In a recent webinar hosted by Anca Antonica and Paula Coffey from E-Frontiers Recruitment Agency, technology enthusiasts and industry professionals had the privilege of gaining valuable insights from Paul Lynch, the Co-founder of Showtime Analytics. This captivating webinar took participants on a journey through Paul’s extensive career in technology and his experience in revolutionising the cinema industry through data analytics. Let’s dive into the highlights of this engaging discussion.
Exploring Paul’s career
Paul’s journey in technology began at a young age, influenced by his father’s role as a software developer. Growing up with computers in his household, Paul’s fascination with technology drove him to attend coding schools and develop his skills in building flash games and applications. His early exposure to technology laid a solid foundation for his future endeavours.
Starting his career at Vision, a consultancy firm, Paul gained a wealth of experience working across various industries. He highlighted the advantages of working in consultancy, where he had the opportunity to reinvent himself with each new client. This exposure allowed him to learn from talented individuals and strengthen his technical and business acumen.
Paul’s career path took an exciting turn when he joined Acceleration, a product-focused company within Vision. This experience made him realise his passion for working on innovative products, which led him and his co-founder, Richie, to establish Skupe Net—a global classified ads venture. While the ideas were promising, Paul acknowledged that the company faced challenges in implementation and eventually pivoted to focus on the lucrative motor industry.
Embracing the Value of Failure
During his career journey, Paul had a profound realisation about the importance of embracing failure and learning from it. A job interview that emphasised the need for a “fail fast” approach shaped his perspective. This valuable advice inspired him to constantly assess the value his initiatives provided to customers and iterate accordingly.
The Birth of Showtime Analytics
Paul’s passion for data analytics and an opportunity within his family’s cinema business sparked the birth of Showtime Analytics. Recognizing the data-rich nature of the cinema industry, Paul and his team aimed to provide actionable insights by consolidating and leveraging data assets. Their efforts quickly positioned Showtime Analytics as a leading player in the cinema data realm, working closely with cinemas and now expanding to collaborate with studios.
Paul Lynch’s webinar presentation illuminated the transformative power of data analytics in the cinema industry. His personal journey showcased the importance of early exposure to technology, embracing failure as a catalyst for growth, and the incredible potential of data-driven decision-making. As the co-founder of Showtime Analytics, Paul continues to drive innovation and empower the cinema industry with actionable insights derived from data.
Relationships between Showtime Analytics and E-Frontiers
Paul mentioned the relationship between Showtime Analytics and E-Frontiers recruitment has been mutually beneficial. Showtime Analytics values the screening and recruitment services provided by E-Frontiers, ensuring a more efficient hiring process. Additionally, E-Frontiers’ insights into various markets and their expanding technical talent pool have proven invaluable to Showtime Analytics. This partnership has facilitated the expansion of Showtime Analytics’ QA team in Spain and the exploration of new markets and countries. The collaboration between these two companies has fostered growth and success for both parties. Showtime Analytics expresses gratitude for E-Frontiers’ contributions and acknowledges their positive impact on their operations.
The webinar left participants inspired and eager to explore the limitless possibilities of data analytics in their respective fields. It served as a reminder that by harnessing the power of data, industries can unlock new opportunities, make informed decisions, and stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Late 2022 and early 2023 were certainly a rollercoaster for many – the ever-evolving workplace, a further shift to remote work, inflation, cost of living crisis, layoffs, and talks of recession causing concerns to both business owners and candidates alike.
We are now well settled into 2023 with the end of the first quarter already looming large.
A good opportunity perhaps for us to pause for reflection on what has been an uncertain start to the year for some, and a look ahead with our thoughts on what 2023 could hold for recruitment.
Given the well-publicised recent Big Tech layoffs…each passing week still seems to have a new announcement of global downsizing….it has caused many companies of all sizes to reassess if they need to hire more staff, resulting in a wait-and-see attitude by employers and some reluctance by candidates to move roles.
Despite the above, there are strong fundamentals in the economy resulting in reasons to be optimistic.
- Despite the Big Tech layoffs, most skill sets are still in short supply, and demand for IT, Sales, and Finance candidates among others is strong in sectors like Pharma, Financial Services & Consultancy.
- We are also seeing examples of clients developing a strong candidate pipeline directly, but finding at the offer stage that candidates have multiple offers to consider. Further evidence that there is strong recruitment demand and a candidates market.
