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Pay Rises of as much as 8% in 2018

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Employers set to offer an average pay rise of 2.5% due to retention of key staff becoming a significant issue.

A new survey had found that most Irish business’ will face a challenge of retaining their key staff in 2018.

The survey, which was conducted by Performance Reward Consulting, looked at human resource specialists in 76 organisations across Ireland. More than a quarter of these HR specialists expect that they will lose a greater number of employees in 2018. This comes against a jump in employee turnover among 36 per cent of respondents in 2017.

Performance Reward Consulting managing director, Patrick Robertson stated, “As the economy on both sides of the border has improved, Irish employers now face a real challenge to retain staff, particularly their high performing and high potential employees who are often the first to move.

Companies operating in Northern Ireland reported a higher turnover rate (13.1%) than those in the Republic (8.3%). However, some Irish employers were reporting employee turnover levels of up to 30 per cent, causing “significant issues” for the business.

Responding to this challenge, the survey found that almost half (46%) of responding organisations are taking steps to increase their employee retention for 2018, such as implementing new pay structures and career paths, employee recognition schemes and focusing on their incentives and benefits to try to retain staff.

Pay rises are also part of the proposition, with just under 94 per cent of employers on both sides of the border planning a pay increase. While the average 2018 pay increases within the survey are forecast at 2.5 per cent in the Republic of Ireland and 3 per cent in Northern Ireland, some employers are reporting pay increases above 8 per cent for specific employees or employee groups.

Source: Irish Times



144,000 Net New Jobs Across The Island of Ireland Projected by 2020

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EY has today released its latest economic eye report which shows that jobs growth has been positive across the island in the period 2014 – 2017, with an increase of 12.4% in net employment, broadly spread across sectors and geographies.

The report projects growth of 144,000 net additional jobs in the period 2017-20 across the island of Ireland. Growth figures are driven largely by the ROI, where 138,500 new jobs are projected, led across a number of sectors, including construction, manufacturing, transport and storage and ICT. However, the report highlights a more challenging outlook for Northern Ireland, with a projected growth of 5,800 jobs by 2020.

Economic Eye projects growth of 144,000 net additional jobs in the period 2017-20 across the island of Ireland. Growth figures are driven largely by the ROI, where 138,500 new jobs are projected, led across a number of sectors, including construction, manufacturing, transport and storage and ICT. However, the report highlights a more challenging outlook for Northern Ireland, with a projected growth of 5,800 jobs by 2020.

The report suggests an increasing divergence in economic fortunes across the island of Ireland. Economic Eye projects Republic of Ireland (‘ROI’) GDP growth of 4.9% in 2017, making it Europe’s fastest-growing economy. However, economic growth in Northern Ireland is projected to be more modest at 1.4% for 2017.

According to Economic Eye, the retail sector has recovered to 2010 levels with total growth of 14% in the ROI since 2013’s historic lows. The retail industry (excluding wholesale) now accounts for approximately 10% of all jobs in ROI. EY anticipates that jobs growth in retail will continue in ROI with the addition of approximately 10,500 addition jobs in the retail sector between 2017 and 2022, while a decrease of 3,000 is forecast for Northern Ireland.

EY estimates that cross-border shopping to Northern Ireland over the last year is in the region of €418m. This figure does not include significant car sales that have increased faster in Northern Ireland (18%) than in the UK (13%), Scotland (14%) and Wales (11%). This estimate does not include figures for shops without a physical presence in the state, thus excluding online shopping from the ROI to the UK. In most cases this will not benefit Northern Ireland unless the business is partly based there.

Commenting on the Economic Eye, Chief Economist at EY Ireland, Neil Gibson said, “A healthy labour market and low inflation are boosting the economy in ROI, leaving the country in a position of strength to face the economic and geopolitical uncertainty that lies ahead. While the strength of the euro has a positive impact on exports, a more challenging environment pervades in Northern Ireland, which is not helped by the absence of a local government. Higher dependence on consumer and government spending in Northern Ireland, and very different inflation levels are creating divergence in spending power between the north and south, which is contributing to a weaker NI outlook.”


Telephone Interview: Key Tips

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A telephone interview is usually a precursor of the hiring process for both the employer and the candidate. This is where the employer will assess a potential candidate by calling them up and asking a number of preliminary questions before considering the arrangement of an in-person interview.

While this may seem like a simple formality, the truth is an employer can learn a lot about you from the way you present yourself during a phone call. Here are a some pointers to help you get through a potential telephone interview in the future.

Conduct Initial Preparation

Once the call is scheduled, it’s time to start doing some research. You should prepare for the call in exactly the same manner that you would for a face-to-face interview.

Find out what you can about the company and its operations. including its history and staff numbers. With this information you can then be suitably prepared to answer any questions that the interviewer may have. It also offers up the ability to fashion some questions about the company.

Be Prepared To Take The Call

While some employers may call unannounced, many will follow best practice and schedule a call within a certain time frame that suits both parties. Leaving a scheduled call unanswered without notice or reason will be deemed as highly unprofessional in the eyes of an interviewer.

