Category Archives: Latest News


Dublin Beats San Francisco For Talent, But Ireland Lags

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According to the World Economic Forum, Dublin has been ranked seventh out of 90 cities for its ability to attract, develop, and retain talent. However, the data shows a significant gulf between capital and the rest of the country.

The ‘Global Talent Competitiveness Index’ (GTCI), which is compiled by the international business school INSTEAD, Dublin ranked ahead of other notable cities including San Francisco, Paris, London and Brussels.

Despite Dublin’s strong performance, Ireland as a whole did not feature among the top 10 countries for talent attraction and retainment, ranking 13th out of the 119 countries in the report.

The data further highlights the challenge for government in shifting high quality jobs beyond the Dublin region – a key pillar of the new Ireland 2040 planning framework.

The study took a look at six factors including the ‘enable’ factor, which looked at the regulatory, market, business and labour landscapes, and whether they help attract people.

The report also examined other factors that included ‘attract’, which gauged the openness of  a city or country, ‘grow’ which looked at how well a country or city develops its talent, while ‘retain’ took into account how nice it is to live in a city or country.

The final two factors that the report observed when examining countries were ‘GK skills’ and ‘VT skills’. These measured the availability of workers with vocational and technical (VT) skills and those with global knowledge (GK) skills. Topping the overall ranking is Switzerland, followed by Singapore and the USA.

The report also analysed cities though the ‘be global’ pillar, which examined the internationalisation within a city.

Dublin performed well under headings like ‘enable’, ‘attract’ and ‘be global’, ranking first for its regulatory, market, business and labour landscape, and scoring a top 10 ranking for each of the other two pillars.

European cities swept the board for their ability to attract and retail talent, with the top five positions made up of Zurich, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki.

Earlier this month Patrick Collison, co-founder of Stripe, said that he was returning to Ireland to place a “big bet” on Dublin as the next European centre for technology.

“There’s real engineering and tech talent, but as importantly people want to move to Dublin,” he told the Irish Independent.


Unemployment falls again in January

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The unemployment rate in January fell to 6.1 per cent, a slight decrease on the 6.2 per cent recorded in December, and a more significant decrease from the 7.4 per cent reported in January 2017.

According to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 143,700 this month, a decrease from 146,700 in December, and a decrease of 28,600 when compared to January 2017.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2018 was 6.5 per cent for males, down from 6.6 per cent in December 2017, and down from 7.5 per cent in the same month last year.

While the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females this month was 5.6 per cent, a decrease of 5.8 per cent from last month, and a decrease from 7.3 per cent in January 2017.

The unemployment rate for youth’s remains in double-digits, with 13.7 per cent of persons aged between 15 and 24 years of age unemployed. However, this has decreased slightly from 13.8 per cent in December.

Earlier this month the Central Bank said that it predicted an extra 89,000 people will be in work by the end of next year. This would bring the total number with a job to around 2.3 million – well ahead of the previous peak of 2.24 million seen in 2007 at the end of the Celtic Tiger years.


Wages to jump 15% – But only if you’re in the right job

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As the number of people at work pushes close to its pre-recession peak, the most highly sought after professionals will pick up pay rises worth around 15 per cent.

Now clear of the recession and the years of instability, research reveals that employee’ prospects are finally back on track with jobs and pay on the rise.

According to the Central Statistics Office, there are now approximately 2.2 million people at work, which is close to the 2007 high.

The reports data showed that the majority of professional workers can expect modest 3 per cent pay rises this year.

However, those with in-demand skills – including chief security officers and cyber security experts in IT, product counsel in the legal sphere and chief risk officers in banking – can command wage hikes between 10 and 15 per cent.

The employment agency Morgan McKinley predicted strong job creation this year.

Morgan McKinley’s 2018 Irish Salary and Benefits Guide revealed that autonomous drive technology, advanced process engineering and cyber-security are among the areas tipped to expand further this year.

Karen O’Flaherty, chief operations offer, explained that last year was strong for job growth for professionals, as close to 40,000 posts were created. O’Flaherty said the forecast this year remained positive and the amount of permanent jobs was predicted to rise.

The survey showed salaries for permanent staff in banking and stockbroking range from €50,000 to €75,000 for a wealth manager with up to three years’ experience.

With more than five years’ experience, their wages soar to up to €150,000. Traders with more than five years can also expect to earn up to €150,000.

Branch managers in retail banks earn up to €90,000 in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, but not more than €70,000 in Waterford.

Employment was up 2.2pc, or 48,100 to 2.21 million, in 2017 to the end of September. The peak was just under the 2.24 million recorded in the final months of 2007.

That compares with a low of 1.875 million in 2012.

The unemployment rate remained at 6.7pc over the quarter, while the number of people out of work for a year or more is now about 40pc of total unemployment. That is the lowest since the end of 2009.

The CSO has revised how it publishes the labour force data to take account of the 2016 Census and other methodological changes. As a result, there are both more people employed and unemployed than initially thought.


Struggling to get interviews? An explanation & tips to fix it

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Hays’ Jason Walker gave some great advice in a recent article on Silicon Republic, in relation to job hunters failing to land interviews. Are you still waiting on that dream interview? Take a look at the article below and it might help you figure out why!

Job searching can be tiresome, especially when it feels as though you are spending all your time firing off applications, yet not getting any interviews as a result. Rest assured, this is a situation even the most determined job seekers sometimes find themselves in.

They update their CV and online profiles to highlight recent successes, they spend hours searching and applying for jobs – and yet the phone just won’t ring. Does this sound like you? Then perhaps you are making one of these mistakes.

A scattergun approach

If you are applying here, there and everywhere for any role that relates in some small way to your expertise and experience, without stopping to consider what you really want, checking that the position is right for you, and tailoring your application to show why you are right for the job, then you are unlikely to receive an interview.

Trust me, a hiring manager can spot a generic CV and covering email or letter a mile off.

Your social media presence is letting you down

It’s not enough to have a LinkedIn profile that you update whenever you remember to. Savvy job seekers use social media to its full potential when looking for a new job.

For example, they:

  • Follow the pages of the companies they would like to work for and keep an eye out for vacancies.
  • Consistently engage with their network by posting, liking, sharing and commenting on relevant content.
  • Connect with recruiters (once they have updated their privacy settings) and start a conversation.
  • Ensure all of their profiles are aligned in terms of employment dates, job descriptions, areas of responsibility and so forth.
  • Add links to provide evidence of their work.

You are hiding behind a keyboard

Job sites and professional social networks are great places to find jobs, but always remember the importance of face-to-face interaction, starting with your immediate network of friends, family and former colleagues.

Could any of them make some introductions or give you some advice? Offer to buy them a coffee and start the conversation with them.

Sign up to free networking and industry events. These will often take place first thing in the morning or towards the end of the day, making it easier to attend if you are already employed.

You have job seeker burnout

As I said at the beginning, job searching can be wearing, especially when your efforts have been fruitless so far.

This may spur you on to apply for even more roles, which will only serve to make you feel more drained, a feeling that will be reflected in the quality of your applications.

So, adopt a more organised and balanced approach, setting aside time slots on days where you feel more alert, such as on the weekend or at the beginning of the week.

To read the full article click here:


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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