Grocery Retail Recruitment Q&A

Grocery Retail Recruitment Q&A

Our Director of Grocery Retail, Nikki Murran, featured in a recent edition of ShelfLife magazine’s Recruitment Q&A to answer some of the most prevalent questions within the grocery retail sector.

Q: In today’s competitive marketplace, retailers are finding it difficult to secure experienced staff. What would you say are the main factors behind this and how significant is this issue currently within Ireland’s grocery industry?

A: There is any number of factors contributing to the staffing crisis, but I feel the most obvious issues are as follows:

Supply has decreased: We started the pandemic from a place of near perfect unemployment but the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) allowed candidates to opt out of the workforce for an extended period of time. This caused a proportion of the retail sector to return home to other European countries during the pandemic and the last two years has seen a number of candidates leave the retail industry to pursue roles in other sectors.
Demand has increased: 2020 saw an additional €2 billion in grocery sales and still, to date, we are seeing an additional €200 per household per quarter being spent in the grocery sector. The DIY retail trade has also seen a substantial increase in many stores with no slowdown in sight and reports of pent-up demand still in play from 2020/21.

Q: How can your knowledge and experience within the FMCG industry help retailers to circumvent the current recruitment challenges?

A: Excel Recruitment has been recruiting for and supporting the Irish retail sector for the past 20 years. When it comes to retail recruitment, no other company has more experience in the Irish market. We are a team of retailers, recruiting for retailers. With over 85% of our business coming from repeat customers, we know we’re providing an excellent service. We take the time to understand the needs of each store by thoroughly screening the candidates from our extensive database and our team also provides honest feedback to clients and candidates throughout the recruiting process to ensure the perfect match for the role.

Q: What advice would you give retailers to ensure their employment packages stand out from competitors and can attract the best talent available?

A: Some of the key factors to take into account are as follows:
Tailor each package depending on the role / candidate
This is where we’ve seen the best successes in the market. It’s important to understand what each potential candidate is looking for in their next career move. Time and again, clients are tempted to offer more money to candidates. However, by understanding a candidate’s motivations – you may find that additional annual leave, healthcare discounts or reduced hours are more likely to secure your preferred hire.

Think outside the box
Small benefits like discounts on local gyms, canteen discounts, extra days of annual leave for birthdays, free tea, coffee and newspapers go a lot further than you may think! These small inexpensive perks are a great way to attract candidates. Be sure to list all your perks – no matter how small and include them with every job that you are looking to hire for.

Profit share
With basic salaries going up, this can be an ideal option by putting in place bonuses linked to a store’s profitability. You can offer outstanding on-target earnings without impacting your store’s wage budget.

Q: From the job candidate’s perspective, how will you help them to prepare for their best interview performance?

A: We tailor our candidate preparation depending on each individual, and the role that they are going for. By getting to know each candidate and by understanding their past experience/future ambitions, we’re positioning ourselves to support the candidate through each step of the hiring process. This can be anything from helping them to phrase answers, giving them the company background, suggesting the best stores for them to visit beforehand or teaching them how to conduct a virtual interview. And sometimes, we’re just simply a sounding board for a candidate to voice their concerns.

Q: It has become increasingly common for employers to hold multiple interviews. What specific advice would you give candidates when embarking on the second or third round of interviews?

A: I would recommend to clients to get all decision makers to sit in on the first interview so that you can conduct a thorough first round. This allows us to move at a faster pace in this overheated market and leaves no need for subsequent rounds. However, if you are a candidate who is called back for additional rounds:

  • Treat it like the first round! You may be meeting a new interviewer – and it is imperative you come across as well prepared, professional, interested and engaged as you did in the first round.
  • Don’t worry about repeating information from the first round – often the previous interviewer is anxious for the new interviewer to hear what you had to say.
  • Prepare and recap on your preparation for round one. Think about any questions you would like to have asked and prepare answers for any questions you felt you underperformed on during the previous rounds.
  • They liked you in round one, so relax, be yourself and enjoy!

Q: As we tentatively emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, do you believe that staff shortages will significantly lessen in the next 12 months?

A: No, looking forward, I can’t see any factors in play that will dramatically increase supply or decrease demand so it’s hard to see how these shortages will cease in the near future. Having said that, I do believe there are still great people available in the retail industry, if you know where to look. It’s essential to have a strong recruitment partner now more than ever to recruit talent for your business, and we will continue to help our clients and candidates in whatever way we can.

