Feeding Ireland’s Future 2017 with Excel Recruitment

Last week, Excel Recruitment welcomed young unemployed local jobseekers into our offices in Dublin City Centre.

Feeding Ireland’s Future is an initiative by the Department of Social Protection and the Grocery Retail Industry in Ireland. Participants are aged between 18-24 years of age and facilitated by ECR Ireland. Excel Recruitment serve the Grocery Retail Industry recruiting Sales Assistants to CEO.

The week kicked off with members of the Excel team and participants chatting through their CVs and employment history, along with discussing the elements of job-seeking they find the most difficult. This allowed our experts to tailor their talks specifically to the group, addressing each of their particular weaknesses and concerns.

A huge number of workshops took place during the participants’ time with Excel, including CV tips and tricks with Head of Fashion/Non-Food Aislinn Lea and Interview Skills with Nikki Murran, our Head of Grocery who gave her top tips and conducted mock interviews with the group.

Sean Thomas, Grocery Consultant discussed how the Grocery industry ticks and the benefits of working within it and Sarah Hurley, Retail Head Office Recruiter took participants through how to how to cope with interview assessments/aptitude tests.

The participants were also given free Manual Handling and HAACP training from our certified trainers giving them recognised and necessary skills for work along with adding a professional qualification to their CVs.

Along with these and more hugely successful workshops the participants also got the opportunity to work one on one with our expert recruiters on their CV. Participants were encouraged and shown how to rephrase certain aspects of a CV to better illustrate their personality, expand on their skill sets. The consultant spent time with each individual to ensure skills and experience that they already had were not omitted or were highlighted in their CV’s.

Every member of the Excel Team took part, giving workshops and CV advice, guidance and leads to all participants, committing time to the group and also individually. Excel Recruitment were delighted to assist in Feeding Ireland’s Future 2016. We are a proponent of Irish Retail and it was refreshing to have new faces, who are encouraged by the industry in our offices for the few days. We wish all participants the very best in their applications and encourage them to keep in contact with each other and Excel Recruitment.

The feedback from all participants was overwhelming positive with all of those partaking commenting they would definitely feel more confident applying for jobs, sending CVs and attending interviews.


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How to Get the Job: Most Common Cover Letter Mistakes

Excel Recruitment are EXPERTS in recruitment, if we do say so ourselves, and we see hundreds of cover letters everyday. Below are the biggest and most common mistakes we see.


To Whom It May Concern

The next point covers the importance of not submitting a generic cover letter, but ‘To whom it may concern’ is SOO overused it needs to be discussed in its own right.( This point also applies to Dear Sir/Madam). If the job ad doesn’t give the name of the person recruiting or your sending in your CV speculatively, Google it. Here at Excel, we’ve made it really easy for you to find out who recruits what jobs. If you’re not completely confident who is, use the head of the department for the position you’re applying for. At the end of the day, no one will be mad for addressing the letter higher up than necessary. At the very least, it’s better than your cover letter only being skimmed.

Same Old, Same Old

Excel Recruitment consultants see hundreds of cover letters a day and a shocking number are generic, full of tired, overused clichés and put simply, quite boring. Boring is the last thing you want to be, especially when trying to get a recruiter’s attention. Tailor your cover letter to suit each individual job you’re applying for. Don’t say ‘I would be an asset to any company’ explain why you would be an asset to THIS company. Do your research and illustrate how your skills match the specific company’s needs. Also, it’s all well and good discussing your amazing skills at this and that but if they’re not relevant to the job at hand, don’t waste the space. Again, the aim is to let the consultant/ hiring manager know you want this job, not just any job.

Putting your CV into sentences

Another mistake people make when putting together their cover letter is to simply turn their CV into a short essay or just regurgitate the same information already in their CV. Remember in first class when your teacher would give out for writing stories that go- and then this, and then that, and then we? Anything written this way is boring, never mind a job application in a very large pile of job applications. A cover letter is a much more personable way of describing your experience, your skills and goals not a longhand list of where you’ve worked. Use your cover letter to introduce yourself to the person hiring, let them know why you’ve applied and get your personality across.

Doing it for the Sake of it

So many people throw a cover letter together because they feel like they have to but that’s a waste of a vital tool. Any career breaks or gaps in employment? Using your cover letter to address them is the easiest way to explain while stressing your skills and eagerness to get back to work.

Ultimately, stop thinking of a cover letter as something you have to do and instead view it as the excellent opportunity it is. A concise, specific, well written cove letter ensures you make the best possible impression in a pile of applications and can help you make the first step.

Now that you have all the knowledge you need to write a fabulous cover letter, have a look at all our live roles and get sending!

