Attracting Top Talent in Cork

As an avid networker and recruitment manager, I am consistently working with other businesses, large or small, who all seem to share the same difficulties when recruiting talented employees. Although the severity of these difficulties depends on the location, availability, and sector of the vacancy, the challenge itself always seems to remain.

‘The Digital Era’ has given candidates increasing access to potential employment opportunities. On sites like Glassdoor, they are able to compare vacancies and employers as well as read real employee reviews on various businesses. This makes it even more difficult for employers to stand out, especially in Cork’s competitive employment market. It is no longer enough to offer a strong salary and good pension, candidates demand flexibility, recognised training, and a clear career path as a reward for their hard work.

Interestingly, some companies are also looking at softer areas around wellness and adding to the appeal of their workplace. Some are making fresh fruit freely available in workplace canteens, others are hosting cookery courses and yoga classes for their staff at lunchtime. The payback seems to be in happier, healthier workers.

My biggest advice is to focus on retention before focusing on recruitment. In my experience, once a staff member has handed in their notice, even if you are able to negotiate, it’s often already too late. Retention is often achieved in a variety of ways, a client of ours openly admits he pays every staff member €2k more than they would achieve with the closest competitor.

Most recruitment consultancies, CSA included, will be able to give you an indication of the salary and benefits structure that would be appropriate for any given role. Additionally, we advise our clients to go one step further and offer a clearly defined career path with the view to retaining employment.

Another area to consider is the method of sourcing candidates. It’s no longer enough to post an advert and wait for applications. Whilst we do advertise most of our roles on mainstream and specialist sites, we find more success in using different recruitment techniques.

If you have the time and expertise, I would recommend advertising vacancies digitally, via LinkedIn, your website, and a targeted Facebook campaign, focusing very much on the benefits discussed earlier in this article. I would also recommend talking to a specialist agency, who will be able to directly approach and interview candidates for you.

Our personal approach is to only send candidates to clients that we would personally employ ourselves. We are always happy to offer free advice on how best to recruit for your business, so please get in touch if that would be useful.

Sam Nicholson
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