Professional Branding LinkedIn & NRF Annual Event

Annual LinkedIn & NRF Event

The annual LinkedIn & NRF event will take place on Wednesday 16th October, in the LinkedIn EMEA Head Office, Dublin.

This year’s theme, “Professional Branding”, will focus on personal branding and company branding and we’re delighted to have an excellent line up of speakers including Sonya Lennon, Founder – Lennon Courtney.

Further information about the event can be found below.

To book your place contact Anna at or on 01-8161754.

Key Event Details

Venue:   LinkedIn EMEA Head Office, Gardner House, 2 Wilton Pl, Dublin 2
Date:     Wednesday 16th October 2019
Time:     8am-10am
Cost:      FREE


  • 7.30am: Registration & Refreshments
  • 8.00am: Welcome – Frank Farrelly, President, NRF
  • 8.10am: Welcome & Intros – Mark Valentine, Enterprise Account Director, LinkedIn
  • 8.20am: Company Branding – LinkedIn
  • 8.45am: Personal Branding – Sonya Lennon, Founder, Lennon Courtney
  • 9.30am: Q&A
  • 10.00am: Event closes                                                  

To Book:                      

Email Anna at or call 01-8161754.

NRF West Conference 2019

“Leading in the New World of Work”

Sponsored by Fenero

The NRF West Conference will take place on Thursday 3rd October in Limerick. This year’s theme is “Leading in the New World of Work”, and we have an excellent line up of speakers. More info below…

To book your place contact Anna at or on 01-8161754.

Key Event Details

Venue:                         Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick.
Date:                            Thursday 3rd October 2019
Time:                            5pm to 7.30pm

  • 5.00pm             Registration & Networking
  • 5.15 pm            Introduction & MC – Michelle Kilcar, Director, HERO Recruitment
  • 5.20pm             Recruitment Trends & Data – Bryan Hyland – Regional Chair NRF &  Commercial Director, Morgan McKinley       
  • 5.40pm             Professional Contracting – Where Do We Go Next? – David O Reilly – Managing Director, Fenero
  • 5.55pm             Developments in the Economy & The Housing Market – David Duffy, Director, Property Industry Ireland (PII)                                           
  • 6.25pm             Performance Leadership – Caroline Currid, Performance Psychologist
  • 7.15pm             Panel Discussion Q & A                                                 
  • 7.30pm             Event closes                                    

To Book:                      

Email Anna at or call 01-8161754.

NRF Programme in Recruitment Practice Limerick

About the Course

The NRF is now taking bookings for the NRF Programme in Recruitment Practice for Limerick classes in October 2019.

The dates for the course are Tuesday 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd October, with assessment being held on 23rd October.

This is the only programme of its kind in Ireland. Designed specifically for recruitment professionals it is accredited through The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and City & Guilds.

Developed and delivered by the recruitment profession’s leading experts this course is designed to equip both experienced and potential recruitment professionals with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to succeed is this fast moving and ever evolving profession.

The workshops are trainer led over three full days, with a two and a half hour assessment on day 4. Certification is granted on a 70% pass rate.

What will be covered on the course?

The course comprises of 6 core modules:

  • Candidate Management
  • Client Management
  • The Recruitment Process
  • Code of Conduct
  • Legislation
  • Sales & Selling

Further information about module content and trainers can be found below.  

To Book:

For further information, and to book your place, contact Lorraine Mooney, in the NRF, on 01-8161712 or at

NRF Programme in Recruitment Practice – Limerick – Module Content & Speakers

DAY 1: 2nd October 2019

Recruitment Process, Candidate Management & Client Management – Grainne Martin

Recruitment Process and Candidate/Client management is a full-day workshop and is trained by Grainne Martin. There is nothing Grainne does not know in these areas and is one of the expert trainers in the recruitment industry. Grainne will also present on the NRF code of Conduct.

DAY 2: 9th October 2019

Employment Legislation – Eoin O Connor

A full day workshop on employment legislation. Trainer for this workshop is Barrister Eoin O Connor.