Retail Ireland calls for government support for industry in new report

Retail Ireland today release their comprehensive ‘Shaping the future of Irish Retail’ report, a strategy and forecast for the next three years in the retail sector.

Retail currently stands the State’s biggest private-sector employer with more than 280,000 workers. The report suggests retailers are planning a major injection of investment in people, skills, store refurbishments and technology over the next three years.

Conor Whelan, chairman of Retail Ireland and managing director of Eason said “The results of our report show that despite a considerable softening of sentiment since the Brexit vote, Irish retailers remain optimistic about the future, with the majority having ambitions to develop, invest in and expand their businesses in the next three years.”

Mr Whelan also said “In fact, 85% of retailers surveyed said they intend to invest in people and careers in the next three to five years and 92% are planning to invest in new technology and refurbishment.”

Retail Ireland suggests Brexit is already affecting the performance of the sector, with growth in retail sales between 2017 and 2020 likely to average between 1.2% and 2.2% a year, mostly driven by population growth.

In the report, Retail Ireland calls on the Government to introduce a tax credit to help retailers compete with international online retailers. It also wants a reduction in the cost of regulatory compliance, more State support for training and concerted efforts to “regenerate Ireland’s high streets”.

Retail Ireland also wants the government to work towards regenerate Ireland’s high streets and reduce the cost of regulatory compliance.

Irish hospitality industry concerned about proposed sunshine tax

Restaurant and café owners are concerned that a new ‘sunshine tax’ could undermine the booming outdoor business in Irish cities.

A new ‘sunshine tax’ could affect Ireland’s hospitality industry by forcing pubs, cafes and restaurants to pay a tenfold increase in the current charge for outdoor seating and street signage.

If the proposed tax goes ahead, businesses with outdoor seating would have to pay an annual fee of €125 for each table and four chairs, €635 for street signage and an additional €100 for licensing.

Cork City Council are exploring the possibility of implementing the tax on a seasonal basis, charging businesses when outdoor seating is actually in use, such as between the months of May and September. Other local authorities in Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford and Limerick are considering this approach too.

‘Café culture’ has become a significant selling point for Ireland’s tourism promoters, particularly with international visitors seeing it as a as a reason to visit the likes of Dublin, Cork and Galway, while street-side catering has been cited as a reason for the high number of American tourists spending time in other Irish cities and towns.

Tourism Development Directorate official Sharon Corcoran said: “Street furniture is critical. It is critical for small restaurants and it is critical for coffee shops. It is also critical for the tourism industry and we want to encourage people to stay longer [in towns and cities] and shop a little longer.”

Ireland enjoyed growth in overall visitor numbers of 10% in 2016.


3 million visitors and 2.5 million meatballs sold as Ikea’s Dublin store sees record revenue

Ikea Ireland has reported a jump in revenue by more than 15 per cent to a record €152 million.

The home furniture giant’s had 3 million visitors to its Ballymun store just off the M50. The three million visitors also represent an increase of 15% on the 2.6 million that visited the store in 2015.firm paid a dividend of €11m to its parent firm last year.

Despite the record recording-breaking revenue, profits did not rise in the same way. The company’s pre-tax profits decreased by 10% to €11.48m. The drop is profits is a result of higher costs including administrative expenses which increased by 30% from €29.6m to €38.6m and the cost of sales going up from €87.37m to €100.3m. Staff costs at Ikea last year increased to €17.2m.

The retailer also employed additional 110 new workers during the year taking the total number of staff to 663.

The average shopper spent €50 per trip and the total number of trips to the outlet were also 15% higher than 2015.

The Swedish retailer, famed for its flatpack stylish homewares last year opened a new outlet in Carrickmines in south Dublin in addition to its flagship store in Ballymun on the north side of the city.

CEO of Excel Recruitment, Barry Whelan delighted to launch Feeding’s Ireland Future 2017 with Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar

CEO of Excel Recruitment Barry Whelan was delighted to take part in the launch of Feeding’s Ireland Future 2017 along with Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar yesterday. The launch took place in the idyllic Farmleigh in Dublin’s Phoenix Park and was attended by participating companies, all committed to helping young job seekers.

Excel Recruitment are delighted to be partaking in this worthy initiative for another year. The initiative is facilitated by the ECR and takes place from March 20th-31st. The ‘Skills for Work Week’ places young unemployed people aged 18-24 in skill centres across the country, equipping them with CV workshops, interview preparation, HR resources and first-hand experience on the retail industry in Ireland.

Excel Recruitment are delighted to welcome 20 prospective jobseekers to our offices in the Skills to Work Week. During the participant’s time with us, we will show them the daily ins and outs of placing candidates in the best grocery retailers throughout Ireland. They will receive expert advice on how to approach their job hunt, best in digital practices, how to present their CV and top tips on how to succeed in a wide range of interview styles. Each participant will also come away with a CV overseen and overhauled by one of our team of retail recruitment professionals.