You can check out all our live retail jobs here. For more information you can contact Nikki on 01 814 8747 or email nikki@excelrecruitment.com.

 

Retail staff

Ireland’s Retail Sector on the Verge of Severe Staffing Crisis

The trajectory of job postings for the retail sector is on a consistent upward trend, having more than doubled from 1,578 in February 2021 to 4,258 in February 2022[1]. Excel Recruitment, the leading retail recruitment specialists in Ireland, is warning that the retail sector could be the next industry to face a serious and damaging staffing crisis, something akin to that currently being suffered in the hospitality sector. Excel Recruitment is advising retail employers throughout the country about the necessary steps they can take to mitigate this shortage and make their industry a more attractive prospect for workers.

Aislinn Lea, Director of Fashion and Non-Food at Excel Recruitment commented,

“The industry data paints a stark picture – between 2019 and 2021, the number of retail job seekers per retail job vacancy had been increasing year on year. However, since then it has dipped significantly and in February 2022 there were 39 job seekers per job, down from 78 job seekers per job in February 2021. What’s more, the number of employers with active retail job vacancies has now nearly tripled in the 12 months to February 2022 when it stood at 1,360 employers – up from 488 employers in February 2021[1].

Over the course of the pandemic, many people were out of work and/or on reduced hours – they had more time on their hands to really look at their careers, their lives, and what they want from both. As a result, we’ve seen thousands of workers change careers, upskill in their current industry, and/or just make the decision to strive for a better work-life balance.

That dynamic, combined with the fact that the industry has also missed out on approximately two years of new candidate intakes – due to workers either leaving the sector during Covid because of lockdowns and working restrictions, or indeed leaving the country – has left supply as a major issue, which continues to deteriorate.”

Ms. Lea commented,

“Retailers are facing an uphill battle, but we have identified a number of actions that employers can consider to allow them to attract the talent needed.

Many employers we speak with are disheartened because they say significantly boosting salaries to attract and retain workers is just not feasible now. However, money is not the only solution to the problem. Daily, I tell people that there are more ways to build the team you want and need in your business than by basing it on money alone.

Obviously, wages must be attractive to some degree – people need to be able to maintain a good standard of living from the remuneration they receive in the sector and salaries need to be competitive. But where we are seeing the real changes is in benefits, employer flexibility, and better working conditions.”

Addressing Employee Benefits

Excel Recruitment has outlined several key considerations for incentivising roles within the retail sector.

Ms. Lea commented,

“Working hours are a huge consideration for people. While working from home simply does not work in most cases; as an employer, you could explore how you might rejig the working week. Can you offer some weekend and evening flexibility in the structure? Candidates are looking for more flexibility so that they can plan their home lives accordingly. The introduction of every second weekend on/off is proving to be very popular amongst some of our retail partners.

Annual leave is another area where improvements can be made. We appreciate that the statutory entitlement is 20 days plus bank holidays. However, keeping in tune with trends regarding work-life balance and the fact that retail requires more flexibility, the need to offer more than 20 days is a must in retail management. We’re seeing a shift to 23-25 days’ holidays.”

The recruitment experts note that while pension schemes have long been an important benefit to employees, they are not necessarily often provided by employers and are an area where more businesses could review their policy and introduce attractive proposals for employees.

Ms. Lea commented,

“In addition, we are finding that incentives and benefits that focus on employee wellbeing, such as Employee Assistance Programmes are increasingly attractive – where staff are supported with free counselling services for work-related or personal problems.

Bonus schemes have become a benefit that not many managers take seriously. To work well, management needs to ensure bonuses are based on performance and sales but it is also extremely important to be more specific in outlining bonus details and conditions.

Softer incentives including referral schemes for new staff and/or loyalty bonuses, brand perks and discounts, and more personalised offerings such as uniform allowances, the Bike to Work scheme, birthdays off, gym memberships, and lunch allowances are becoming more common. Employer reward schemes and in-house awards that celebrate conscientious staff members also create engagement and can help increase staff motivation and morale.

While there are many pathways open to employers regarding more diverse packages for employee benefits, Excel Recruitment says that employers must be active in advertising these to candidates.

