current level. Hybrid working models are really in their infancy and the employers are facing into uncharted waters when it comes to sustaining individual flexibility for all, as choice around workplace re-emerges. While there are clear benefits to remote work, I don’t think we have enough data or evidence on the impact of long term, deeply individualised, isolated work has on our people and society.” Nick Adams, Vice President, EMEA, Globalization Partners comments, “The past two years have triggered the world’s biggest remote work experiment, and it is changing not just the way we work but the way we hire and onboard talent too. Companies are finding the best talent all over the world and not just on their doorstep. Talent shortages may be a thing of the past: The solution is to go where the talent lives.” ----------------------------Over 1/3rd (35%) of the current workforce has never set foot inside their place of employment, according to new research carried out on behalf of this week’s Talent Summit conference in Dublin. The Talent Summit Employment Survey 2022 suggests that just 26% of the workforce is currently working fulltime in the office with 44% working full time remotely, and 30% hybrid. The Right to Request Remote Working legislation will have a significant impact in 2022 with 53% of workforce in a position to choose where they work. 68% of this population is expected to choose to work from home. The recruitment market is at the highest it has ever been in the 20-year history of Sigmar Recruitment. 81% of employers will recruit in 2022. Pay is set to be a major issue in 2022 with 84% of employees expecting a pay rise. Employers are open to discussing the issue with 69% of employers agreeing to offer pay rises this year. The average pay rise on offer is 9%. According to Talent Summit founder and Sigmar CCO, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, Ireland is at the forefront of the changing work model globally: “As a central hub of some of the world’s most progressive and innovative companies, Ireland is now emerging as home to companies who are at the forefront of moulding, shaping and shifting how, where, when and by whom work is done as we emerge from the pandemic. While remote and hybrid working seems to be working for the employer with just 15% finding it a hindrance, my concern is that we have an entire generation of workers who are missing out on the social and psychological benefits of working in a communal environment with friends and colleagues.” Talent Summit 2022 Employment Survey Highlights Micro-environment - Out of Office35% of the current workforce were hired since the pandemic and have never been to a physical workplace. Major psychological and social implications. Isolation an issue. Majority of workforce choose full time remote even with offices reopening:26% full time in office (34% anticipated in 2021)30% working hybrid ( 44% anticipated in 2021)44% full time remote (22% anticipated in 2021) 95% of hybrid workforce work 3 days of less in the office – majority choose two days 40% 31% of workforce expected back in office by end of year Sentiment this year is that office space will remain the same. In 2021, 40% expected a reduction. Macro-environment - Talent shortage economy.With the presence of a massive talent shortage economy, pressure is on all fronts; internal retention, external recruitment and costs.Recruitment and retention are the top 2 priorities for HR Leaders - 12 months ago it was wellbeing and employee experience.Hyper competition for talent: This year sees the highest number of employers anticipating adding staff (81%) over past 5 years.Recruitment has gone global: Opportunity now finds talent. 62% have recruited outside of Ireland and 77% are willing to hire wherever talent resides.Labour costs: 69% of employers expect to increase salaries by 9% (highest gross uplift we’ve seen in doing this survey the last 5 years).Employee expectations have soared: 84% anticipate a pay rise compared to 54% in 2021 – leads into a further cycle of attrition. Legal Environment - Right to Request Remote WorkWith 53% of workforce having control over where they choose to work from highlights the potential threat proposed legislation (in Ireland) to offer the right to work remote may pose. We may in fact be alienating nearly half the working population creating new unintended workplace biases. Employers anticipate that 68% of this population will choose long-term remote working options, which means the proposed legislation applies to 36% of the overall workforce population68% of workforce expect long-term remote working options.53% of workforce are expected to be given long-term remote working option.When asked what impact the proposed legislation will have on their organisation, 33% of respondents said it would help, 52% said no-impact and 15% said it would hinder. ABOUT THIS SURVEYThe Talent Summit Employment Survey 2022 was commissioned by Sigmar Recruitment in partnership with Globalization Partners, the world’s leading global employment platform as part of Talent Summit 2022. This is the fifth year the study has been conducted, measuring the pulse of Talent Leaders on a range of Talent Topics. The survey ran from 09/02/22 to 12/03/22 with 153 respondents. 63% Senior HR leaders and 37% Business owners/ leaders across all company sizes, sectors and industries. Europe’s largest HR, work and employment conference, Talent Summit 2022 will take place in Dublin’s Convention Centre on Thursday, 24 March, 2022. With 2,000 people in physical attendance, as well as countless set to attend virtually, Talent Summit 2022 will see the largest group of HR leaders to convene in Europe since the pandemic. www.talentsummit.ie
Given everything that has happened over the last eighteen months, it’s not surprising that we’ve essentially gone through an identity crisis around work. Power has shifted from employer to employee as work has changed from somewhere we go to something we do. This in turn has also altered how we prioritize other aspects of ourselves and how we approach work. So what does this mean for employers and recruitment today? Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig, CCO of Sigmar Recruitment joins Holly Fawcett on the The Shortlist show. They’ll be diving into this topic, looking at what needs to be different about an organization’s value proposition today in order to make them attractive to talent in the future. Throughout this discussion, they’ll be examining multiple aspects, like the precarious balance between well-being and well-doing in this atmosphere of high attrition and also the evolution of the EVP as it has changed to encompass more about human experience.