When the interviewer phones at the specified time make sure that you are readily available to take the call. If there is a change of circumstance that leaves the you unable to conduct the interview the make sure to give prior notice and reschedule to a more suitable time.

Listen Attentively

When the interviewer is speaking it is of great importance to listen carefully to every word and jot down notes of every detail. This prepares the candidate for any related questions that the interview may ask.

It also allows you to reference any key points through their own questions. Good communication is a key skill that employers crave. Displaying this kind of attentive communication down the phone will place you in a good position with a prospective employer.

Speak Clearly and Concisely

Once again good communication is the key here. When an employer phones a candidate the last thing they should receive is short answers and hushed tones. Make sure you reply to each question in a confident tone and professional manner.

It is only natural to be nervous in any interview situation so it’s important to keep the conversation on point without trailing off. One of the drawbacks of a telephone interview is the inability to read expressions of the interviewer. This means that the you must be extremely precise in everything you say and how you present it verbally in order to make a good impression.

End The Call On A Positive Note

When the call is about to wrap up,  make sure to thank the interviewer for their time. If an in-person interview has been scheduled, mention your anticipation for meeting and express gratitude for receiving the opportunity.

After a couple of hours, you should then send a follow-up email thanking the employer once again for their time and confirming your interest in the position.

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Skills Shortage Could Threaten Growth in South & North of Ireland

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The Economic and Social Research Institute (ERSI) said that a skills shortage could threaten economic growth in the South and North of Ireland. The ERSI explained that there’s a “skill mismatch” in the Republic that could act as a barrier to growth in the future. Furthermore, the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI) stated that the North is “trapped in a low-skills equilibrium”.

The ERSI explained that under half of full-time Irish employees reported that their skills are greater than those required to do their job. This comes in as the fourth highest rate of skill under-utilisation in the EU.

It is said that the degree of ‘matched employment’ – where employees feel that their skills are matched to their job – is the fourth lowest in the EU at 46%. By better aligning people’s skills and their jobs, economic growth could potentially be boosted.

The ERSI found that the share of highly-educated, foreign-born workers in Ireland is the third highest in the EU, standing at 57%.

The NERI stated that the in the North, many firms lack the skilled workforce to grow:

“We argue that it is trapped in a low-skills equilibrium, a situation where firms are predominately engaged in low-value production providing low skilled and consequently low paid jobs. Firms may want to innovate and grow, but they lack the higher skilled workforce to do so. Workers would invest in their own skills, but the economy lacks the high skilled jobs that would reward them.”

Director of NERI, Tom Healy explained that there is an urgent need for public policy to invest in raising skills.


5 Essential Skills Employers Look For In Employees

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In the ever-evolving environment of the job industry, professionals everywhere must further develop and expand their skill sets. Here are the five essential skill sets employers everywhere crave.


For some people, leadership skills come naturally, others must work upon and develop this unique skill over time. One thing is certain though, if you possess the skill and initiative to lead and motivate your team while accepting the responsibility for various important tasks and projects then you will become a major asset to any employer.

Some employers don’t like to do much hands on employee management. They often prefer to have someone on the ground conducting the orchestra. If you feel you are that person and are willing to take control and shoulder responsibility then you will stand out as a cut above the rest.

Good Communication

Another skill employer’s love is communication. This is the foundation of any task or project, as a team simply cannot function without good communication. Any professional who possesses these skills is an employer’s dream.

The ability to describe what you want your employees or colleagues to do sounds easy initially but it is actually a lot more challenging than people think, as slightest missed detail can cause a whole project to come undone.

Always converse with your colleagues and delegate tasks in a clear and straightforward manner. Raising your voice or dictating others simply will not work in a professional environment.

IT Literacy

This is the digital age, there is no question about it. Nearly every industry relies heavily on computers so naturally every professional is required to have some level of IT literacy skills in their lockers. Some larger companies can even request certain qualifications and certificates before they even consider someone for the interview process.

Most young professionals straight from college will have a good level of IT literacy as they have benefitted from computer training at an early age. However, if you’re a professional who has been in business for decades it’s never too late to go back and acquire these skills. It may prove the difference to securing employment.

Business Acumen

While some people will argue that a good business sense is something that comes naturally and cannot be thought, others will stress that business acumen can indeed be developed over time with the right training.

This skill is a complex one as it involves a number of qualities. One must be a visionary, display honesty and integrity with the ability to seize upon any opportunity while showing high levels of entrepreneurship.

As complicated as it seems a good business sense will give you a massive edge over other potential candidates and elevate your standing in the eyes of a potential employer.


This is quite simply one of the most powerful skills you will ever possess if you can acquire it. This also applies to day to day life not just the workplace.

If you have the ability to negotiate with another party to reach a win-win compromise with another party through mutual agreement, then you will stand head and shoulders above anyone else. Always strive to get what you want and help the other party get what they want.

This process involves preparation, outlining of goals, negotiation, compromise reaching and a final mutual agreement. A good negotiator will know when to box clever and take a step back before taking two steps forward. If you possess the power of negotiation employers will be falling over themselves to hire you.