Ms. Lea concluded,

“Creating these incentives is one element, but the next important step is to include these benefits and perks in any company vacancies or job advertisements so that potential employees can consider them alongside the job role. Candidates are looking for more, but it’s not just about money – the focus is increasingly about enjoying one’s career while having time to enjoy your life outside of work too.”

[1] Indeed Hiring insights – Retail category in Ireland

You can contact Aislinn for more information at aislinn@excelrecruitment.com. Please click here to search for all of our live retail roles.

Fashion & Non-Food Retail

Fashion & Non-Food Salary Outlook 2022

Industry Outlook & Not-For-Profit Organisation’s

After nearly two years of disruption, companies are still adapting to new consumer priorities, and digital is providing a nexus for growth. Nevertheless, the industry faces significant challenges amid the large influx of retail jobs required, but there is not enough candidates around to fill these roles.

Why is this? The speed of recovery across regions is expected to be uneven, and players must stay flexible in the market to attract more candidates to the industry.

There’s several economic factors affecting retail jobs such as

• Two years of minimal new entrants to the retail industry.
• We’re losing a variety of experienced managers who may have lost their jobs, or where stores were temporarily closed. This resulted in people seeking employment in new sectors.
• You can also expect to see the usual losses of managers moving out of retail for various personal reasons.
• We’ve seen a lot of retail fashion managers upskilling since the 2020-2021 closure. This segment of people are now carrying out a variety of online courses and returning to education to gain new knowledge/skills for completely different industries.

On a positive note, we’ve seen many non-profit organisation’s, address their fundraising challenges by pivoting towards digital strategies so they can provide essential resources and funds for their communities. This has helped the industry to see an increase in both sales, customers, and new store openings. The fashion and luxury goods industries have really stepped it up when paying attention to the impact they have on the environment. This is vital for the sector as many people now have a keen interest in sustainability initiatives through upcycling clothes or buying from vintage stores which has created a footfall of new customers. The growth in these sustainable efforts will continue to prosper and we’re all for ‘what’s preloved in your wardrobe, can be reloved in someone else’s wardrobe’.

How To Attract More Talent For Retail?

Employers now need to place more time into writing their job advertisements.

Some tips that will help with this are as follows:

• Clearly outline the role and the responsibilities, but more importantly you will need to highlight the benefits. Be creative with your benefits package.
• Look at the trading hours and ensure a work life balance can be achieved – every second weekend off is one of our favourites.
• Basic salary must be competitive.
• Bonus structure should be clear and achievable with stated KPI’s based on previous years and months.
• Discounts can be broken down into various costs & perks.
• A Pension Scheme is certainly worth looking at and very much appreciated by candidates.
• Healthcare is again very important to people.
• Team Building like creative fun days or events / celebrations are great talking points. Candidates buy into employers & company culture in the same way that employers buy into a candidates fit for a role.
• Maternity Leave is a benefit that we are starting to see more of. This does not have to cover the entire maternity leave, but partial cover is greatly appreciated by all.

Looking Ahead to 2022

Similar to 2021, we’ve seen a lot of challenges particularly around logistics and people. However, the retail industry remains very strong with areas such as DIY, Home and Fashion all recording excellent results. Sports casual and fitness companies will see continued growth, while “green careers” which is tied in with sustainability will remain a huge focus in 2022. All in all, we anticipate a busy year ahead with a huge demand for candidates across this sector.

If you need any assistance, please contact aislinn@excelrecruitment.com. If you are looking for a job in the Fashion & Non-Food retail industry, please see our live jobs here. View the Fashion Non-Food Salary Guide 2022 here.

Grocery Retail Jobs

Grocery Retail Salary Outlook 2022

Key Trends in the Grocery Retail Industry

Over the last 12 months, we have yet again seen how robust and adaptive the Irish grocery retail sector really is. Not only have we witnessed the growth in sales across the industry as a whole, but we’ve also watched as this incredible industry, and the people in it, spectacularly met the ever-changing challenges that 2021 brought!

In the second half of the year, Retailers faced peaks in demand for top talent in all areas of the grocery sector. The re-opening of the non-food and hospitality sectors carried further challenges as retailers encountered staff shortages in many of their entry level roles.

This, coupled with an exodus of many staff to their home countries saw pressure across many stores to keep their staffing levels at a rate that could match their store needs.