- Indigenous Irish tech companies are showing promising signs of growth for 2023. The supply of tech candidates especially is up, and salary expectations are a little more realistic on the permanent side of recruitment right now. The result is that the market is now more balanced to the benefit of these companies. The last 2 years have seen the Big Tech companies with big budgets over-hire and overpay, but with the recent spate of redundancies, candidates are more open to considering local enterprises where they will be closer to the decision-makers.
- Demand has increased on the contracting side of the business – projects need to get finished and this is the best way forward when plans for new permanent roles may be on pause. Contractor renewals are extremely high with over 95% being renewed and rates being maintained.
- Hybrid work is here to stay. The great return to office debate will rage on in 2023, but the hybrid approach will reign supreme. Companies will need to adapt to their employees’ needs, whether that’s creating a single schedule for the whole company or letting individual teams decide when they attend the office. Offering hybrid or remote working is key to attracting and retaining staff – candidates are willing to forgo or trade off some salary in return for that all-important work-life balance. We are finding that employers who support remote, hybrid, or flexible working are actively engaging candidates – those that don’t are dramatically reducing their candidate pipeline and finding their roles increasingly difficult to fill.
- Big is not always beautiful – candidates are more and more conscious of the experience of redundancies over the last six months, whether directly affected or simply through the consistent headlines. Smaller companies can offer employees more rewarding work by being responsible for a wide variety of tasks rather than just a cog in the process and hence resulting in a more fulfilling work experience for employees. Companies that focus on well-being and extra benefits will do better in filling roles.
- Historically, when there are redundancies and uncertainty, there has been an increase in the start-up sector – layoffs usually have the knock-on effect of innovation flourishing. Many Tech professionals tend to have their own side projects on the go while also working. Some who have been laid off may decide now is the time to focus fully on and progress their opportunity rather than returning as an employee. While various funding sources may have reduced over the last six months, there is still a range of funding options to support these fledging enterprises.
In conclusion, the Big Tech layoffs have led to a sense of nervousness in the recruitment market during Q1/2023. However, given the strong fundamentals in the Irish Economy, there is an expectation that this feeling will recede in the very near future and this is evident from conversations with clients who are expecting to increase recruitment from Q2/2023.
The fact that more women are being appointed to leadership positions in companies and increasing the female workforce representation is not an accidental trend. It’s part of a Global Acceleration plan adopted at the UN-sponsored Generation Equality Forum hosted in Paris, in 2021.
According to a study in 2021, 47% of the labour force in big tech companies in the USA were women. They are making slow but steady progress in creating a gender-balanced environment in the workplace.
Recruitment specialists, who are an essential part of the hiring process for many companies, play a crucial role in supporting women in tech. At E-Frontiers, a recruitment agency sourcing candidates across Ireland, UK, USA and Spain, we strive to support the advancement of women in key positions, particularly leadership appointments. This support includes initiatives such as applying gender-neutral language in candidate information, emphasising capabilities and not just experience, and allowing time for passive candidates to consider.
Here are some of the strategies that we have developed and applied to support the advancement of women in tech.
- Appointing women to important positions
The E-Frontiers team is always looking for potential candidates for jobs, this very much includes the passive candidate. We encourage women applicants to grow out of their limits by challenging themselves at higher or new positions. They are booked for a call or meeting to discuss their background and skills and will receive professional advice from our recruitment specialists to enhance their career path. Our consultants truly become their allies in finding and connecting women in tech to exciting opportunities.
- Supporting women applicants through the hiring process
Our recruitment specialists will support the candidates by working with them on acknowledging their achievements, polishing their portfolio and practicing skills that will serve to represent themselves in the best way possible. Besides helping our candidates prepare the responses and necessary skills for interviews, our consultants also help women applicants emphasise and own their successes in tech and build confidence in order to highlight their strengths.
The visibility of women in the labour force in general or in a company is important not only for fairness, but also because it contributes to good decision-making, innovation, better organisational results, and more effectively run institutions.
- Being aware of the bias during the hiring process
When preparing panel members beforehand, and while debriefing on candidates’ performance afterward, we encourage interview panels to adopt a behavioural approach of a focus on capability, and not just experience. Our recruitment specialists focus on the link between the candidates’ strengths and the requirements of the role. This moves the focus to the candidates’capacity. We can also expand on a candidate’s strengths if they have been reluctant to highlight them in an interview.
