Cork is Proving to be a Magnet for Tech Workers in Search of Better Career Opportunities, Work-life Balance and Quality of Life

Cork is Proving to be a Magnet for Tech Workers in Search of Better Career Opportunities, Work-life Balance and Quality of LifeSeven in ten tech professionals move to Cork for career opportunities – new survey shows 80% of respondents say work/life balance has improved Disposable income has increased for 72% of respondents A new survey has found that highly-skilled tech professionals from all over the world are moving to Cork for a better quality of life, career opportunities, shorter commutes and lower living costs. The Cork Tech Talent Relocation Survey, released today (Wednesday, December 13) was carried out by National Recruitment & HR Services Group Collins McNicholas in conjunction with Cork Chamber, IDA Ireland and Cork City Council. The report included responses from workers of 27 different nationalities with two-thirds having relocated to Cork during the last two years. Respondents relocated from countries such as China, the US, South Africa, France, Egypt and the Netherlands. Fast becoming an international high-tech hub, Cork is attracting a large number of foreign and indigenous tech start-ups – 84% of respondents to the survey currently work in the city’s buoyant IT sector. More than 85% of those surveyed said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their relocation.  And 80% say they now have a better balance between their work and home lives. Some 85% now have a commute to work of less than 40 minutes and 78% said they did not consider it difficult to find a job in Cork. Interestingly, while 27% of those who moved back were originally from Ireland, some 73% relocated from outside of Ireland. When asked about the factors which influenced their move to Cork, 73% cited a better quality of life while 72% referenced a reduced cost of living. The other main reasons given were: lower property prices, less traffic, career opportunities, beautiful scenery and a safer environment. Among the survey’s other key findings were: 64% have experienced an increase in salary since moving to Cork 67% of respondents have since bought property in Cork or are considering it Cork attracts highly-skilled professionals with 89% holding a third-level qualification 42% of those hold Post Grads with another 4% having PhDs or doctorates Almost a quarter said their disposable income had increased by 20% or more since moving to Cork with 48% saying the increase had been between zero and 20% Since relocating to Cork, 35% or respondents said they’d attained a more senior role. Rory Walsh, Collins McNicholas, Cork Regional Manager, said: “The Cork region is experiencing a surge in the number of international professionals who are moving to the region for the work life balance that both the culture and economic environment can facilitate. “Many expanding global organisations and indigenous companies are offering competitive salaries and interesting projects while the region also provides an unrivalled local charm and thriving social scene.” Seamus Coghlan, Cork City Council, Head of Economic Development, said: “Cork is seeing an unprecedented level of city centre development, driven by the private sector. “The draft National Planning Framework (NPF) has acknowledged the role of cities as drivers of economic development. Cork, as the second largest city in Ireland, is well placed to take advantage of this, leveraging existing strengths and economic successes especially in FDI in the Life Sciences, ICT and internationally traded services sectors.” Ray O’Connor, IDA Regional Manager South West, said: “Over the last seven years, Cork has seen consistent growth in the numbers gaining employment across international companies – an increase of 11,500 people since 2009. “A University City with over 30,000 full and part time students across several colleges; strong established industry clusters; an expanding international airport on its doorstep; a cosmopolitan city with a rich mix of different nationalities; a rich heritage and history; and a great quality of life – these are some of the factors that have attracted both international companies and people with skills and talent to the area.” Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is the most exciting time in recent Cork history in terms of growth, opportunities and potential. Cork currently has the highest level of job creation in the country. “There are significant opportunities where people can build a career and move across various companies within strong clusters such as ICT, life sciences, energy, marine, agri-food, tourism and financial services.”   To read the full report, please click here....

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I don’t know how to tell my supervisor I’m overworked in my busy public relations firm

Question: I’ve been working as a manager in a PR agency for five years and have really enjoyed my job until recently. In the past three months my workload – and that of my team – has dramatically increased and I am unable to get everything successfully completed. To try and finish my work, I limit breaks and frequently avoid lunch. We have gained a new contract, so I know we will all be working even harder. How can I gently bring my concerns to my supervisor? Answer: While it is positive that the PR agency you work for is busy, being chronically overstretched can quickly lead to burnout, which will negatively impact your work and your personal life. You need to develop tactics to cope with your workload in the short term, while also developing a long-term strategy to better resource your department to cope with the increased workload. Take your breaks: Research has consistently proven that those who take regular breaks away from their work are more productive in the long run. Creating some mental space from a problem can give a new perspective, remove the tension from a situation, and give you a chance to replenish your energy. The quality of the time spent at your desk is far more important than the quantity. Work smarter: Take some time as a group to list your daily tasks and examine how they are shared among your team. This exercise can highlight areas of duplication and inefficiency. For example, two people generating a very similar report but for a different purpose. Asking one person to generate a report, which serves the...