The areas most impacted are mainly in fresh foods with delicatessens, bakeries, and butchers. The salary increases across 2021 reflect this.

We have also seen an increase in the entry level management roles since the rise in the minimum wage in 2020 along with the Pandemic Unemployment Payment which forced retailers to up the entry-level hourly rates in many circumstances.

This has caused a knock-on effect for many of the Supervisor and Trainee Manager salaries in the last 12 months.

What Are Employers Doing?

Across the industry, employers are still seeking ways to grow, retain and attract top talent. Similar to previous years, employers are still working hard and trying to think ‘outside the box’ to keep talented staff.

Furthermore, there is a particular focus on work-life balance, culture, and progression. Another important aspect that employers should place a strong focus on is keeping his/her staff safe whilst in the workplace.

Much like last year, 2022 looks set to be a challenging but exciting time for the Irish grocery retail. Despite a testing 2021 and facing into a somewhat uncertain 2022, retailers remain as passionate and as energetic about the industry as ever.

What’s Next?

If you wish to discuss the findings of this guide or how we can assist with your recruitment needs, please feel free to contact us at www.excelrecruitment.com.

Alternatively, you can call us on 01 814 8747 or email Nikki, our Director of Grocery Retail at nikki@excelrecruitment.com.

We have compiled this guide which is supported by data from the best retail managers across the country. This guide is designed to give our clients a guide to the current market prices for the various roles within the Irish grocery market.

If you would like more information on the Grocery Retail Salary Outlook for 2022, please click here for the Grocery Retail Salary Guide 2022.

Salary Guide For 2022

Salary Guides & Recruiting Trends 2022

This year has been another challenging one across our client’s sectors, with most managing pent up to demand and growth through a COVID environment. As we enter 2022 with uncertainty, Our clients and candidates have been inspirational throughout 2021, deploying innovative solutions in product delivery, new ways of shopping and managing large teams working from home. A special mention must be given to the hospitality and entertainment industry, trading with ever-changing rules and fluctuations in consumer demand.

Our guide this year reflects on how much the world of work is changing and having to adapt due to the crisis in the shortage of staff brought on by the pandemic. The pandemic caused a shift in people’s priorities to create the ‘Great resignation’ or ‘Great re-evaluation’. While 65% of employers indicated pay rises are in play, income is no longer people’s only priority when it comes to their careers. Training & development opportunities, flexible working conditions, company culture and tangible benefits such as pension schemes, healthcare insurance and career progression are becoming just as important, along with, of course, agile working conditions.

There is no question that Covid has brought many challenges, but it has also widened the talent pool due to the flexibility around scheduling remote interviews and the increased ability to work from home. Employers say that attracting the right talent with the right skills will be the biggest challenge in 2022. With Economic growth forecast at 7% for 2022, the real question is… Will companies be able to source and recruit the talent that they need to fill these roles?

In this current climate, employers need to set their employer brand apart from the competition in the same way that they differentiate their products and services. It is expected that demand for recruitment services will be even more heated in. This won’t change any time soon.

Staffing will be the biggest challenge for our clients across all our sectors. 2021 brought soaring salary costs in transportation with our Driver hourly rate doubling. In healthcare One in Five Nurses want to leave front line services whilst the lack of experienced staff in hospitality will be catastrophic when the sector finally re-opens, the Chef crisis replaced by the Kitchen porter crisis. We look forward to supporting our clients through all these pressure points.

You can view the full salary guide by clicking Salary Guides 2022.

To discuss these findings or to chat to Excel Recruitment about how they can help you with your staffing requirements, please get in touch with us at info@excelrecruitment.com or call 01 814 8747.

Butcher Jobs Market

Butcher Jobs Market Update: High demand sees employers responding

Claire Byrne is a part of Excel Recruitment’s award-winning grocery retail recruitment team specialising in butcher recruitment. Here, she discusses what the current butcher jobs market looks like….

Like patio furniture during a heatwave, butchers are in high demand.

Consumers increasingly want to eat better meat and know more about the meat they are eating. Not only where it’s from, but how to cook it, how to eat it, what cuts will work best for them or go further for their family. A knowledgeable butcher is key to this education.

Covid has only accelerated this, but few could have predicted just how much. People are having to eat at home at levels never seen before, and are embracing it, investing the time and effort into cooking.