Some of the largest names throughout Ireland are taking place in Feeding Ireland’s Future 2017, now in its fourth year. This year, Youthreach, the training and work experience programme run by the Department of Education and Skills, will provide skills sessions to early school leavers in 13 centres throughout the country.

Follow along with all or plans on our Facebook, Twitter, using the hashtag #FIF2017.

Dunnes Stores retains top spot two months in a row in supermarket battle

Dunnes Stores has held its position as Ireland’s largest grocer for the second month in a row according to the latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland,The figures published today, contain data for the 12 weeks ending 26 February 2017.

Dunnes have encouraged shoppers to add more to their baskets, helping the retailer to maintain the title of Ireland’s largest supermarket this month. The grocer’s “Shop & Save” initiative is continuing to influence customers to spend more, with the average basket featuring an extra one and a half items – an additional €3 per trip and €25 million for the retailer in the past 12 weeks, compared to the previous 12 weeks. This is the first time the retailer has retained the top spot.

Sales at Dunnes grew by 4.6% and the retailer increased its market share to 22.9%, up from 22.5% last year. SuperValu remain an incredibly close second with a 22.6% share of the market.

SuperValu also convinced customers to spend more in their weekly trip with the average customer spending over €1 more per trip, causing sales to grow by 0.5% amounting to an extra €3 million for the grocery chain. Last month, Supervalu announced plans to open three new stores and refurbish a host of others. With the retailer will be expecting to experience a boost in sales later in the year.

Aldi’s and Lidl’s success is continuing, with sales rising by 5.3% and 4.1% respectively. Over the past twelve weeks Aldi managed to attract an additional 20,000 customers into its stores, while also encouraging them to visit more frequently. Lidl’s uplift in sales enabled the retailer to increase its share of the market to 10.6%.

Following three months of steady growth, Tesco sales dropped by 1.0% as eleven days of staff strikes led to disruption for the retailer. Despite the industrial action only affecting eight stores there has been a clear impact on the retailer’s performance, with market share falling by 0.9 percentage points to 21.7%.

For more Grocery Market Share data visit Kantar Worldpanel’s Dataviz

Apple Pay launches in Ireland

Irish consumers can now use their iPhone to pay for goods and services in tens of thousands of retail outlets around the country where contactless payments are accepted.

.Irish users will now be able to pay for goods or services using their iPhone in what many see as the next step towards permanent and total cashless transactions. A number of well-known Irish brands have already signed up to the service and launch partners included supermarkets such as Supervalu, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi, Centra and Marks and Spencers. Other retails chains such as Insomnia, Boots and Harvey Norman also accept the payment system as do petrol stations such as Applegreen and Amber Oil.

Transactions using iPhones are validated by using a fingerprint or a pin code. It is available on iPhone 6 and later versions, iWatches and the newer iPads. Currently, KBC and Ulster Bank are the only banks signed up for the service. It is available on iPhone 6 and later versions, iWatches and the newer iPads. Currently, KBC and Ulster Bank are the only banks signed up for the service.

It is available on iPhone 6 and later versions, iWatches and the newer iPads. Currently, KBC and Ulster Bank are the only banks signed up for the service. Apple does not place any purchasing limits on the system, although banks and some retailers place their own limits. There will be no additional charge to using the phone as a payment method.

The contactless payment method went through two years of trialling in the US before its Irish launchThe service launches three months after Google’s rival Android Pay mobile payment service was released here.

Dublin hotels saw highest occupancy in Europe in 2016

Dublin hotels had the highest occupancy in Europe in 2016 and are forecast to stay on top in 2017 and 2018, according to PwC ‘ s European cities’ hotel forecast 2017 and 2018.

The report found that hotel occupancy in Dublin was higher than London, Amsterdam, and Berlin within the same period. Dublin’s average daily room rate ranked ninth most expensive in Europe at €128.This average is expected to reach €138 in 2017 and even further to €147 in 2018.

The report showed that Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland had the highest average daily rate on the continent. The most expensive city is Geneva at €300, followed by Zurich at €245 and Paris at €229. PwC said while security concerns saw mixed fortunes for some city destinations in 2016, overall it was another record-breaking year for European tourism with 12m more visitors and almost 3bn nights spent in tourist accommodation.

Dublin Airport had a record-breaking 28m passengers in 2016, which exceeded the 2015 record by more than 2.8m. The report found that European hotel deal activity did see a slow down of nearly nearly 10% from the record high of €21bn in 2015 to €19bn in 2016, still the second-highest level ever recorded. The drop was largely driven by a slowdown in transaction volumes in the UK which fell by over 60%, due to Brexit uncertainty.