Marketing People: Safann MacCarthy
European Marketing Director, Saon
One of Ireland’s top online recruitment websites, IrishJobs.ie works with over 1,000 businesses, advertises more than 10,000 job vacancies for companies of all sizes and is visited by around 1.4m job-seekers every month.
Part of the Saon Group, which is ultimately owned by the German publisher Axel Springer, it employs 110 in Ireland. Heading up the marketing function is Safann MacCarthy, an experienced marketer who has worked with companies like Vodafone, Tesco, Spar and BWG.
What specific marketing challenge do you face on a daily basis?
Our biggest challenge is anticipating and meeting the expectations of job seekers. We are digital business so we are challenged to stay ahead of user behaviour. Job seekers today demand infinite choice with a tailored and personalised experience. They expect us to take the work out of finding a job and present them with roles which match their skills and ambitions and are relevant and right for them.
How do you manage these challenges?
We have a large team of developers and designers in Ireland who work on new products and improvements. In addition, we have access to tech teams around the world who are constantly working on innovations for the recruitment sector. It means we can hand-pick the very best in new technology and tailor it to the unique needs of the Irish market.
How competitive is the online recruitment industry?
The online recruitment industry is evolving quickly, driven by technological developments and the changing expectations of both job seekers and recruiters. There is a perception that it’s an easy industry but appearances can be deceptive. We’ve seen a lot of competitors come and go in the Irish market. To be successful in this sector you must always put the job seeker first. You also need to be committed to consistent technological development and have the resources to deliver these for job seekers.
What might the online recruitment market look like in 10 years’ time?
Increasingly, we are seeing a blurring of the line between people’s professional and personal profiles. This coupled with the evolution of powerful data mining tools is significant when you align with it with job seeker demand for increased personalisation.
The successful online recruitment companies in 10 years’ time will be those who build on a heritage of respect for the job seeker, great customer relationships, extensive job content, in-depth local market knowledge, and the agility and resources to mobilise and develop the best technology to anticipate changing job seeker behaviour.
Innovation is part of our DNA. I always challenge myself and the team at IrishJobs.ie to be disruptors, to think of ways to change what we do, and make it even better.
We actively encourage innovation in the company, including running an annual Innovation competition with a top prize of €50,000.
Sunday Indo Business