Meet the Newest Members of our Expert Team

It’s been a busy couple of months for Excel Recruitment as we’ve continued working closely with great clients and candidates in both retail and hospitality. We’ve remained the ‘Number 1 Retail Recruitment Company’ working with some of the biggest names in retail, both Irish and International brands. Our hospitality wing has had a busy summer not only filling permanent roles with top hospitality groups nationwide but also providing a wide range of staff for some of the most high-profile events in the Irish hospitality calendar.

Due to our continued success, our team has grown over the past few months and we’ve added a number of talented recruiters to our ranks. Each brings a wealth of industry experience and knowledge and have fit right in with Excel’s expert team. To celebrate, we thought we would take a moment to introduce them and say a big welcome to the team!

Adrian Purcell


Adrian joined the Excel Temporary Hospitality earlier this year, adding his extensive experience and comprehensive industry-wide knowledge to our expert team. Adrian is passionate about people, and has the natural ability to engage with people and develops solid and long standing relationships with clients and candidates alike.

Adrian has a large database of loyal temporary staff, many of whom he has worked with for years, making him ideally placed to delivering exceptional staffing solutions. Equally, his attentiveness and diligence when dealing with his clients’ make him one of the most successful recruitment consultants in the business.

Madeline Hanniffy


Madeline looks after some of the top entertainment venues and hotels in Ireland. Madeline has more than 15 years working in the hospitality industry. Beginning her career in New York, Madeline has gained a huge amount of experience in many aspects of the sector.

Madeline returned to Ireland in 2006 and since then she has been supplying hospitality staff to the top venues and hotels around the country, running multiple entertainment venues with large volume staff at very high profile entertainment events. Madeline understands her clients and stakes her reputation on offering outstanding customer service and as a result has built up great relationships with both clients and contractors.

Luca Zelli


Luca joins our Grocery team, one of our busiest and most successful desks. Luca has extensive retail experience, in both grocery and non-food, working in some of the biggest names in retail including Smyths Toys and Lidl. Under the guidance of our Head of Grocery Nikki Murran, Luca’s passion for the industry, dedication to our client’s and drive to achieve results have made him a great addition to the team.

Follow us on our LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with all our latest news!

Aislinn Lea, Head of Fashion & Non-Food, Excel Recruitment

Excel’s Aislinn Lea- Retail is a career, not just a job

As the CAO and college places hit headlines again, head of Fashion & Non- Food Recruitment Aislinn Lea reflects on how retail can be overlooked as a career choice and why this is a mistake…

This past week has been a stressful time for many young people since learning their Leaving Cert results last Wednesday, followed by the anxious wait to see if they received a college place in Monday’s CAO offers. These 17/18/19-year-old will have many huge decisions to make in the next few days about the path they choose. Often in all the talk of opportunities in STEM subjects and the rise and fall of points, many people, regardless of age, overlook retail as an exciting and rewarding career path.

When I began my career in retail, I had no idea it would provide me with the opportunities and experiences that it has, eventually leading me to recruitment, working every day with fantastic clients and candidates, meeting new people and filling new and different roles every week. I couldn’t recommend retail more highly as an industry or a career path.

Progressive Careers

Retail Management is one of the most progressive careers in the market, an industry where the opportunities and careers available are ever-changing and as a result exciting, challenging and rewarding. The doors that are open to an enthusiastic candidate pursuing a career in retail are endless and include Management, Head Office, Buying, HR, Marketing, E-Tailing, Visual Management, the list goes on.

Not only that, but the vastness, variety and pace of the industry can provide anybody willing to work hard and learn with countless opportunities to meet new people, try new things, and see new places. Retail is an extremely fast-paced industry and is constantly innovating and evolving which provides anybody who wants to embrace new ideas and technologies, the opportunity to really make their mark and add real value to their employer, and their CV.

Those who see retail as a career and not just a job can open themselves up to a whole world of learning. There are many engaging, challenging and ever developing facets of the industry, both technically and commercially, so not only are there valuable life-skills to be gained there is also a huge depth of knowledge to be learned and countless career paths to potentially follow.

Inclusive Industry

Retail as an industry has become more savvy in terms of developing talent and employers are willing to invest more and more into their people through training, learning and development. There is a wealth of fantastic degrees, courses and Graduate Programmes available in retail, including any of the specialisms mentioned above.

Retail is a huge industry and is Ireland’s largest private-sector employer, employing over 282,000 workers across the country.An industry of this scale offers a wide range of opportunities and possibilities for all types of individuals and personalities from those with a natural gift for sales and customer engagement to others with a keen interest in data, tech, marketing or visuals


Retail News Roundup

Hotel Chocolat to open first Irish café

British chocolatier chain Hotel Chocolat has announced its plans to open its first ever Irish café. The brand will open an Irish branch in Dundrum Shop will be opening its first ever Irish café this October. According to Retail Times, the new venue will occupy a 102 square metre space in Dublin’s Dundrum shopping centre and will be offering customers a number of new cocoa-based beverages as well as the firm’s full range of exclusive chocolates. Commenting on the announcement, Simon Betty, director of retail for Ireland at the company that owns Dundrum shopping centre, Hammerson, asserted, “Hotel Chocolat is a perfect fit for Dundrum, where it will trade alongside other premium brands…Since taking ownership of Dundrum last year, we have worked to leverage our relationships with domestic and international brands in order to ensure an exciting and fresh retail mix, and this latest debut is a testament to the success of that strategy.”

