Finding the right fit

In today’s hotly competitive employment market, retailers big and small are vying for the same high-calibre candidates. The services of a professional recruitment agency can make finding the right talent a much smoother journey, writes Julia O’Reilly

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Brand Central

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13 March 2020 | 0

At 4.8%, Ireland’s unemployment rate stands at its lowest recorded level since January 2007. While this is welcome news to most, many employers have learned that a candidate-driven market has its own challenges.

Small to medium businesses are competing with large multinationals to attract the best possible talent. Finding the right candidate for a job can be an arduous task. Without in-house recruitment teams at their disposal, smaller employers can find themselves working to fulfil positions at the expense of their day-to-day tasks. It’s in times like these that the services of a professional recruitment agency really shine. In handing over the task to the professionals, a retailer can return their focus to doing what they do best.

Not only that, but a properly managed recruitment procedure sends the right message to high-calibre candidates. With the help of a professional team, an employer can run a formal recruitment procedure, complete with a well-considered job specification and thorough interview process.

Having a diverse and inclusive workplace is more pertinent today than ever before. More than just aspirational buzzwords, a company must follow the correct recruitment procedure to ensure it does not fall foul of the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2005. Employers must ensure that job advertisements do not include discriminatory wording, nor do they discriminate against candidates on any of the nine grounds included in the legislation; gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the traveller community. If a company breaches this legislation it could face not just financial, but reputational damage. However, a professional recruitment company should be well versed on the do’s and don’ts when hiring staff.

Indeed, in today’s hotly competitive talent market, the services of a professional recruitment agency are needed more than ever. To better understand why, we spoke to several leading recruitment companies to learn more about the services they offer and their areas of expertise.


Barry Whelan, CEO, Excel Recruitment

Excel Recruitment: Harnessing industry insight to find the right candidate

Recruitment factfile: Excel Recruitment

HQ: Dublin, Cork, Naas

Established: 2002

Key people: Barry Whelan, CEO; Nikki Murran, director of grocery retail

Key clients: Musgrave, Aldi, BWG Foods, Gala Retail, Campus Oil, Applegreen, Circle K, Iceland Ireland

Contact: (01) 814 8747 or info@excelrecruitment.com

Web: www.excelrecruitment.com

Social:

Facebook: @excel.recruitment

Instagram: excel_recruitment

Twitter: @ExcelRecruit

LinkedIn: Excel Recruitment


Q&A with… Barry Whelan, CEO, Excel Recruitment

Q: The internet and social media have changed the way in which individuals and employers connect with one another. How has the recruitment business adapted to remain relevant in this new dynamic?

A: Social media is a tremendously useful tool for our consultants and our business, making it quicker and easier to reach a large pool of candidates. It allows us to connect with and keep up-to-date with current clients and candidates and showcase ourselves as leaders in recruitment to potential clients while targeted advertising campaigns or messaging abilities can allow us to reach unknown or passive candidates who will work well in our client’s business.  While all of this is great, it is important to remember that while the medium used to reach candidates might change, the message we use doesn’t. Social media is just another tool in our consultants’ arsenal, facilitating them to do what they do best – make real connections and match the right people to the right job. While the technology and tools evolve, the skillset and knowledge of our consultants are still what counts when it comes to identifying great candidates and matching them to clients and roles in which they’ll thrive.

Q: Tell us about the origins of your company, and how it has grown since then.

A: I founded Excel Recruitment in 2002, after seeing a need for a recruitment service for retailers with experience, knowledge and understanding of the retail industry. We began exclusively in retail before replicating our winning formula across other industries, while still retaining our commitment to retail. 2019 was the biggest year in the history of our company. Our team grew to over 44 talented consultants and support staff, we moved into our brand new state-of-the-art offices in Dublin city centre, expanded our Cork office, established dedicated HR and pharmacy recruitment divisions and cut the ribbon on our brand new office in Naas, Co. Kildare. We plan to continue this expansion in 2020, adding more talented recruiters to our ranks in order to better meet our clients’ needs. Plans are already underway to establish our next office in Galway in late 2020.

