What I've learned since returning to Ireland to recruit
It had been 7 years since I'd recruited in both Celtic Tiger and recession-ridden Ireland, so I was unsure as to what to expect upon returning last year. This is what I've learned;
Positivity.... is the over-riding feeling within the current market. At 8.6%, unemployment is at an 8 year low and still has scope to decrease for some time. What is more important than market statistics for a recruiter is the outlook their clients have for the future. A positive outlook gives them the confidence to hire. Over 70% of the companies we spoke to expect to hire in 2016. Don't expect an easy ride though. Better market conditions bring more competitors, a candidate shortage and other challenges.
Kiss a few frogs. If you are looking for a recruitment role in Ireland, the good news is that everyone is hiring. Before searching, work out some basic criteria that are important to you about your next role and select a few firms to meet with. Joining a start up, a plc or an international group all bring their pros and cons so investigate thoroughly before making the right call for you. I always advise recruiters to work out their top 3 priorities, whether that be training, base salary, OTE, career progression, their manager, hours, international opportunities, culture etc. Then decide which firm is most aligned. If in doubt; go with your gut.
If it looks like a Recruiter... If you are in a hiring position in Ireland then you may be surprised by the average standard of Recruiter in the market. There is a massive disparity in the level of training/expectations across the industry. I've hired 9 people in as many months since we opened in August. To hire those 9, I have met over 60 people with experience ranging from nothing to 20 years. As always, attitude can trump experience of any level.
It's (not) all about the base, the base. I entered recruitment as a graduate on a €32k base + benefits + commission. I couldn't believe it. 18 months later we were all sitting in Macturcaill’s pub saying how stupid that was. The reason being it was mid-day on a Wednesday and we were all unemployed and the company had shut its doors. Don't underestimate the importance of a fiscally responsible business that can offer you stability and rewards you on OTE. Pick a figure e.g. €250k in annual billings and see who rewards you for your hard work, but can also offer you the infrastructure to do so. Base is important and should be respectful of your experience but don’t let it be the deciding factor.
The customer service is king. As we move towards an ever more candidate short market, the best candidates have a broad selection of who they will allow represent them. Recruiters that put the time into research, proactivity and communication are succeeding.
Which industry to recruit in? To be honest, you have as much chance of succeeding in most markets at the moment. IT, A&F, Sales, FS etc. are seeing steady growth. Construction/Engineering and Tech (start-ups in particular) are seeing sharp increases in vacancies. I would advice selecting a market where you will be able to identify with the candidate base, that your chosen firm can offer you the right platform to succeed in and that you will enjoy operating within.
I forgot how big our candidate pool is. Returning from Australia with over 23 million people, I was concerned about returning to a smaller market in Ireland. I had underestimated the power of anyone with EU working rights being able to take a role here. With over 500 million EU nationals eligible to work in Ireland, we are in one of the most fortunate sourcing positions, globally.
Give this market nothing less than 100%. Recruitment careers are made in markets like this. Improving conditions see recruitment companies grow which leads to career progression. If you are unsure as to whether to continue in recruitment or whether to enter it as an industry at all, now is the time. If you are with the right firm and give your role 100% dedication, you may be surprised what the near future could hold.
Unfortunately the weather hasn't changed but thankfully the nightlife hasn't either.