DAY 3: 16th October 2019

Sales & Selling – Patrick Meehan

This is a very comprehensive full day workshop and delivered by Patrick Meehan who is the owner of Invictus Management and also the author of this module.

DAY4: 23rd October 2019

Assessment (2.5 hours)

The assessment is two and a half hours from which the student must gain 70% or more to pass. The assessment is based on a maximum of 10 questions per Module other than code of conduct which will have no more than 3 questions. The Legislation module (which attributes to 40% of the marks) is based on a case study that will be presented on the day and additional questions will be asked on same.

About the NRF

The National Recruitment Federation is a voluntary organisation set up to support recruitment professionals throughout Ireland, and to establish and maintain standards and a code of practice for the recruitment profession in Ireland.  

NRF Fellowship Event 2019

The 2019 National Recruitment Federation Fellowship Event will take place on Thursday 12th September in The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.

The event, sponsored by Bullhorn, is an annual gathering of all those who have received NRF Fellowship.

On the night NRF President, Frank Farrelly, will also announce the recipient of the Honorary NRF Fellowship Award. The award is given in recognition of the individual’s outstanding contribution to the recruitment profession.

Keep an eye on our website for details of the winner, and photos from the event.

For more information about NRF Fellowship please see below.

What is National Recruitment Federation (NRF) Fellowship?

Fellowship of the NRF is awarded to a member of an agency in a senior role and who has been in the recruitment profession for 10 years, or more, who is currently employed by an NRF member.

NRF Fellowship gives the individual clear recognition of their service, dedication and commitment to the recruitment profession throughout their career. It also highlights, to peers and employers, their recruitment knowledge, skills and expertise.

How Can I Become an NRF Fellow?

Individual members of the NRF can apply for fellowship. They must be in a senior role and in recruitment for at least 10 years. All applications are reviewed annually by the NRF Fellowship Committee, and once the specific set of criteria are met, and references have been checked and verified, a certificate, with the NRF Fellowship seal, is awarded to the individual.

For a full list of NRF Fellows click here.

What is the Honorary NRF Fellowship Award?

Each year the NRF Fellowship Committee awards an Honorary NRF Fellowship to an individual in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the recruitment profession.

To date a total of 8 Honorary NRF Fellowship Awards have been awarded. Recipients include:

  • 2010: Frank Collins – CEO NoBox Pilot Solutions
  • 2011: Mary B Cremin
  • 2013: Ken Belshaw,  Grafton Recruitment
  • 2014: Molly Hynes, Hynes Agency
  • 2015: Don Keating, Atlas Recruitment & Co-founder of the NRF
  • 2016: Colin Donnery, FRS Recruitment & David Seery Kearney, Noel Group
  • 2017: Peter Cosgrove, CPL
  • 2018: Barbara McGrath- Brightwater

NRF Annual Awards 2019

Get the ball gowns ready and the tuxedos dusted off, the NRF Annual Awards 2019 are just a few months away. With the application closing date looming (13th September) here are some tips that may help you to tell your story, showcase your achievements, and gain recognition for all your hard work for the year gone by.

We’ve listened to past judges, to get you the best tips and guidance on how to write a winning entry.

So before you begin to write take a minute to consider the following!


The introduction should set the stage for the rest of your entry. It should hook the judges in and make them enthusiastic to read the rest of the application. This is an opportunity to make you memorable and to stand out from the rest.

Answering the Questions

Carefully read each question and see which ones have the most marks allocated. Answer all the questions and ensure you are answering what has been asked to achieve the highest score.  Remember this is a numbers game, the highest score wins.

To help you stay on track put down the main points you want to address for each question. You can then elaborate and expand on each point. Most of the judges will not know your agency, or how great it is, therefore, you have to ensure that your answers explain why you deserve to win.

A winning entry will be engaging and memorable. Showcase your achievements and back them up with testimonials. Remember testimonials validate what you are saying and will give you added credibility.

Stick to the word count and try not to lose the reader in a sea of text. Where possible use logo’s, photos etc., to make the submission more memorable, but be cautious…embedded text will add to the word count.

