Barry Whelan Excel Recruitment

Why benefits are important for finding and keeping top talent

Attention Employers! Barry Whelan, CEO of Excel Recruitment, discusses why benefits are important in a retail industry that more and more is becoming a candidate’s market….

Each year we complete a comprehensive salary & benefits survey to benchmark roles in the industry and examine the competitiveness of retail to attract talent.

With unemployment at 7.1% in February, it seems pretty obvious, that when it comes to retail, it is a candidates market.

With this in mind, we have seen a real increase in the benefits offered to employees. How employees value these benefits is a matter for debate, but when you look at global players and what they offer, taking a leaf from their benefits book, may help a business become the employer that stands out without putting employee costs through the roof.

Glassdoor, the American job site identified the ‘top 20 work benefit’s’ according to how the company’s employees enjoying those benefits rated them. The company’s employees write a comment on the Glassdoor site and they analyse these comments to come up with the most popular list. Interestingly as a US survey, top of the list is paid maternity/Paternity leave and health insurance, two benefits that we often take for granted in the Irish employment market.

So what could we learn from Employees in the world’s largest economy?

The retail industry in Ireland has some pretty significant players and whilst it’s not filled with Facebooks and Googles, with the stereotypical view of skateboards and ping pong tables in offices or employees able to take unlimited vacation time, these are not the benefits that employee’s value. According to Glassdoor, these don’t feature at all.

It is more worthwhile looking at what may be exciting to employees, whilst possible and affordable to the company. It is these benefits that lead companies to become that employer brand of difference. Remember these are not a list of the wildest or most comprehensive benefits, just those that employees valued.

As you can imagine companies operating in the tech and finance space feature heavily, but we also have a smattering of retail/hospitality businesses.

The top employee perks for 2017 that Glassdoor USA rate best are-

IKEA. Paid Paternity for four months

Reebok. On-site gym with Cross fit classes.

Bain & Company. Bain & company Soccer tournament

Goldman Sachs. Health cover for gender reassignment surgery since 2008

Facebook. Free housing for Interns

Scripps Health. Free pet insurance

Starbucks. Full reimbursement for all workers taking an online BA Degree.

American Express. Parents are given access to a 24-hour lactation consultant, and mothers traveling for business can ship their breast milk home.

Eventbrite. The company offers workers a monthly $60 wellness allowance that can be used on anything from juice cleanses to a gym membership.

Wholefoods Market. 20% staff discount

Gap. Provides free access to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to corporate employees. Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher worked closely with the museum to feature their prominent private collection.

Swiss RE. Insurance company Swiss Re’s “Own the Way You Work” program encourages employees to embrace flexibility with their schedules and work remotely.

Southwest. Southwest offers all employees and their dependents access to Clear Skies, an employee assistance program that provides confidential counselling, work/life services, and legal consultations.

Genentech. Genentech offers unique on-site amenities, including car washes, haircuts, childcare centre, mobile spa and dentist.

Timberland. Timberland employees can take up to 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer.

Microsoft. $800 towards Gym membership

Deloitte. Two paid Sabbaticals

Amazon. Parental Share. Either Parent can take paid leave if one does not receive paid leave from their employer.

USAA. A high level health care plan

In-N-Out. Free Lunch

We all know the success of our businesses depend on the people working in them. Retail will become more and more competitive for talent as the year progresses. Perhaps adding some progressive benefits will help retain the talent and attract more.

Live events drum up 1.7 bn in revenue for Irish economy

A massive €1.7bn in revenue was created over a 12-month period by live entertainment events. Events such as concerts, festivals and theatre performances saw people attending in huge numbers, resulting in a major boost to the economy.

This number applies revenue created outside of the actual ticket price of the event which means that for every €1 spent on a concert or show, some €6.06 is generated in the rest of the economy. More than four million people attended Ticketmaster events on this island between March 1, 2015 and February 29 2016, generating employment for nearly 11,500 people. This included almost 300,000 overseas visitors.

In total, live events were the reason for approximately 3.7m bookings in Irish hotels and guesthouses, the equivalent of 54 ‘sold out’ All-Ireland finals at Croke Park. In the Republic alone, €1.3bn was generated by live events during those 12 months. In total, the events were attended by 3.4m people. Of these people, nearly 440,000 came from the North or overseas. Justin Green, of Wide Awake Communications, who carried out the study, said the entertainment industry was “frequently overlooked” when it came to its importance to the economy.