"We've seen a shift in the power dynamic between employers and employees in the last 18 months. We've never seen churn like this." Sigmar CCO, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, talks to Matt Cooper on The Last Word, Today FM.
Main PointsQ3 record breaking recruitment placement resultsHighest in 20 years, peaking in SeptemberUp 44% for same period in 2020Job orders in the first half of October are trending higher than any previous single month in company 20-year historyThe Talent Shortage Economy: Recruitment (for on-site labour and remote skills) is the single biggest threat to the Irish economyWar for talent now being fought on two fronts: Battle for Retention internally and the Skills Struggle externally “The Great Return is causing a Mass Exodus. The reopening of offices in September has prompted a new surge in resignations as Ireland now faces a Talent Crisis. Employers are increasingly requesting in-office presence and Employees are voting with their feet..” says Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, founding director Sigmar Recruitment: Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements for Q3 (July, August, September) 2021, up 44% on the same period 2020. The figures released today top previous results recorded in Q2, 2021, with September recording the best single month ever in the 20-year history of Sigmar. Job orders in the first two weeks in October are trending higher than any single full month in the company’s 20-year history. The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements, peaking initially in May. Summer months remained as strong, peaking once more in September. Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, founding director of Sigmar believes that the request to return to the office in September has caused employees to revolt, as they do not wish to return to pre-pandemic conditions and practices.. Commenting on the tightening of the labour market, Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “Demand for talent has remained at an all-time high for the second quarter in our 20-year history. It was somewhat unusual not to see demand abate over the summer months. Indeed, demand continued to increase over the summer, resulting in September’s record results. The rate of job requests in the first two weeks of October is unprecedented, indicating continued in Q4 and raises the question of the sustainability of talent supply. “Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunity no longer bound by location which is creating significant churn in the professional skills market. This last 18 months has seen employees demand greater flexibility. The request to return to the office by employers in September has prompted employees to reconsider whether they recommit or resign. Many are resigning.” 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 opened up new experiences and possibilities on a scale never before seen. In September, many employers have asked employees to “trial” living together once more, which in some cases leads to a reunion or in others to separation. "Another factor, on the employee side is that of identity and how what we do makes up part of who we are as individuals. “This last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, mainly how our working lives interact with our lives and how we identify with our working lives. In the absence of a workplace we’ve reassessed the balance between who we are and what we do, resulting in lesser commitment to our working selves and therefore to our employers. Employee loyalty has therefore become increasingly under question with many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.” Talent Shortage EconomyRecruitment for both the on-site and remote talent remains the single largest threat to the Irish economy. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: ”We are seeing two macro trends converge at once, compounding demand for talent across all sectors – (1) supply of labour and (2)shortage of skills.” The “high touch economy” for on-site labour in sectors such as construction, logistics, retail and hospitality are currently experiencing severe labour shortages. The disruption to international talent supply chains have caused significant bottlenecks to the supply of labour, particularly effecting on-site, lower skilled jobs. On-going travel restrictions and pace vaccine rollout continue to impede immigration globally, but as an island nation we are now seeing the impact of this as demand recovers at pace. The “low-touch economy”, on the other hand, where remote work is viable is experiencing greater churn due to the expansion of opportunity for skilled workers, shift in motivation, identity and desire for flexibility. This is now being experienced more acutely in Ireland as offices re-open and employees now vote with their feet, in choosing to resign over reengaging with employers in many cases. Demand has been particularly strong in IT, Financial Services and Life Sciences. He adds: “If we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. Retaining workers rather than attracting them is now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”