Wednesday 7 December 2016

Job for life is gone, it's time to switch - CPL's Anne Heraty

The head of Ireland's largest recruitment firm says staff are 'loyal to their skills', writes Paul O'Donoghue

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

Cpl Resources chief executive Anne Heraty: 'It's a feature of this generation. People coming out of college now don't expect to be with the same company for life'
Cpl Resources chief executive Anne Heraty: 'It's a feature of this generation. People coming out of college now don't expect to be with the same company for life'

Jobs for life are gone and employees are now loyal to colleagues and their own skills, according to the head of Ireland's biggest recruitment company.

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CPL Resources chief executive Anne Heraty also said that employees are increasingly only staying in the same job for between five and ten years before moving to a different position.

A survey carried out in the UK last year by the New College of the Humanities in London found that over 90pc of graduates have changed jobs at least once within three years of completing college. Closer to home, the Hays Ireland guide to salary and recruiting trends for 2015 showed that over half of Irish employees anticipated they would change jobs in the next year.

Heraty says that flexibility is becoming one of the most prominent features of the modern jobs market, with employees increasingly willing to retrain and switch careers.

"I think this will be a real trend, people starting off in one career, working in it for maybe five years, ten years and then at a certain point completely retrain," she said. "It's a feature of this generation. People coming out of college now don't expect to be with the same company for life."

She added: "Nowadays people are loyal to their skills, they're loyal sometimes to their colleagues and their managers much more so than they would be to their employer.

"New technology is driving such phenomenal change and demand for company's services and products can be quite volatile. When you look to the future it's very hard to say what skill set you'll need in five to ten years time."

Heraty was speaking at the company's annual general meeting earlier this week, after which it issued a brief trading statement saying that it has enjoyed a positive start to its financial year. The fees pocketed by the agency increased by 7pc to just under €400m, with Heraty saying there is now growth across the jobs market. "There is growth pretty much across the board, with the pharma and life sciences sector showing very strong demand," she said.

She also singled out the construction sector as a high-growth area. The construction industry, which collapsed after the financial crisis, has seen one of the largest increases in employment since the start of the economic recovery.

According to a jobs report released in May, two years ago, the numbers working in the building trade reached a low point, at just under 100,000, down from over a quarter of a million at the height of the construction frenzy. Since then, the sector has added over 25,000 jobs.

"Construction is back, there are a real demand for skills there," she said.

However, she added that the current unemployment rate is still too high. The unemployment rate was at 9.4pc according to the CSO. While much improved from its recession nadir of over 15pc, the fall in unemployment has slowed since the start of the year and was steady at 9.7pc in the three months prior to September.

"While unemployment has come down well, it is still too high," Heraty said. "It's not as simple as just saying move people who are unemployed into the tech sector, it doesn't work like that, it's a longer-term project. It's about looking for jobs that are suitable for the types of skills that are available."

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