What is your role and how long have you been with Collins McNicholas?

I am the General Manager of the Collins Mc Nicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group with responsibility for managing our office network around Ireland.  I joined Collins McNicholas in September 1998 and set up the North West Regional Office in Sligo and when I say I set it up I literally walked into an empty office with a mac, a copy of the golden pages and lots of youthful enthusiasm. What has changed since …… the mac is long gone , the golden pages has gone online and well as for my youthful enthusiasm!!  I hope I still have some of that left!!

How did you get into recruitment?

I went to Dublin City University and graduated with a degree in Business Studies in 1996. After graduating I was looking around at different career options and also looking at doing a masters in technology when I decided to apply to a number of recruitment firms in Dublin as a career in recruitment had been something that interested me after doing a project on the recruitment process in my final year. I sent out a number of CV’s and letters and got a number of interviews and eventually ended up joining a small specialist recruitment company called The Recruitment Business who specialised in IT and Financial services. It was around the time that the IFSC started to really grow and it was an exciting time to be involved with a growing sector. From talking to colleagues a lot of people end up in recruitment by accident but in my case it was by design.

What are the biggest changes you have seen in recruitment since starting your career in 1996?

When I started in recruitment some of the most important things were 1. Irish Times on a Friday and Irish Independent on a Thursday – both those job supplements were the key method of advertising jobs. 2. A good fax machine to get CV’s out to clients and get CV ‘s in 3. A good budget for Lineage adverts in the above mentioned papers. How big your lineage adverts were was a real status symbol as a junior consultant and being able to read your name in the small print was a thrill!! Recruitment has changed dramatically since 1996 and technology has been the key driver of most of that change. The internet was the first big change and then came job boards which as lot of people wrongly predicted would be the end of the recruitment industry. Most recently the emergence of social media has been a real game changer for recruitment firms. Despite all the advances in technology some things stay the same – an ability to source and screen candidates properly and thoroughly is a skill set that will never become obsolete.

What is the last/current book you are reading?

I am currently reading Steve Jobs autobiography and it is a fascinating read. He was an amazing man who built an incredible company and did so by breaking all the rules. His approach to managing people was incredible he could be so difficult to work with but yet he managed to build a team of gifted engineers who completely bought into his vision.

What are your hobbies?

I played a lot of Gaelic Football over the years  with my club St. Marys in Sligo. As my playing days came to an end I served as  club chairman for four years 2006- 2010 and while very time consuming it was a fantastic experience and was really great to give something back to my club and my community. I have come full circle in that I now help coach the under six team and again there is great enjoyment in seeing my own son start to get involved with St. Mary’s. In recent years I have taken up Triathlon an event which seems to be very popular with males in a mid life crisis but I still have plans to make one more comeback and play junior football next year.

What is going to be the next big thing in recruitment?

In 2012, Social Media is all the rage and I do think it has been a game changer for the industry. Recruitment is an industry that easily lends itself to technology and I think the industry in general has been quick to adopt the latest technology. For example in the past two years we have invested in a cloud based CRM system and have redesigned our website to incorporate video content to assist job seekers. For 2013 I predict that mobile app and job seekers accessing all the data they want via mobile will start to grow exponentially. I also feel that Twitter is going to become more and more popular and recruiters are going to have to start figuring out how to use Twitter. Is it a branding tool or a sourcing tool?  We are still figuring it out.


Niall Murray is now Managing Director of Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group and you can contact him at niall.murray@collinsmcnicholas.ie