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Can Encouraging People to Take Initiative Actually be Harmful?

As organizations face uncertainty and rapid change, taking initiative or being proactive is increasingly encouraged. In the main, being proactive is beneficial for both individual employee performance as well as for organisational performance. There is one circumstance when taking initiative has a negative effect on well-being for employees – when employees are motivated by a sense of pressure and coercion at work (termed controlled motivation) without any sense of interest or identification with their work (termed autonomous motivation). This was demonstrated in a recent article by Karoline Strauss (ESSEC, France), Sharon Parker (UWA, Australia) and Deirdre O’Shea (UL, Ireland), published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior. Proactivity at work involves self-initiating change or ‘making things happen’. It requires effort and thus drains employees energy, one of the reasons why it is associated with impaired well-being.  This research demonstrated that proactive work behaviour was positively related to job strain when controlled motivation was high and autonomous motivation was also low. Under all other conditions, there was no effect of proactive behaviour on job strain. Thus, proactive behaviour has costs for employee well-being when employees experience a sense of pressure and obligation in their work in the absence of any compensating interest or identification with their work. Under these circumstances, engaging in proactive behaviour is unlikely to be sustainable in the long-term, and it could result in more extreme forms of well-being impairments such as burnout, sickness absence and turnover. There is increasing pressure on individuals to engage in proactive behaviour in order to meet the expectations of the organization. It would be wise for organisational leaders and managers to take...

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Disciplinary Procedures & Employer Liability

For the purpose of today’s article, I will briefly focus on disciplinary procedures as this is an area in which employers most often come into difficulty and furthermore is the area where there is the greatest potential liability from an employer’s perspective. Also, this is a topic in which some serious considerations were raised for employers following the Judgement in Lyons v Longford Westmeath Education and Training Board [2017] IEHC 272. The background to the abovementioned case is that an external investigator was appointed by Mr Lyons employer to investigate a bullying complaint which had been made against him. The High Court noted that the process implemented during the investigation (separate meetings and the taking of statements without cross examination) is one which is routinely adopted by many companies but went on to state that “the exclusion of solicitors and counsel, and the refusal to allow cross examination … is a breach of the Constitutional right to fair procedures.” This represented a departure from previous case law in that it apparently extended the right to legal representation to investigation meetings and further it extended rights to cross examine witnesses. In essence, on the face of it the Decision in Lyons means that once an employer engaged in an investigation of a serious matter that could ultimately lead to a dismissal, then every employee involved would be entitled to bring a lawyer to each investigation meeting and, not only that, the lawyer must have the opportunity to cross-examine each witness who is saying something about his/her client. As alluded to above, the decision in the Lyons Case represented a departure...

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Collins McNicholas Wins Sligo Business of The Year 2017

On Friday last, December 1st, Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group were winners of The Sligo Business of The Year at the annual Sligo Chamber of Commerce dinner. This award was humbling & honouring as we know of so many fantastic businesses in Sligo at the moment. When I think back to 1998 and we were operating with an Apple Mac and the Golden Pages phone book in a single office, it is clear to see how far we have come. We had youth and naivety on our side, it can be a great combination. From that point on we have grown the business with great support from the business community in Sligo and the North West Region. Just over two years ago Michelle Murphy, Antoinette O’Flaherty and myself completed an MBO to take over the business. We now employ over 50 people across six offices, 15 of whom are based in Sligo including our recruitment, finance and marketing teams. We have ambitions to grow the business in the coming years. We have had a lot of help and support along the way. I would like to thank our customers, suppliers and partners locally who have supported our journey over the past 19 years in Sligo and 27 years as the group – thank you all for your support and loyalty. We have been blessed with some loyal customers whom we have had the pleasure of building real partnerships with. On the night, a number of other extremely talented Sligo business people were also acknowledged. EJ’s Menswear – an incredible example of innovation and brilliant marketing. They are a...

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