580 jobs to be cut as XtraVision appointed a liquidator

The High Court have appointed a temporary liquidator to XtraVison. It is believed that the majority of 580 retail jobs will be lost. The company owners, Hilco Capital petitioned the court for the appointment of Mr Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton Ireland as provisional liquidator.

There are over 80 XtraVsion outlets across the Republic and Northern Ireland. Justice Paul Gillgan appointed Mr McAteer after being told the movie rental firms are insolvent and unable to pay their debts.

Full story: http://businessetc.thejournal.ie/xtra-vision-liquidation-2570122-Jan2016/?utm_source=facebook_short

New Boutique Hotel Set For Ranelagh

Ranelagh is set to get a new boutique Hotel, after planning permission had been granted to Irish businessman Paddy McKillen Jnr. The boutique Hotel will be built in the heart of the South Dublin suburb in Dublin 6. The residence in question is 117 – 119 Ranelagh Main Street, former site of Laser Video.

McKillen also owns the Harcourt Street and this new Hotel is believed to be modelled in a similar format. The top floor will encompass a rooftop restaurant and outdoor terrace, with the first and second floors comprising of 41 rooms. The Hotel’s basement will also contain a 50 foot cinema and conference facilities.

Planning permission was highly contested with 30 individuals including TD Ruari Quinn arguing against it. The two buildings which currently reside in 117-119 Ranelagh will be demolished to make way.

Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/paddy-mckillen-jnr-to-open-boutique-hotel-in-ranelagh-1.2503654

Musgrave To Buy O’Loughlin Foods

The Musgrave Group are set to acquire O’Loughlin Quality Foods. The Wexford based, family run foodservice business has served the South East region for over 50 years. Representatives from CJ O’Loughlin Food expressed their delight at the acquisition by Ireland’s largest food wholesaler. Charlie O’Loughlin, MD of O’Loughlin’s and Jack O’Grady who is Sales Director commented that their team would “continue to deliver the very best in customer service”, and that the acquisition allowed them to amplify their customer reach.

Musgrave CEO Chris Martin said that “C.J. O’Loughlin Quality Foods is an excellent strategic fit for our business and complements our market-leading foodservice offer.” The acquisition is still set for clearance by the Irish Competition Authority.

News Source: http://www.hospitalityireland.com/musgrave-to-acquire-foodservice-provider-c-j-oloughlin-quality-foods/23645

Dunnes Stores, Homebase and Harvey Norman – Retail Roundup

Dunnes Stores to buy Whelan Food and Meat

Dunne Stores to Buy WhelansDunnes Stores have eyed up another acquisition to add to their retail portfolio. The Irish retailer have proposed a deal to buy two meat wholesale businesses, Whelan Food & Meat Processors and Tipperary Sustainable Food Company. Both companies are under the control of Pat Whelan, owner and operator of Whelan’s Butchers who operate in the luxury Avoca Food stores.

Dunnes recently acquired Café Sol and plan on bringing expansion plan for the brand into place throughout 2016 and integrate some outlets in their bigger stores. The proposal was made to the Competition Authority this week to acquire Whelan’s and has entered the preliminary phase.

Wesfarmers buy Homebase

Australian home retail brand Wesfarmers have agreed to buy Homebase for £340 million and will invest £500 Homebasemillion transforming it into the Bunnings brand. The deal is still seeking approval from shareholders and if accepted would make Bunnings the second largest DIY and Garden Retailer in the UK and Ireland. Homebase, who have 265 stores have struggled in recent years against B&Q. Representatives from Wesfarmers’ said company analysts had studied the UK market for over a year, prior to the bid.

Homebase’s management team are to be replaced by Bunnings’ staff. However, it is understood Homebase’s current chief executive will stay in place. A statement from Wesfarmers’ it could ‘improve on Homebase’s store operations, cut prices, widen ranges, improve service, appeal more to tradesmen and do more online’.

Harvey Norman in Cork on sale for €8.2 million

Harvey Norman in Cork is on the market for €8.2 million through estate agents Savills. The store which is located on the Kinsale Road, is one of 12 stores across Ireland and produces a rent roll of €678,699 annually. The retail warehouse has another 9 years guaranteed under the current lease, with an upward only rent review due in 2020.