Arnotts to get further €4m refresh

The Selfridges Group will invest €4m of fresh capital into Arnotts, the iconic Dublin department store. The capital will be used to enhance both the group’s store as well as its online presence and IT capabilities. There has already been significant work done to the store, which will continue over the next 12 to 24 months. The store has redesigned its interior layout, with its famous ‘Shoe Garden’ moving from the ground floor to the first in order to bring women’s footwear and clothing together. The store’s accessories and beauty halls will be refurbished and popular fashion brand Michael Kors will be added to the store’s offering. The store is working on an overhaul of its website,, which will soon be relaunched following a substantial investment as well as a redesign.

Release date announced for Heidi Klum’s fashion line with Lidl

Supermodel Heidi Klum’s much-anticipated clothing line with supermarket Lidl has been given a release date. The line will be officially launched at New York Fashion Week on September 7th and will be available in 10,000 stores worldwide from September 21st. The collection will feature clothing, along with shoes and accessories. Prices said to be starting from €5.99 with Klum saying she wanted to “create fashion with a wow effect that is easy to combine and makes every woman look fantastic – and all at an unbeatable price.” The new collection is titled “Esmara by Heidi Klum: Heidi and the City” and both Klum and Lidl have shared teasers of the collection ahead of its fashion week launch.

Tackling the Chef Crisis Series: Eileen Langan Rizvi

In our new blog series, our expert Hospitality Recruitment Consultants give their views on the Chef crisis and what they think needs to be done to solve the issue. First up, Eileen Langan Rizvi explains the need to promote hospitality as a great industry to work in….

The Chef crisis is not new, but have you seen the problem change and/or get worse in recent years?

Yes, the problem is definitely getting worse. Over the past number of years, I’ve seen commis chefs jump ahead of their qualifications to Chef de Partie/ Sous Chef in an effort by many businesses to fill gaps in their staffing. A lot of Irish chefs left the hospitality industry during the Celtic Tiger. With the economic crash, I had hoped Irish chefs would return to the industry but that hasn’t happened. Many have found a better work/life balance and no longer want to work in an industry where it is the norm to work excessive hours and every weekend for low pay. Current chefs working in restaurants, bars and hotels are seeing the lifestyle enjoyed by friends and family outside of the industry and are being inspired to move away from a career in hospitality. Others are aware of the shortage and wondering why this isn’t being reflected in their salaries.

What, in your opinion, is the main cause of chef shortage?

In my opinion, the lack of work/life balance is causing chefs to leave the industry and deterring young people from pursuing a career as a chef. The hours chefs are required to work are excessive and particularly demoralising for chefs on salary when they do the maths and realise what they are being paid per hour. Split shifts were abolished a number of years ago and this was a step in the right direction, but now chefs are working straight shifts 12+hrs instead of splits. Chefs are realising the importance of a work/life balance and are less willing to give up spending time with family to spend EVERY weekend and Bank Holiday working.

Another issue is the lack of a training Cert Course. When this was available, it provided a way into the industry for many young people and provided kitchens with eager to learn commis chefs.

Is the problem industry-wide or worse depending on location?

Through talking to my clients every day, I’m definitely seeing the problem is worse in rural areas, outside large towns and cities with bigger populations

What in your opinion is the solution to the problem?

Training Programs like Cert or proper apprentice programmes need to be introduced and promoted. These will promote hospitality as a career choice and provide a way into the industry for young people who have an interest in pursuing a career as a chef. They will also provide businesses with the opportunity to take young talent under their wing and train young chefs to become a vital part of their business.

I also think working hours need to be looked at by both employers and the wider industry. There needs to be a conscious effort to make a career as a chef more attractive by allowing chefs to have a better lifestyle.

Where should this solution come from?

The Government need to introduce a recognised apprentice program and encourage employers to take on young people as apprentices or on work placements. Providing training for young people at the start of their careers will encourage them to pursue a career as a chef by seeing all the benefits and opportunities that come with working in a kitchen.

Do you think that there is a lack of incentives to work in the industry? What can be done to attract people to careers in the industry?

Again, there needs to be a conscious effort made to achieve a better work/life balance. The very real image of chefs working 12+ hour shift and every weekend and Bank Holiday is making the industry an unattractive place to work and turning people off pursuing a career as a chef.

Manual Handling

Why Manual Handling is a Must

Manual Handling is a key part of any workplace but particularly within retail where heavy lifting and lugging can be an everyday occurrence. If not trained and applied properly, poor manual handling can result in serious injuries for employees and massive costs for employers.

Not only is it best practice but manual handling is a legal obligation. Employers must ensure all their staff (regardless of role) have received manual handling training along with refresher course every three years or if there is a major change in the working environment.

According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) over one-third of accidents that take place in Irish workplaces are as a result of incorrect manual handling procedures. The large majority of these accidents result in back injuries, followed by hands, arms and feet. Many of these injuries can be chronic or long-term resulting in further suffering for employees and increased financial strain on employers. Correct Manual Handling training and procedures can go a long way to reducing or avoiding these accidents.


Manual Handling instils good habits in employees, ensuring they know the principles of safe lifting and the proper technique to use when lifting a wide variety of loads. It equips participants with the skills and know-how to assess whether a load is safe to carry. Correct manual handling training also educates participants about the spine and how easily back injuries can happen which is helpful not only in their working lives but also for their personal well-being.


There has been significant media coverage in recent years about Ireland’s supposed compensation culture and the rising insurance costs for businesses as a result. Businesses need to be wary

Insurance costs for retailers have been steadily increasing in recent years. Along with upcoming minimum wage increases and spiralling commercial rates, businesses can’t afford the extra financial burden of rising insurance, particularly when they can be avoided easily by employing proper Manual Handling training and procedures.

It is important that employers ensure all employees training is up to date and recorded. For employers to have fulfilled their legal requirement, employees must have completed training and be able to demonstrate a complete understating of safe lifting principles.

Excel Recruitment operate Futureproof training which offers certified Manual Handling training. To learn more about individual or group training email or call (01)8717 676