Of the nearly three million tickets sold for live events in the Republic during the period covered, some 2,262,090 were for music gigs, 860,946 were for arts, theatre and comedy events, and 293,375 were for family events and exhibitions.Music events generated up €900m in additional revenue, while arts, theatre and comedy generated €300m. Family events created a surge of €61m to the economy.

The report does not represent the total attendance at live events in Ireland, given that it only covers The report only covers Ticketmaster sales so does not represent the total attendance of live events.It also does not include the estimated 100,000 people who went to free live events during the same 12-month period.

The average age of most attendees at events in the Republic was 25 to 34 at 30%. Just over 25% of attendees were in the 35 to 44 age group, and 20% of people in the 16 to 24 age group.When it came to rating their experience at Ticketmaster events in Ireland, most attendees gave the events a positive review. Of nearly 6,000 respondents surveyed, they gave an average rating of 8.8 out of 10 for the quality of the event.

Some of the biggest concerts during the time period covered would have included Fleetwood Mac at the 3Arena, rockers AC/DC, and Foo Fighters, who played a huge gig at Slane Castle in May 2015.

Planning permission granted for a 175 bedroom hotel in Smithfield


Dublin City Council has granted planning permission for a 175 bedroom, five to seven-storey hotel in Smithfield.

The development will be undertaken by the Dublin Loft Company and will be situated at 6-11 Hendrick Street. The development will replace an existing 3,000 square foot single-storey property and will extend to 60,000 square feet.

The design statement as carried out by Hussey Architects detailed the planned look of the hotel. “The style of hotel will be in between a standard [Fáilte Ireland-classified] hotel and a contemporary boutique hotel aimed at younger visitors,”

The hotel’s ground floor is to have a bar, dining areas, bedrooms and ensuites, offices, with the remaining bedrooms and ensuites spread across the above stories. There will also be an outside landscaped courtyard area.

The planning report, filed by RPS Group on behalf of Dublin Loft Company said: “A key aim of the proposed development is to revive and reinstate the continuous line of street frontage which would have existed historically along Hendricks Street. A hotel use at this location in close proximity to Smithfield, the LUAS and a variety of visitor attractions will contribute to the vibrancy, vitality and overall continued regeneration of this area.”

Centra to open 20 more stores employing 460 people


Centra have announced plans to open 20 more stores over the next year. Overall, the new stores will employ 460 new workers.

The convenience store brand had a massive year in 2016, with profits of more than €1.5bn, up 3% from the previous year. This success has encouraged the brand to expand their operations. The announcement was made at the chain’s annual conference in Killarney.

The brand will continue to re-energise its store network with the aim of capitalising on the shift in convenience grocery stores towards healthier options for consumers. The chain, which competes with the BWG-owned Spar stores as well as Mace and Londis, is continuing to roll out its “Live Every Day” store design, which gives greater prominence to fruits and salad offerings.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Centra, said that, in the context of Ireland’s fiercely competitive convenience sector, the shift towards more healthy options is “definitely not a fad”. He said Centra had cut shelf space normally designated for fizzy drinks in favour of water sales, and have also tweaked the recipes for its baked in-store bread to reflect changing customer tastes, which has boosted sales by 10%.Sales of salad boxes are up 80%, while the range of fruits and other healthier options have been extended under the Live Every Day scheme.

Meanwhile, sales of in-store hot coffee have risen to €5 million a year across its network since Centra introduced its Frank and Honest brand, which was developed in-house. The chain will also accelerate the rollout of its Frank and Honest brand. It is currently available in 260 out of 450 Centra stores. This number will increase to 330 by the end of March.centra

Hotel Salary Survey

Excel Recruitment are delighted to present our 2017 Hotel Salary Survey. 2016 was a phenomenal year for the Irish hospitality industry. Ireland’s food service industry experienced massive growth in 2016, reaching a record €7.5bn. 2016 was a record breaking year for visitors to Ireland, showing the number of international visitors increased to 8.8 million – up 10% on the previous year. 2017 is expected to see further growth of 4.5%, all of which means exciting times are ahead for the hospitality trade in Ireland. In terms of recruitment, the current market is incredibly competitive. It continues to be a candidates market with Chefs and HR Managers continuing to be in high demand. To see the results of our survey, please click below.

If you would like to discuss any of the findings or need advice on your staffing, please get in contact with us here. To view our current vacancies within Hospitality click here.


Hotel Salary Survey 2017 (2)