Harvey Norman

Supermarket Christmas 2015 Figures Revealed


SuperValu has once again come up triumphs, cementing themselves as the top grocery retailer in Ireland after a bumper Christmas period. SuperValu commanded more than 25% of the overall grocery market in the 12 weeks till January 3rd. Kantar Worldwide Ireland released the figures which denotes the Christmas period for all of Ireland’s supermarket chains.

SuperValu sales were up 4.3% compared to the same period in 14/15, where Tesco still commanded the top spot. Sales across all grocers were up 3.5% on last year.

Kantar Worlwide Figures


Image Source: Kantar Worldwide Panel.

Twitter And Your Job Search

Twitter is often the preferred methods of job searching particularly for the younger demographic. It can serve as an important tool for you regarding networking and presents you with an expansive base of people and information. It is also somewhere you can fall down on if expected etiquette is not adhered too. Every major company and prospective employer is on Twitter and it is an essential resource for understanding their company culture and how they interact with their customer base. It offers exponential information but you should waver an air of caution as a potential jobseeker when conducting yourself on the social network.

Twitter is a platform that affords everyone the ability to construe an opinion and also allows complete strangers to engage with each other. Hiring Managers and Recruiters rarely care about your personal or political ideologies, what they do care about is how you fit as a candidate. However they do care immensely bout how you engage with others, particularly when something contentious is being discussed and the levels of diplomacy you maintain through the discourse.

If you are regularly partaking in heated debates via twitter they will have no choice but to take them into account. It is impossible to know what someone might take offense too, so the best option is to keep quiet while on your job-hunt. The same applies to your current job. Avoid saying anything professing your love and adoration for your current job. It may be a deterrent for a Hiring Manager in considering your candidacy for a new job. Likewise avoid saying anything rude or slanderous about how much you detest it.

While pretty self-explanatory, your social life should be kept to a minimal. By all means engage and be an active user, Hiring Managers favour someone who is competent on Social Media. What they don’t favour is someone advocating their drink fuelled stupor that happened last weekend. We all like to have fun but just be careful in what you post and avoid glorifying what could be seen as any unprofessional behaviour.

Twitter is no different to any other Social network. It offers a plethora of information and results and you can optimise this by using some useful hashtags and following relevant accounts. All of the main recruitment agencies use Twitter to advertise jobs under the #Jobfairy hashtag. You’ll find us at here at @ExcelRecruit for our Retail division and here at @ExcelJobsIRL for Hospitality, Temps and Medical.

Useful hashtags include #Jobfairy, #Nowhiring, #DublinJobs and #YouJob. Happy Tweeting!

What To Do On Your First Day In A New Job

Your first day in a new job will amalgamate excitement, nerves, stress and could perhaps be one of the most memorable days in your career. The job search can be particularly taxing having spent hours constantly retouching your CV and making sure it gets to the right people. Employers have hired you for a reason and have expectations that they expect your talent and skills to adhere to. Most of us feel high levels of excitement but also trepidation when we begin a new job. There are ways to elevate some of this stress however by adapting the same meticulous approach in your first day as you did in your job search. The first day sets the tone for the rest of your career with those you’ll be interacting with. While first days are usually consumed in formalities with very little specific responsibilities it is vital to adapt a proactive response to your new role rather than a passive one.

Chances are you will be inundated with the same question by new employees. ‘What is your background?’, ‘What did you do before this?’ ‘What exactly will you be doing here’. Often it can be a little overwhelming when people ask outright very specific questions. Considering these will be the people you converse and deal with every day it may often be a genuine interest as they have only been fed a vague understanding and simply want to strike up a conversation. Having a prepared piece will make this process a little less daunting.