Finally, we can explain some of the unintended biases that occur in the selection and thus help to focus the discussion on the key attributes of the job and away from the historical characteristics of past incumbents.
We believe that recruitment agencies like E-Frontiers have an important part to play to create a more level playing field for women in tech by providing critical support and guidance throughout the hiring process.
Are you a woman looking for a job in tech?
Do you know a woman that needs to be supported to develop her career in tech?
Are you looking for a partner to represent your brand in the market and ensure a diversity of candidate options?
Don’t hesitate to contact our recruitment specialists for their support.
All the daily conversations I have with clients or with candidates always reflect and evaluate the Contracting market – How are you seeing it? Where is the opportunity? What skills are in demand? How are the rates?
Given my role and the industry we are in, we are always keen to hear our clients take on things as our demand will be driven by them. With all the talk of layoffs and the talk of an impending recession, it did feel like things would inevitably slow, which they did – on the permanent side of the recruitment world. Subsequently, we saw an increase in the flow of new contracting requirements coming in. This occurred from November through to the end of January and could be attributed to several factors such as year-end, budgets, and all the other usual reasons.
The expectation is that in times of uncertainty permanent headcount requirements can always be paused. This is true. Being the eternal optimist and working on the contracting side of the business, I am of the opinion uncertainty can be good for contracting. This has certainly been the case since November. A recent conversation with a senior figure in a large consulting firm has reinforced this viewpoint. Albeit some clients may choose the consultancy route over the contractor route.
The demand is remaining consistent across the PM/BA skillsets as well as the Software Engineering. Noticeable increases have been seen in the DevOps skillset in the last 6 months also – although this may not surprise many.
Additionally, a publication from Contractor UK echoes our own experience in the market for January, leaning toward cautious optimism.
What we have seen in 2023 so far
- Contractor renewals are extremely high with above 95% being renewed.
- The number of requirements coming to us is maintaining.
- Lead time has lengthened from interviews to offer – could be due to hesitancy in the market in general.
- Candidates converting from permanent roles to go contracting have reduced (albeit not significantly).
- Demand for 12-month contracts is at an all-time high.
- Supply of 12-month contracts is not at an all-time high.
- Rates are maintaining.
Now, why am I writing this article? I guess it is to try to convey a sense of optimism in the market that is currently seeing lots of layoffs from Big Tech. While this is no doubt a very difficult transition period for those affected, I am speaking purely with my contract recruitment hat on. Outside of the fact that while there may be a slight softening at some stage, we are seeing signs of the contractor market maintaining for the foreseeable.
I am having more conversations with clients who are looking to explore or even just gather more information on the contractor market and process given some of the challenges around permanent headcount. My role is to advise and present the contractor route as a solution to our clients who still require projects to be delivered.
If this is you then do reach out, even if it is just to gain a better understanding of the area. We can provide a turnaround within 24 hours depending on the complexity of the request. Enough of the sell for now.
Demand is still there if you are thinking of becoming a contractor and leaving the security of a permanent job. Just do your research and speak to the agencies (or rather our recruitment company 😊) to get a feel for what’s on offer.
Head of Contracting
Along with the most famous tech hubs in the world such as San Francisco, Tel Aviv, and Beijing, Ireland is also well known as a technically advanced region dubbed the Silicon Valley of Europe. Thanks to the preferential taxation system, the developed infrastructure, and Brexit’s impacts, Ireland has attracted many European headquarters and talent worldwide. Here are some reasons why you should consider coming to work in Ireland in IT.
1. Working in the IT hub of the EU
There are many leading tech companies placing their headquarters in Ireland like Google, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Microsoft and etc. To attract talent from all over the world, they offer competitive salaries and compensation for their employees. Furthermore, Ireland boasts some of the most exciting and dynamic tech start-ups within the European Union. Dublin is a great place to develop your career and gain exposure to great opportunities.
2. No work permit for the EU
Ireland is a member of the European Union allowing easy access to other member states. Citizens of EEA, Switzerland, and the UK can live and work in Ireland freely without a work permit. If you are not in that category, don’t worry. Ireland always welcomes skilled workers, especially employees working in the IT and financial realms. However, you must apply for a visa and an employment permit to live and work in Ireland.