Q: What are three qualities that any candidate should focus on, in order to make themselves most suitable for a role?

A: Our clients are the top national and international retailers in the country. They are diverse and constantly evolving, just like the roles we recruit and the people we look for to fill these roles. We find great employees for our clients but equally, we want all our candidates to find their dream roles – jobs they find fulfilling and that they will grow and succeed in.  We achieve both goals by not trying to fit candidates into some abstract ideal but instead by taking the time to understand who our candidates are and matching them with companies where they’ll thrive. No two candidates, roles or retailers are the same. Our expert team harness their extensive industry insight and take the time to match the right candidate with the right job, ensuring a long-lasting, mutually beneficial outcome for both candidate and client.

Q: How does your agency keep fully informed about developments within the markets it serves?

A: By reading ShelfLife magazine! We are retailers recruiting for retailers. Each of our consultants has had long successful careers in the retail industry and have never lost their passion and love for retail. We stay on top of market trends and the latest industry developments not because we have to, but because each of us is genuinely interested in the industry. We are proud, close supporters of industry representative groups such as Retail Excellence Ireland, RGDATA and CSNA. These close affiliations are on top of the close relationships we cultivate with our clients, catching up regularly about what they’re experiencing ‘on the frontlines’. All of this means we constantly have our finger on the pulse of the markets we serve. We are advocates for retail, promoting and celebrating careers in the industry through our involvement with the C-Store Awards and Grocery Management Awards and speaking each year to the graduating class in DIT’s Retail Management BA and postgraduate courses on the realities of job seeking and careers in the retail industry.


PRL Recruitment: Sourcing high-calibre professionals across the sector

Recruitment factfile: PRL Recruitment

HQ: PRL Recruitment, PRL House, Old Naas Road. Bluebell. Dublin D12 TN30

Established: 1973

Key people: Richard Jones, general manager; Seamus Farrelly, recruitment director

Key clients: McKesson Wholesale Ireland, Procter & Gamble, Stafford Lynch, Lloyds Pharmacy, Lindt Sprungli and Gas Networks Ireland

Contact: (01) 668 5144

Web: www.prlrecruitment.com

Social:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/prlrecruitment

Instagram: @prlrecruitment

Twitter: @prlrecruitment

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/prl-recruitment


Q&A with… Richard Jones, general manager, PRL Recruitment

Q: The internet and social media has changed the way in which individuals and employers connect with one another. How has the recruitment business adapted to remain relevant in this new dynamic?

A: Most social media platforms now offer advertising services which include detailed targeting options for connecting and engaging specific candidates. Historically, recruitment agencies relied on their own database, online or print-based job advertising platforms as well as their own networks and referrals. Social media, including LinkedIn, has now widened that net which allows agencies to engage both active and passive candidates, which in the current jobs market is a huge benefit.

Q: Tell us about the origins of your company, and how it has grown since then.

A: PRL Recruitment was incorporated in 1973 as Sales Placement. For over four decades, PRL Recruitment/Sales Placement has been servicing the Irish market and sourcing high-calibre sales professionals at all levels within a business across multiple sectors. With permanent offices in Dublin and Belfast as well as satellite offices in Kilkenny and Cork, our all-island footprint means we can service our clients’ needs no matter what their location. PRL Recruitment is Ireland’s largest sales specific recruitment agency and only have sector specific consultants with industry servicing any sector.

Q: What are three qualities that any candidate should focus on in order to make themselves most suitable for a role?

A: Be specific. Too many candidates use a blanket approach when applying for a new job. I would suggest the candidate be specific in what they apply for and make sure the ‘actual’ skills and experiences which are required by an employer are highlighted in their CV.

Honesty. Candidates who are dishonest in any process will not be successful.