The recommended buffer time to show up early is about 15 minutes. If you have not done the route before familiarise yourself with it on different occasions to gauge how long it takes including peak times. Showing up early is almost a given that employers expect nowadays. While no doubt determined to make a great impression remember to relax in order to optimise your productivity. Make sure you are well rested the night before and can maintain concentration. If you are adapting from an entirely different routine make sure you have condition yourself in the days preceding your first day. Set your alarm to your wake up time to condition yourself and see how you adjust. Eat a breakfast and set your outfit the night before. While these may seem very minimal they will all ease the stress involved and will help you towards a smooth first day.

Be as professional as you were in the interview process and however in doubt you may be take the conservative approach. Your first day is not a time to establish yourself as the joker of the office or to describe your weekend social life. You will establish the culture of the company or office environment quite quickly and it’s important not to disrupt this. The urge to impress can veer you off track, but it’s important to remember that you’ve already been hired so you don’t have to wow your colleagues straight away. Your first day is not the time to have a strong and strident opinion, but more about listening, observing and learning. In time you will impress naturally, and more so when you understand the ropes.

Tips For Chef Interviews

Tips for before the interview:

  1. Visit the company website and social media pages to get a good understanding of the business and think of some questions.
  2. Plan your route to the interview so you don’t get lost and turn up late!
  3. Prepare your clothes the night before- chefs should look neat.
  4. Look at the existing menus and have dishes in mind that you would add to it.
  5. Have a number saved in your phone that you can ring should you get lost.
  6. Aim to be there 10 minutes early.

During the interview:

  1. When the interviewer enters the room stand up and shake their hand.
  2. Have your mobile off and put away.
  3. Listen to everything the interviewer says and never interrupt them.
  4. Always say thank you and please if you are offered something like a class of water.
  5. If you are given a tour of the kitchen, walk alongside them, not on front and not behind.
  6. Keep slang and abbreviations for more casual conversation- you’re not a CDP you’re a chef de partie, unless they use the former.

Working interviews:

Some chef interviews require the potential candidate to showcase some of their skills in a “working interview”. They are usually in one of the following formats.

Ready Steady Cook: Some interviewers will give you some product on a tray and ask you to cook a dish within a certain amount of time. This is to test your creative side and to see how well you work under time pressure.

Trial: Sometimes you will be asked to work a full or half shift in the hotel, bar or restaurant. Make sure that you ask if you are unsure how to cook something and make it apparent that you are part of the team. Look interested and ask for jobs if you run out of things to do.

Menu: Some businesses will ask you to prepare a menu prior to the interview and cook it there. Ensure that the dishes on your menu fit into the theme of the restaurant- don’t cook enchiladas if you are interviewing for an Indian place!

Trade test: This one is favoured by a lot of places. You might get asked to cook a classic or basic dish with your own twist. The purpose of this is test out your knowledge of how different foods work together and how they can be amended for modern tastes.


You don’t get away with not having to answer questions about your career in a chef interview so we suggest you think about the following questions and how you would answer them for the formal part of the interview.

  • Why do you want the job?
  • What has been your biggest achievement in cheffing?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How do you manage time during busy periods?
  • What do you think you could add to our kitchen?

After the interview:

When you leave make sure you thank the people who have interviewed for their time and for asking to meet with you.

If we have set the interview up there is no need to go back to the company to ask for feedback, we’ll get it for you. Call us when you are finished your interview and let us know how you think it went; we’ll then get in touch and get some feedback on the other side.

The Benefits of Temporary Work

Companies are still remaining cautious about hiring staff on a permanent basis and temporary roles and contracts have seen a particular sore in popularity, particularly suiting seasonal employment (Christmas, Summer Sales etc. ) Temporary employment can suit people for many reasons particularly those in the interim of finding something more permanent where both employer and employee are happy where they stand on a temp. contract. Here are a few reasons why temporary jobs can be of a major benefit to you.


The most distinct and major advantage to temporary work is the flexibility it caters for. At all times you remain in control of your career and often it is easier to maintain the flexibility that daily life requires around this. It’s important to remember that as a temporary employee you still have rights and are entitled to benefits like sick pay, holiday allowance and regular pay. You are also required to be given the same quality of working conditions as your permanent colleagues. Unlike a more traditional role, temping can afford you with greater flexibility and control over your schedule. You can choose to work in short term, long term, or contract assignments to fit in and around your chosen lifestyle.