Always write in plain English and avoid jargon, especially that which is used internally, that way nothing gets lost in translation. If the judges don’t understand what it means they cannot mark you accordingly.

DO NOT INCLUDE WEBSITE LINKS – Other than the online award all judges mark submissions in hard copy. They do not access links no matter how great you tell them the information on it is.

If you are submitting an application for an individual you should inform them and get their input, this helps to personalise it for the individual.


Your closing statement should capture the passion you feel for your company and why you should win. Remember the judges are reading hundreds of entries so you need to convince them as to why it should be you.

Finally, before you press submit, print your application form to make sure it is laid out as you want it and most importantly proof read it!




The TALiNT Ireland 2019 event took place back on 11th June, at The Gibson Hotel. The theme of the event was “Talent Intelligence for HR, Recruitment and Talent Leaders”. In particular if focused on the recruitment and talent acquisition landscape, which is changing in a dizzying number of ways, and how the recruitment community must now work harder than ever to demonstrate relevance and find (and keep) talent.

Frank Farrelly, President of the National Recruitment Federation, spoke at the event and covered “What strategies work to overcome talent and people shortages in Ireland?”.

Following the event we asked Frank to write a short piece for NRF members about his talk…

Where is Irish recruitment today?

With the economy trending towards full employment it is a good time to be in recruitment, but for recruitment agencies retaining talent has become very difficult. It is estimated that there are 7.5k active agency recruiters in Ireland. This is not a big gene-pool of talent, when you consider all the big brands in Ireland that like to hire recruiters, and the continued growth of the internal recruitment model.

Strategies to attract & retain talent

To ensure your recruitment team is a success it’s a good idea to break your strategy into attracting, retaining & maximising productivity.

It’s a bit odd that recruiters struggle to recruit. I would advise that before you start, benchmark to ensure you can afford to buy. If you can’t afford to hire experienced recruiters, then spend your resources and time elsewhere. Secondly do not hire talented recruiters that don’t fit your team. Too many are seduced by the short-term gain and don’t see the potential long-term damage that the wrong person can do. In my day job in Sigmar I always hire for coach-ability because I can teach the skills. 

Attracting Talent? Be Creative

Today everyone uses strategies to attract talent such as employer branding, referrals and boomerang employees. It is a noisy marketplace, so you need to be creative. This can be a simple as offering flexible work. 

The data shows circa 30% of jobs have some sort of flexibility, from short hours, short weeks, job share, flexitime to remote working. It’s would appear clear from this that employers are embracing flexible working. But we really must ask, have they? Many employers have adopted a flexible working approach as a retention strategy ,but the evidence highlights it’s a less common strategy when attracting staff.  For example, typically less than 10% of job ads offer flexibility. 

There’s opportunity here to embrace flexible work and expand the gene-pool of available talent.  One word of warning is not to underestimate the impact on the rest of the team. If they end up with extra work, you need to recognise that properly.

Attracting Talent? Consider Outsourcing

Recruitment has changed over the last 10 years. There are a plethora of new sourcing tools and different models of recruitment have emerged. It’s now much harder to find a 360 recruiter. Many companies are functionalising the role, which makes it easier to recruit. 

Outsourcing can help you do this. As someone who has tried, and failed, to outsource my only advice is if you outsource, go all in and spend time getting it right at the start. 

Retaining & Maximising Productivity… Clarity, Learning the Craft & Success

Retaining staff is now NRF members biggest issue. We need to increase tenures and make people  productive quicker. If it takes over 12 months for consultants to see success, then they tend to move.

Too many leave without learning the craft of recruitment, finding their niche or seeing success. You need to do the thousand meetings, and have your heart broken, before you can thoroughly begin to assess candidates correctly and develop the resilience every successful recruiter needs.

To retain staff, you need to provide them with clarity. Too often recruiters over complicate things. 