Preparation. As part of our service offering to candidates, we deliver interview preparation and if required presentation preparation. Areas to focus on during any interview preparation are: facts and figures (sales figures etc.), anticipate questions and ensure your response is factual and concise (don’t waffle) and research the company, the role and where possible engage with someone who has either done the job or is doing a similar job so you can form a full understanding of its requirements and challenges.

Q: How does your agency keep fully informed about developments within the markets it serves?

A: PRL Recruitment is part of PRL who are industry leaders in implementing and managing sales strategies and teams on behalf of our clients. Not only do we recruit sales specialists, we are sales specialists and therefore have a unique understanding of the market. The PRL Recruitment team also regularly attend industry specific events and training to ensure they remain up to date with industry trends, needs and challenges.


Cpl: Providing innovative total talent solutions

Recruitment factfile: Cpl

HQ: 8-34 Percy Place, Dublin 4

Established: 1989

Key people: Anne Heraty, CEO; Lorna Conn, CFO; Lisa Holt, MD (Ireland); Garrett Roche, MD (Global)

Key clients: Musgrave Group, SuperValu, Centra, Aldi, Smyths Toys, Hickey’s Fabrics, Smiggle

Contacts: Deborah Crilly, director, Cpl Retail, deborah.crilly@cpl.ie (01) 614 6103; Richard Hogan, manager, Cpl Retail richard.hogan@cpl.ie (01) 614 6129

Web: www.cpl.com

Social: 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cpljobsireland

Twitter: @cpljobs

Instagram: @cpljobs

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/cpl


Q&A with… Deborah Crilly, director, Cpl

Q: The internet and social media has changed the way in which individuals and employers connect with one another. How has the recruitment business adapted to remain relevant in this new dynamic?

A: Social media is an excellent channel for us to engage and connect with our employees, perspective employees, clients and of course candidates. Cpl has a large following on LinkedIn, with over 100,000 engaged followers and with the help of our in-house marketing team we can target the right candidates across the world and drive job applications for our clients. Social media is also a powerful tool for sharing our knowledge and providing solutions to our clients’ needs on a daily basis.

Q: Tell us about the origins of your company, and how it has grown since then.

A. Cpl was started by our CEO Anne Hearty. This year, the company celebrates 30 years in business. Things have grown hugely since then and in the first half of the financial year in 2020, Cpl as a group delivered a 10% increase in net fee income and a 23% increase in earnings. We’re continuously investing in innovative technology solutions, adding further value for our clients. We’re recognised globally as a leader in talent solutions, specialist recruitment, managed solutions and outsourcing. Cpl has grown through strong organic growth, strategic acquisitions and with thanks to the people who provide the best solutions to our candidates and clients and who make Cpl a truly great place to work every day. Our goal going forward is to be the best at providing total talent solutions globally, driven by our three strategic pillars – ‘future ready’, ‘client first’ and ‘total solutions’.

Q: What are three qualities that any candidate should focus on, in order to make themselves most suitable for a role?

A: Key important qualities that candidates should possess are commitment to the retail industry, exceptional commercial skills and exemplary customer service. These differ in weight depending on the seniority of the hire, but generally experience is not enough when it comes to us shortlisting the most suitable candidates for our retail clients. To have retail experience in today’s war on talent is a given. Cpl Retail works with candidates that have the drive, commitment and a passion for a career in the retail industry. Retailing is a people business; providing people with exemplary service and recruiting the right people with the right talent is what Cpl does well.

Q: How does your agency keep fully informed about developments within the markets it serves?

A: Each of our recruitment teams are specialists in their fields. Many of our retail recruitment team come from sales or retail backgrounds. They know the industry and have meaningful connections across the sector. Our business is really all about people and we adopt a people-centered, strategic approach to how we deal with all our clients (‘the Cpl Way’). This combined with our investment in technology, strategic sponsorships and the support of our partners keeps us at the forefront of developments in the markets we work in. We also have locations across Europe and keenly monitor retail activity and hiring trends, not just in Ireland, but globally.


 

 

 

 

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