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Show Off Your Assets

In a competitive labour market, it is more important than ever to develop a sound recruitment strategy with your organisation's best assets in mind, says Teresa Campbell.

Across the island of Ireland, many employers are struggling to recruit and retain the skills they need.

In the Republic of Ireland, the Central Statistics Office’s latest Labour Force Survey (19 February 2019) reported an annual increase in employment of 2.3% in the year to the fourth quarter of 2018, bringing total employment to 2,281,300 while the long-term unemployment rate decreased from 2.5% to 2.1% over the year to Q4 2018.

In Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency’s latest Labour Force Survey (19 March 2019) reports that the NI unemployment rate (3.5%) is below that of the UK (3.9%). However, nearly half of those unemployed in Northern Ireland have been out of work for a year or more, almost double the long-term unemployed in the UK (46.9% vs 26.7%).

While there are signs that economic growth may be slowing, employers are likely to continue to face difficulty for some time with rising housing and rental costs, particularly in Dublin. This is a massive challenge when seeking to fill key roles.

It’s time we start thinking about the factors that can help attract employees. Here are a few that top talent tend to look for when sending out CVs.

Your reputation as a good employer

Are past employees happy they worked with you? Are you known for providing mentoring, non-pay benefits, career progression opportunities, a good work-life balance? Do you have a developed health and wellbeing strategy? Is your business engaged with the community? If not, it’s time you highlight the benefits and good working environment that you can offer potential hires.

Advertising clearly defined roles

When looking for new talent, make the role you are trying to fill very specific. People like knowing what they are walking into, what is expected of them and if the role will challenge them to eventually move up.


Do you offer competitive pay on top of non-pay benefits? With so much choice out there for candidates, it’s good to give a good look at salary when trying to fill a position.

Authentic leadership and vision

Top management should consist of real leaders in the organisations – people who can inspire those they manage – and not just good performers.

Ability to give employees a sense of belonging

Most of all, people need to feel like they belong. Some might even say they should feel like part of a ‘family’. The more a person feels like they can come into the fold, the longer they will want to stay. Highlight these aspects of office life when recruiting.

Finally, leverage your brand and, where appropriate, consider using social media to extend your reach when recruiting. LinkedIn, in particular, can be useful when seeking to fill certain roles. If your business is located outside the main urban areas, emphasise the benefits of working and living outside the capital such as lower rents, shorter commute times, better quality of life, etc.

It’s important companies play to their strengths, whether it’s a good mentoring programme or a fantastic location. Making your organisation attractive to the top talent is what is going to lead to success in the future.

Teresa Campbell is the People and Culture Director at PKF-FPM Accountants Limited.

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