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Social Media Mistakes That Candidates Should Avoid

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Social media has become a vital tool for job seekers over the last number of years. It offers the opportunity to browse and interact with job vacancies and to build up a strong professional online presence. However, for all the positives social media offers it can also be a candidate’s worst enemy when it comes to the application process.

How? Simple.

It’s no secret that employers regularly check out the public social media profiles of candidates before even considering them for a call-back or an interview. Just remember, our public social media profiles are only a Google search away.

With this in mind, it is important to cultivate a balanced and professional social presence that will allow the candidate look presentable if a potential employer decides to do some sleuth work. Read below about how to avoid the common social media faux pas that can derail a job application process before it has even begun.

Displaying Unprofessional Photos

Let’s be honest everybody is entitled to let off a bit of steam at some stage. There’s nothing wrong with going out enjoying oneself and taking few photos as memories to share with friends online.

However, caution must be taken towards where these photos are shared and how visible they are to those outside of your friends list. While your contacts may enjoy seeing amusing pictures of a wild holiday or a night out with friends, a prospective employer may see things completely differently.

Using Profanity

It’s pointless trying to paint a presentable and approachable portrait of yourself to the employer if your social platforms are littered with profanities and unprofessional language. This will reflect poorly on your image and is a serious red flag in the eyes of an employer.

An employer will make a huge assessment about a potential candidate by the way they behave online. Therefore, it is advisable to trawl through old posts and clean up where necessary. It may seem time consuming but it could make a big difference in the end.

Criticising Previous Employers

Unfortunately, not everyone has left their previous place of employment on the best of terms. So much so, that some use their social profiles to vent their anger and frustration about their former boss and colleagues. This is one of the most unprofessional and fatal mistakes that a potential candidate can make.

Broadcasting critical content such as this will reflect very poorly on the candidate and will undoubtedly lead to instant rejection by the employer. If you really have a bee in your bonnet with your previous employer it’s best to keep it to yourself and move on. In the end, some things are best left unsaid.

Keeping a Dormant or Inactive Social Presence

Did you know that a lack of social media activity can be just as damaging towards a candidate’s employment prospects as the posting of inappropriate content? This is due to several reasons.

As we are regularly evolving into the digital age, most companies across all industries expect their employees to be tech savvy and up to speed with changing trends. Maintaining a LinkedIn profile at least is mandatory nowadays and it is also the first port of call that a prospective employer will go to.

Failing to display a constant social media presence may show the employer that the candidate has something to hide. Even if you have decided to deactivate all your accounts, there will still be a remaining digital footprint left behind.

This will show evidence of a previous online presence that the most inquisitive employer will eventually find. This in turn will set alarm bells to an employer as to why exactly the candidate has decided to suddenly become invisible.

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Irish Jobs Offering On-The-Job Perks Increase by 135%

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The amount of companies listing roles with on-the-job perks increased by 6 percent between the first and third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, and by a massive 135 percent compared to the same period five years ago.

These findings are a result of new statistics recently released by A job ‘perk’ is separate to a job ‘benefit’, like pension contribution or annual leave. Instead, a job ‘perk’ is usually included as part of a salary, and are provided on daily or regular basis to encourage creativity and productivity.

The findings from show that roles offering perks such as free lunch, Friday beers, ‘bring your dog to work’ policies and gym membership are on the rise. believe that the increasing trend in job perks shows that companies are putting employees at the heart of their business.

Christopher Paye, general manager at states, “Ireland is hungry for talent, particularly in emerging industries like tech and financial services. Professionals are free to shop around for the best employment package, and on-the-job perks can help sway them one way or the other. Perks are no longer the exclusive remit of American multinationals.

“In addition to competitive salaries and benefits, like annual leave and health insurance, many Irish companies are prioritising their employees’ happiness by providing catered meals, gym membership and team bonding events. To a prospective hire, this shows a commitment to culture and a positive working environment.”

Mr. Paye added, “As employers’ demand more from their employees in terms of hours worked and always-on availability, perks also help to reduce stress and offset personal costs, particularly food spend. In the long-term, this encourages loyalty and improves employee retention. Likewise, as the office perk culture become commonplace, employees will increasingly come to expect it from their employer. Companies that don’t take this on-board risk losing out in the war for talent.”


5 Tips For Settling Into A New Job

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Starting a new job can be a daunting experience, whether it’s your first foray into the working world or another step on the corporate ladder. No matter what your experience level, starting afresh in a new environment can be as intimidating as it is exciting.

You only get one shot at a first impression, so its imperative that you make yours count for the right reasons. Luckily, here at Sales Placement, our wealth of experience matching qualified candidates to appropriate organisations has taught us a few key things with regard to starting out in a new role. Our 5 key tips for success in a new position are outlined below. Read More

Apple Jobs in Ireland

Ireland’s Job Boost: Apple & Indeed

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Ireland’s apparent economic recovery looks to be going from strength to strength as the nation received two timely jobs boosts in early November.

Apple boss Tim Cook gave what the Cork Evening Echo described as “an unwavering commitment to the company’s operations” in the county by confirming that the tech giants would increase their workforce in the rebel county by 1,000 by mid-2017. Read More