3. Working in the fast-growing economy in the EU
Ireland has a thriving economy and is the fastest growing in the European Union for the past few consecutive years. Although 2020 was very challenging for the global economy and the domestic economy struggle, the nation’s GDP of Ireland grew by 3.4%.
According to the EY Economic Eye, the economy is predicted to grow by 5% in 2021 and 4.6% in 2022. Moreover, the labour market is expected to recover its peak by late 2023. Ireland is still an ideal country to offer attractive salaries and benefits.
4. Ireland, the only English-speaking country in the EU
The official language of Ireland is Gaelic. But you don’t have to worry because most of the population still use English more often in daily life, study, and work in Ireland. This is the only country in the EU that uses English as its first language.
5. Multinational culture
Over time, Dublin became an international city attracting senior talent from around the world to work in IT and financial areas. The working environment of companies is far more diverse. The foreign communities live in harmony with local people to develop and contribute to Ireland’s economy.
In addition, Dublin is certainly an LGBT-friendly city. Everyone is welcome to come and work in Ireland. Every June, the annual Dublin Pride Parade takes over the city centre to celebrate diversity too.
6. The world-leading business culture
The Irish Financial Services Centre was established in 1987 which aimed to attract investment sources and build up a centre of internationally traded financial services such as banking, funds, and insurance.
The governments offer business-friendly policies to attract international firms and talent. This helped to develop Dublin’s Docklands to become a new home for many technology and financial companies. Today, the Docklands is home to over 500 companies operating in this area, including more than half the world’s top 50 banks and top 20 insurance companies as well as headquarters to many big technology firms.
7. Friendly people
“There are no strangers here, only friends.”, WB Yeats.
Indeed, you will feel comfortable and charmed by the friendliness of the Irish people. Most people are more than happy to help you overcome any obstacles and support you while you adapt to your new life in Ireland. Interestingly, Galway and Dublin are Europe’s friendliest cities in the Condé Nast Traveller Reader Travel Awards 2020.
What you’ll need to work in IT in Ireland?
A good level of IT expertise.
Good knowledge of working English.
Check our website for available roles or send us your CV.
At e-Frontiers, without really realising it, we have been allowing remote working (working from home) for a number of our staff for a long time.
Some have been almost 100% remote working since day 1!
However, in recent weeks out of necessity, we have gone to a fully remote operating model. I guess ideally this is not the way a company would want to introduce a new, radical change to the way we work but these days decisions are being made for us and you have to sink or swim.
There seems to be a certain pressure for everyone to proclaim that working from home is the best thing ever; that everyone is more productive and that it will be the new normal even after the current crisis has passed.
I feel both employers and employees should hold fire on making any big decisions on the best way forward in the long term. This situation has been forced on everyone and we have had to adapt. Being adaptable is a winner for sure, but that doesn’t mean that working from home is the best long-term solution for everyone. We need to treat it a bit like a crazy experiment.
When the dust has settled, and people have had a chance to pause and reflect, rational decisions around working from home should be made. Maybe it’s a no-brainer for some employers and employees, while others feel that it doesn’t suit them. Take the time and try to make the right decision, not the easy decision for everyone’s sake.
So far, the change has gone pretty well at e-Frontiers. I am proud of how the team have responded and adapted in this difficult, stressful time. Thank you guys for keeping positive and keep pushing on. Being recruiters, we are used to dealing with a lot of uncertainty, and negativity on a daily basis so it feels like things have just been ratchetted up a notch or 2.
I will leave you with a Post our colleague Roxana Sandu published a few months back. Roxana knows a thing or 2 about setbacks and having to adapt. She has worked remotely for e-Frontiers in Bucharest for a number of years so her thoughts and wisdom come from experience:
Estamos asistiendo a una situación sin precedentes. Debido a la falta de demanda, de la noche a la mañana hemos visto como determinados sectores están colapsando y con ello la imposibilidad de retener el talento en esas empresas. Muchas organizaciones tienen miedo de afrontar nuevas contrataciones y, mientras esperan la llegada de tiempos mejores, sus competidores se adelantan y se atreven a invertir en ese talento ahora sin proyecto.
Un ejemplo de ello nos lo ofrece HP a finales de los años 40. Tras la segunda guerra mundial, su negocio decayó al mismo tiempo que numerosos ingenieros que trabajaban en la industria militar se quedaron en la calle. No se lo pensaron dos veces y aprovecharon la situación para la incorporar ese talento a sus filas, lo que les ayudó a crecer en los años venideros y convertirse en una de las mayores empresas del mundo. Esto fue posible debido principalmente a dos factores: porque podían y porque se atrevieron. Actualmente, por desgracia no todas las empresas pueden. Pero las que si tienen esa posibilidad de invertir en talento, depende exclusivamente de ellas decidir si salir de la crisis por delante de sus competidores o no.