Fill your CV.

Often employers can be overtly and unfairly critical of extended periods of unemployment. Keeping relevant skills fresh is imperative for career progression and taking on a temp. role allows for these to stay up to date and close any gaps in the interim. Maintaining a solid timeline of employment where possible can give you a competitive advantage in the job market.


The company you’re temping with may not have a vacancy when your assignment ends, but if you have made a good impression, you may leave with solid references. These connections may lead to other longer term positions in the future. Whether it’s for references or meeting like-minded people who may be able to help you further down the line, temping can really lengthen your contacts book. Word of your work from a reputable and esteemed reference can pitch you in front of another candidate even if they pitch you in experience. While temporary contracts can seem unfavourable to some, the connections made may favour you towards permanency. Many temporary jobs can lead to permanent positions, particularly if you prove yourself to be invaluable to the company

New Skills

Temporary assignments may allow you to quickly learn new skills, be exposed to a range of systems and procedures, and trial different companies and industries to see what is right for you before committing to a permanent role. By spending time temping across various roles you can learn new skills and see how different companies operate, making you far more employable and really enriching your CV.

Deciding On A Job Offer

Negotiation is a critical skill to possess during your job offer. It cannot be overlooked as it is the one time you will have the chance to lay out agreed terms and conditions that both you and your employer agree on. Getting it right is crucial. It is imperative that both parties are happy from the beginning, establishing good rapport and working towards the mutual benefit of the company.

Find out extensively the particulars of employment and the job offer:

Be sure to get these in writing. It’s standard practice and not an unreasonable request to ask for these to be clarified. Some of these particulars will include:

  • The salary
  • Exact location of the job – If travel occurs, can you accrue travel reimbursement and of how much?
  • Is there local reimbursement if relocating specifically for the job
  • What exactly are the ‘other benefits’ that were stipulated in the job advertisement and mentioned in the interview
  • What is the starting date
  • What is the pay pattern (weekly, fortnightly, monthly..?)
  • Is there a signing on bonus..?

To some it may appear quite brazen of someone to ask these request after only securing the job. Once they are addressed diplomatically, they will alleviate any miscommunication that may fall into place further down the line. It is in the employers benefit that you are made aware of them.

Negotiate a time frame for giving a definitive answer

When you are laid out with an offer take time to process it. Although it is sometimes hard, particularly when you are moving up the career ladder in terms of progress and salary, you need to understand the intrinsic value of the offer. Give yourself enough time to seriously think about it rationally. Any employer who has made the conscious effort to put you through often extensive interviews will be ok with someone taking a few days to ponder over a decision. Again having decorum and diplomacy will serve you well when questioning it.

I appreciate your offer and I’m very excited about starting. However I’m currently still waiting to hear back from other organizations. Can we discuss the offer again in a week?’

‘Thank you so much for the offer. I would like to take a day or two decide and discuss the particulars with my husband / wife / partner.’

Don’t be afraid to talk with the Hiring Manager to gauge the company’s expectations for hearing back and try to reach a middle ground. Don’t start the negotiation process over the phone, or worse, over email. It’s harder to say “no” to someone in person than it is over the phone. If the position is to be filled immediately, you may want to give them an answer sooner rather than later. A reasonable amount of time can vary from anywhere between a day to a week.

Think cohesively. Does this package encapsulate what you expected and also what you need to succeed and transition easily in the company? These factors include:

  • Individual Needs
    • Does the job satisfy your intellectual needs, creativity, and natural curiosity?
    • Do you think you could fit in with the company culture?
    • Would you be motivated about and excited for work?
  • Family Needs
    • Is the job likely to be compatible with your family duties and interests?
    • Is the job geographically close enough to give you enough time to spend at home?
    • Can you imagine your family interacting with other families in the company?
  • Career Goals
    • Can you imagine furthering your career with the organization?
    • Is there room for growth? Do they offer competitive training, job experience, and pay to make this a “step up” from where you were before?
    • Is there job security?