Retaining & Maximising Productivity…Structured Learning & Development

I have always found a structured learning & development (L&D) program to be key. However it’s vital to find the balance between speed and quality. If you upfront too much, its hard for people to learn. This can, and does, conflict with getting staff productive quicker. On balance in my experience it is better to spread the L&D out. If you have the numbers, one way to accelerate development is to enlist a mentor, outside of managers. A second voice works wonders and can often spot something a manager wouldn’t. 

Retaining & Maximising Productivity…A Learning Resource on Your Doorstep

As a Federation the NRF has done great work in the learning and development area. We recently partnered with Skillnet Ireland to allow members access to more training. 

In the first 12 months we ran over 40 events including finance for non-finance managers, emotional intelligence and resilience which we had not done before. For further information about the NRF Skillnet see below.

We are also so proud to be launching our Degree level Apprenticeship with NCI next January.

Finally, if you attract and retain good staff you will increase the value of your business, spread the wealth, and support the profession overall.

About Frank Farrelly…

Frank is COO and co-founder of Sigmar and has served as President of the National Recruitment Federation since 2016. In his role as COO of Sigmar, he oversees 14 specialist teams. Frank was instrumental in bringing the 2018 World Employment Conference to Dublin.  In his role with the NRF, he represents the Irish recruitment profession with Government, at international conferences and think-tanks. Frank is passionate about developing recruitment into a key component of the future world of work

NRF Skillnet

The NRF Skillnet facilitates and delivers discounted training courses, workshops and knowledge-sharing forums to equip your staff with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise they need to thrive, and help your business grow, in our ever-changing landscape.

discount of up to 30% is available on a wide range of courses, workshops and forums. Not only this but the NRF Skillnet can also provide you with:

  • Up to 30% discount on higher level diploma and degree programmes.
  • Tailored in-house or offsite training courses to meet your business needs.
  • Recognised professional trainers within the industry.  

To date, over 100 companies have taken part in our training courses.

If you would like to learn more, or avail of this discounted training opportunity, please contact me at or on 0876108783. Don’t forget to follow our page here on LinkedIn for all the latest news on the NRF Skillnet.

NRF Programme in Recruitment Practice, Limerick

The National Recruitment Federation (NRF) is now taking bookings for the NRF Programme in Recruitment Practice for Limerick Classes 2019! The dates for the next course are Wednesday 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd October and the assessment will be held on 23rd October.

The ONLY programme of its kind in Ireland, It is accredited through ILM and City & Guilds. The programme was written by experts in the profession and is designed to equip both experienced, and potential recruiters of the future, with the knowledge and skills necessary to adhere to best practice at all times.

Completion of this assessment by experienced recruiters will enhance and refresh the skills they already have, and for potential recruiters it is a way of understanding what a recruitment consultants job entails and may even kick-start your career in the recruitment profession.

The workshops are trainer led over three full days, with a two and a half hour assessment on day 4. Certification is granted on a 70% pass rate.

The course comprises of 6 core units:

  • Candidate Management
  • Client Management
  • The Recruitment Process
  • Code of Conduct
  • Legislation
  • Sales & Selling

For further information and to book your place contact Lorraine Mooney, Office Manager, NRF, on 01-8161712 or email

The National Recruitment Federation is a voluntary organisation set up to establish and maintain standards and code of practice for the recruitment profession in Ireland.

Marketing & Events Manager & PA to CEO

The National Recruitment Federation is looking to recruit a ‘Marketing & Events Executive/Personal Assistant (PA) to CEO’. This is an exciting opportunity for a professional with a marketing and events background. The role will be based in the NRF HQ in Santry which provides a friendly and flexible working environment. For further information about the role please view the job description. If you are interested in applying please send your cover letter and CV to before 5pm on Friday 13th September 2019.


Entry for the National Recruitment Federation Annual Awards 2019 is now open! Designed to recognise and reward excellence in recruitment in Ireland, they are THE awards for the recruitment profession.

How Can You Enter?

To enter download, complete and submit your entry form. Download your entry form here.

Entries are open until 5pm, Friday 13th September 2019.

When Are the Winners Announced?

Winners will be announced at the NRF Annual Awards Night on Friday 29th November 2019.

