Wednesday 24 January 2018

Central Bank spends €1.1m on recruiting outside staff

Philip Lane, governor of the Central Bank
Philip Lane, governor of the Central Bank
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The Central Bank spent €1.1m on external recruitment last year, as it took on 330 new staff.

The bulk of the money, around €660,000, was used to pay recruitment agencies which were tasked with head-hunting candidates for specific, specialist roles.

Advertising, executive search services and candidate and relocation expenses formed the balance of the fees.

The Central Bank has long argued that it has had problems attracting and retaining top talent. Late last year deputy Central Bank governor Cyril Roux bemoaned public sector pay restrictions, which he said hampered the organisation's ability to keep its supervisory function beefed up.

A spokeswoman for the Central Bank said 330 external hires accepted roles within the organisation last year, facilitating a net increase in staff of more than 150.

"The Central Bank of Ireland is an equal opportunities employer, committed to filing all vacancies in an efficient and flexible manner that combines internal transfers, promotions, secondments and external hiring," the spokeswoman said.

"The vast majority of roles are advertised both internally and externally and roles are advertised through a range of channels , ie internally, Central Bank of Ireland's website, job sites, through relevant professional bodies, national media, social media platforms, such as LinkedIn.

"In addition, the Central Bank engages with recruitment agencies and on occasion executive search bodies to source suitable candidates."

Of the €1.1m, €660,000, or 60pc, was used for agency placement fees. This refers to an agency sourcing and placing candidates for specialist roles.

Approximately €165,000 was spent on assessment tools, and €132,000 was forked out on so-called "executive search support services".

About €77,000 was spent on advertising and around €66,000 was paid to candidates for expenses. including relocation expenses, such as economy class flights.

In November, Mr Roux argued that the bank is losing its supervisory staff to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. He said the staff in Dublin were attracted to the pan-European supervisory unit in part because of the "much better" terms and conditions.

Add public sector pay restrictions in Ireland into the mix and the challenge of replacing those who have left, and it leaves the Central Bank under pressure, Mr Roux said.

However, it also emerged that the Central Bank was allowing its staff to transfer to the ECB, despite claiming it had too few employees.

At the launch of the bank's annual report in April, governor Philip Lane said that the ongoing growth in the scale of the international financial services sector, the expansion of the bank's regulatory mandates, and the shift to a more intrusive supervisory approach had required the bank to undertake a "phased expansion".

He said he expected a net increase of 150 to a total staff number of 1,700 by the end of this year.

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