In the last two years of the COVID-19 Pandemic, another challenge and transformation that businesses have had to face is the changing landscape of recruitment. Companies have not only had to react to global inflation but have also seen the need to adjust salary levels, start-up packages, and the flexibility of a hybrid workplace. Throughout the previous 12-months primarily, we have heard the term the great resignation, with employees shifting their views on employment, the field of employment, and choosing not to return to their traditional roles.

So how does a business stay competitive when recruiting in this landscape? How do candidates differentiate themselves in traditional roles to justify a change in their employment package?

The World Trade Center Dublin went straight to the experts! Hear from Adrian McGennis, CEO of Sigmar Recruitment Group, Ireland’s largest organically grown recruitment consultancy that has supported businesses for over 20 years connecting thousands of jobseekers with hundreds of companies. With over 150 talented recruiters, Sigmar works in a diverse range of markets delivering innovative recruitment solutions.

The Pandemic has sparked a revolutionary change in recruitment worldwide. As a global company, what are the critical recruitment changes you are seeing, and what challenges in recruitment should be top of mind for SMEs?

Certainly, the word “disrupt” may be over- used, but what other word describes it best! The Pandemic resulted in an unprecedented drop in recruitment and an unreliable marketplace this past year. However, we are currently seeing unprecedented demand for good, new talent. One of the most significant challenges we have seen is the adjustment of natural human senses. In this world of virtual interviews and reliability of on-screen body language, when you step back and think about it, humans are relying on 2 out of our natural five senses to react, communicate, and relay our traits in a very different way than we are used to. We have seen that the most successful businesses and jobseekers in recruitment have been those that have been able to adjust and grow their video presence quickly.

When looking at the SME-specific recruitment pool, we find that SMEs have far more leverage in flexibility when compared to their Corporate counterparts. While Corporations may be more agile in infrastructure and technology required to support the current talent pool, setting THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF RECRUITMENT FOR SMES, A GLOBAL VIEW processes for a hybrid workplace and responding to employee needs take a lot more time. However, a smaller business is a lot more flexible and faster in changing processes and procedures to find what fits their company the best.

An example of this is the current conversation of how many days in the office for a hybrid work policy? SMEs have been more open to adjusting the days based on current business and talent needs. We strongly encourage SMEs to be aware of the advantage of customization they have in the current job market.

I recently had another interesting conversation around the current talent pool of new, graduating entry-level jobseekers. There are a number of young talent that have the mindset of never going into the office space. This point of view can be a significant loss to the growth of the talent in their profession as they do not know what they are missing out on from not being in an office space. There is something to be said about the day-to-day learnings, seeing live examples, and mentorship that is missing from not being together in-person. We have seen businesses adjust to this and take steps to encourage their organizations’ in-person interactions with more amenities within the office space, such as planned group activity areas and, in some cases, small bars and canteen areas, as we call it, creating a “meitheal.”

When looking at the job market in Ireland and Europe, what and how do businesses need to change past employment practices to respond to the market’s needs?

One of the most significant areas that businesses need to change is how a company communicates to jobseekers and responds to the market’s current needs. Whether it is a blue-collar, tech, or senior-level position, communicating and articulating the business’s value proposition is more important in today’s market. We encourage companies to invest time in communicating through video. It does not have to be polished. It does not have to be a full production video, but utilizing video to communicate job opportunities through ads, job boards, LinkedIn, and other social media outlets is a must to be received by the current talent pool. A video also communicates more than just words. It is an excellent opportunity to promote your company culture and the people that make up your community, giving job seekers an immediate insight into the people they will potentially be working with.

We also encourage businesses to reach out a lot more than in the past. The market is very demanding, and businesses must do much more than traditional recruiting methods. Again, video outreach in the current market will result in a higher hit rate of view of your job postings and grow your talent pool.

For several years, Sigmar has hosted the Ireland Business Council event (Formerly known as Ireland, the Gateway to Europe) in Boston, Massachusetts. The World Trade Center Dublin has been delighted to be involved in this event and is looking forward to the event being in person this year. Tell us a little about the event and the significance of the relationships developed from it.

We appreciate the support of World Trade Center Dublin as the first host of our event and support for the last 10-years. We launched the Ireland Business Council to enhance bilateral trade relations in conjunction with Ireland’s amplification and attraction for foreign investment. We got much more than we could ever imagine through this event and relationship. For the first time this year, we were able to bring our customers to the event in Boston and had the largest attendance, with over 75 business professionals representing various industry sectors coming together to reconnect and share our best practices. It was almost emotional reconnecting with old friends and making new friends through this pandemic recovery.

While in the past, U.S. business interest in Ireland was primarily corporate tax savings. Today, we see that the most significant pull Ireland has with U.S. businesses is our skilled workers. Whether it is a U.S. business established in Ireland or companies in the U.S., our Irish jobseekers have proven their talent and quality for these competitive jobs.

What differences do you see in recruitment between Irish/European businesses vs. American businesses?

We are increasingly seeing little differences between the two regions in recruiting mechanisms, challenges, and competitiveness. We see similar technology utilized and slight differences in the legislature, but we believe the homogeneity will continue. We see SMEs to be more agile and quick to move in both markets.

As the news reports, the current job market is seeing many that have taken this pandemic opportunity to consider changing careers and making significant location moves. What are the key suggestions you have for the individuals to stay competitive in a new field or location and be successful in their interview and job search process?

As a jobseeker, similar to the businesses hiring them, we encourage using video to communicate your strengths and passions during the interview process. Research and rehearsal are still fundamental. There is very little room for not doing your homework in the current market.

Employers expect you to come prepared and knowledgeable. We also recommend job seekers not be afraid to ask questions about the organization’s culture, history, and ethics.

What advice do you give to companies recruiting talent today and likewise to the talent looking to be recruited?

For companies, honestly and truly seeing what the company gives as an experience for their employees is crucial. It results in a much more candid and honest interviewing process.

If a company can honestly look at the experience, make meaningful changes to the experience for the better, and then be able to communicate this experience will be instrumental in recruiting the right talent to your organization in the current market.

For SMEs, again, you can be much more agile in this process and make changes to your company to attract the talent you need. You can also move a lot quicker and should take advantage of this. If you can do 2 – 3 interviews in a day and make a decision in a few days, this will be more efficient for your recruiting process and keep you competitive in securing the talent that fits your company’s needs.

For more information about Sigmar Recruitment Group, contact us at the World Trade Center Dublin, we will connect you to the answer for your recruitment needs.


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Spring 2023

Spring 2023

In this issue:   Member Products Interview with the Colombian Ambassador to Ireland Market Insight: Africa World Trade Centers Association General Assembly Upcoming International Events

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