Gavin Duffy, best known as one of the RTE Dragons and long associated with the recruitment industry, is back to present the 2019 NRF Awards on Friday November 29th. Gavin as a business consultant is an ideal presenter as he knows the hard graft that goes into building and maintaining a leading professional services business.

“What a great event, for recruiters, the NRF Awards is a highlight of the year and the official start of the Christmas Season. I am so looking forward to the event”.

What Are the Categories?

In total there are 19 categories including ‘Best New Agency’, ‘Recruitment Consultant of the Year (Permanent, Temporary, Contractors), ‘Best Agency Online Service’, ‘Best in Practice Specialism’…to name but a few.

For more on categories, key dates, judges and to access the entry application forms click here.

A special thanks to our sponsors, Bullhorn and LinkedIn, and our media partner, the Irish Independent.

We look forward to receiving your entry!

From all the team in the NRF.


The Employment Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2018 came into effect on March 4th 2019 with the aim of improving the security and predictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts and those working variable hours. This short summary, by Brendan McGinty, Managing Partner, Stratis Consulting, highlights some of the key provisions and practical implications for employers.

Key Provisions

The Act address the following five key issues:

  • Prohibiting zero hours contracts, except in limited cases of genuine casual work or emergency cover or short-term relief work for that employer. Zero hours contracts need to be distinguished from casual work arrangements, in so far as casual work involves no mutuality of obligation (i.e. the employee is under no obligation to accept an assignment and there will be no negative consequences for the worker arising from his/her refusal.);
  • Ensuring that workers are better informed about their employment arrangements and to receive written notification of five core terms of employment within 5 calendar days of commencement of employment. These are:
    1. Names of employer and employee;
    2. Address of the employer (actual and registered office);
    3. Expected duration of employment if a temporary contract or end date if a fixed term contract;
    4. Rate or method of calculation of pay and pay reference period for purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000, and;
    5. Number of hours which the employer reasonably expects the employee to work (per normal day and per normal week); – Strengthening the provisions around minimum payments where employees are required to be available for work but are not called in or are sent home early;
  • Strengthens anti-penalisation provisions to give protection from detrimental treatment for employees who try to invoke a right under the legislation;
  • Ensuring that workers on low hour contracts who consistently work more than their contracted hours are entitled to be placed in a band of hours that reflects the reality of the hours they have worked over an extended period. There are 8 bands ranging from 2-6 hours and then moving in 5-hour bands up to 36 hours and over.

Steps for Employers to Take

The following are some advices for employers in managing these changes:

  • Review recruitment processes, template contracts and any offer letters in use to ensure they contain the 5 core terms
  • Ensure new hires receive, a statement of the core terms within 5 days. Alternatively, contracts of employment incorporating the existing information requirements under the 1994 Act and the new requirements could be issued before commencement of employment or within five calendar days of commencement;
  • A re-issue of existing contracts for those employed prior to the 04.03.19 is not necessary but employers should note that existing staff may request a compliance statement with the Act;
  • Review records regularly to ensure that specified contract hours actually reflect the hours being worked;
  • Accurate working time records will be needed to respond to an employee request to be placed in a band of hours;
  • Employers should be clear on their own process for dealing with a request for ‘banded hours’; –
  • Employers should be mindful that a genuine attempt to reduce an employee’s hours of work, having been placed on a band of hours or to revert back to the original contracted hours could give rise to allegations of penalisation;
  • Employers should ensure contracts and work practices do not fall foul of the ‘zero hours’ prohibition;
  • In the case of contractual arrangements for ‘casual work’, for these to be genuine, workers must be completely free to turn down offers of work without any consequences for them.

Finally, employers should also note that the issue of bogus self-employment also received considerable attention in the Oireachtas debates on the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) legislation. The issue has been considered by the Joint Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection since November 2018. It is now being addressed separately and the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection has amongst other measures, proposed the establishment of a stand-alone body with enhanced resources to investigate claims of false self-employment more efficiently.

Brendan McGinty Managing Partner Stratis Consulting E: M: +353 87 2433038