Por otro lado, por parte de los candidatos que cuentan con trabajo estable existe cierta incertidumbre a la hora de buscar una nueva oportunidad. Si hace unos meses eran más proclives a aceptar una oferta interesante, ahora muchos prefieren mantenerse en su puesto aunque no cumpla con sus expectativas. Es especialmente importante en estos casos mostrar un proyecto consolidado, con un desarrollo profesional claro y eliminando todos los obstáculos innecesarios del proceso de selección.
Y vosotros que pensáis, ¿es un un buen momento para invertir en el futuro con nuevo talento y para redefinir los procesos de selección?
In the current market, sometimes feedback can be overlooked. Lack of candidate feedback is detrimental to the entire recruitment process for all parties. See below a couple of reasons why feedback is so important for all parties involved in the process:
When you provide detailed and informed feedback to a candidate, you help them learn what they are doing well, while also identifying areas in which they can improve. Honest, constructive, feedback gives solid advice on areas that candidates can work on. Therefore, improving their interview skills for next time. For the company, if they wish to hire the candidate in the future the candidate will be very keen to talk again if they received positive constructive feedback the first time around.
Giving feedback to a candidate is very constructive not only for a candidate to take away but also very important for the Employer Brand. Candidates who receive feedback are more likely to walk away with a positive reflection of the company even though they may not have been successful. Candidates communicate their experiences via word of mouth or via various social media platforms available and a negative view of a company can cause reputational damage in the Market. This can take a long time to repair!
Given how competitive the market is currently a brand reputation is something that a company cannot take for granted. In one sense by providing candidate feedback a client can turn a negative situation to a positive one.
Providing thorough, detailed candidate feedback as a hiring manager is critically important when working with a recruiter. Through candidate feedback, the Recruiter can understand where their candidate may have fallen short and work with the candidate to improve on certain areas whether it be through their interview technique or upskilling in certain areas.
Something that is often overlooked, is the recruiter getting feedback from the company on what it was that influenced them towards the successful candidate. It also goes without saying that the more the recruiter knows, the better their future candidates will be.
Besides being known as one of the major tech hubs in Europe, Ireland continues to be an attractive destination for many global financial institutions. The Banking and Finance recruitment market in Ireland has become increasingly active with an increased pipeline of International Banks and Asset managers continuing to look to Ireland as a preferred location.
We spent 5 minutes with Conor Byrne, Director of Banking and Finance Recruitment at e-Frontiers to understand the overall picture of this market.
The Recruitment market within Financial Services is extremely competitive in Ireland currently. What are the drivers?
We are seeing growing confidence in the Irish economy and many business transformation and relocation opportunities connected to Brexit. Given the huge growth in the fintech sector in recent times, this has presented more competition for top talent between Banks, Asset managers and the rising number of Management companies (ManCo’s) looking to establish here.
What Trends are you currently seeing across the market?
Continued demand for Risk, Compliance and regulatory professionals across all areas in the sector which has been mainly driven by central bank requirements for companies to have greater depth within their governance framework and an ever-changing regulatory landscape. We continue to see new entrants to the Irish Market with a strong pipeline in capital markets and asset management sectors.
High skilled banking and finance expatriates continue to return home as we are now seeing a greater variety of Front, Middle and back office roles in the Irish Market.
We are seeing a greater than ever focus on work-life balance for candidates when contemplating a move.
What steps are your clients taking to attract key candidates?
Clients are continually looking at ways to stand out through promoting good work-life balance, career progression opportunities and offering return to work programmes.
We also see Clients seeking to improve the candidate experience within the recruitment process. In the current market Speed is key – same number of steps with a shorter recruitment time.
What attracted you to e-Frontiers?
What differentiates e-Frontiers from other recruitment firms is that each division is led by someone with genuine domain experience in the areas they are recruiting for. Coming from the Industry side of things and having been a hiring manager, we are looking to add real value to both Clients and Candidates throughout the entire recruitment process. Thankfully in a short time, this has been well received by the recruitment market within Banking and Finance.