Customers and store managers, from independents to nationwide supermarkets, are more and more recognising the importance of having a great butcher or butchers on their team.

What does this mean for butchers on the jobs market?

Basically, it has never been a better time to be a butcher. As fresh food categories boom, butchers are highly sought after and aware of the salaries they can gain on the job market.

Employers are seeing in real-time how customers respond to having great butchers in-store and what this means for sales. Adding to this is a tighter talent market which employers are working hard to address. Our grocery clients are working to not retain the butcher talent they have but also to attract more to their business.

Salaries and pay rates are more flexible and reflective of the value butchers bring to the business. Outside of salary, the best employers are looking at the whole package and work culture. They are want to invest in their careers of their butcher team, providing more opportunities to learn, gain new skills and move up in the business. Work is also being around work-life balance and creating a great team culture.

Butchery is a skilled job, requiring years of training and a high level of dedication. More and more employers are recognising this and the opportunities for a butcher looking for a new job are endless.

At Excel, it couldn’t be easier to find butcher jobs, simply give me a call on 01-8717613 and I’ll take care of the rest! To view any of our live grocery jobs, click here.

 

 

Retail Recruitment

The Excel Recruitment Podcast: Grocery Careers

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In the first instalment of our new podcast, Excel Recruitment CEO Barry Whelan and Director of Grocery Retail Nikki Murran discuss careers in grocery retail, the current recruitment market and why COVID-19 has shown the benefits of a career in grocery.

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SuperValu Blanchardstown’s Jamie Caffrey named National Grocery Retail Manager of the Year 2020

Now in their 15th year, the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards once again recognised individual management excellence in the grocery sector and honoured the talent in each department that make up our supermarkets and convenience stores.

While the standard of entrants was as high as ever, this year’s ceremony marked a break from tradition due to COVID-19. Broadcast virtually live from the RDS, the audience tuned in to watch MC, RTE’s Karina Buckley, announce the winners of the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards. After a year like no other, the nation’s gratitude to our retailers was expressed by Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, who said “I wanted to congratulate you on your achievement but I also wanted to thank you…. I want you to know when we thank the frontline heroes throughout 2020, that includes the people working in grocery, that includes the people working in our petrol stations, in our convenience stores, in our supermarkets. The people who got up every morning and looked after us.”

The night’s biggest award, Supreme Champion for 2020 was awarded to Jamie Caffrey of SuperValu Blanchardstown with the judges praising Caffrey and her achievements, “Our winner has spent the last 18 months making the store more customer-friendly, more profitable and a more enjoyable place to work.” Excel Recruitment’s own Nikki Murran summed up Jamie as “a trailblazer in the world of grocery retail,” having started in the retail trade at only 16 and at only 23, having already been promoted to store manager.

Excel Recruitment is proud to be involved with the GMAs since the award’s beginning. We would like to thank everyone who entered the awards in what has been a strange and challenging year and say a huge congratulations to all 15 deserving winners.

Delicatessen / Food to Go Manager of the Year

Linda O’Sullivan,
Eurospar Cobh,
Co. Cork

Cash & Carry Manager of the Year

Tom Ryan,
Value Centre,
Hebron Road,
Co. Kilkenny

Off-Licence Manager

Shane McNulty,
SuperValu Ballinteer,
Dublin 16

Protein/Provisions Manager

Jason Mc Donagh,
SuperValu Lucan,
Co. Dublin

HR Manager of the Year

Carley Dennan,
SuperValu,
Blackrock,
Co. Dublin

Brand Marketing Team

Premier Lotteries

Small C-Store Manager of the Year

Rebecca Murphy,
Herlihy’s Centra Grand Parade,
Co.Cork

Medium C-Store Manager of the Year

Alan O’Donnell,
Daybreak Cahir,
Co. Tipperary

Large C-Store Manager of the Year

Briege O’Kane,
Top Oil Newhall,
Naas,
Co. Kildare

Small Forecourt Manager of the Year

David Martin,
Mace,
Glanmire,
Co. Cork

Large Forecourt Manager of the Year
Ian Leahy

Maxol Ballincollig,
Co. Cork

Supermarket Manager of the Year (Small)

Tanya McGarry,
Charlesland,
Greystones,
Co. Wicklow

Supermarket Manager of the Year (Mid-Large)

Doug Thompson,
SuperValu
Sundrive,
Dublin 6

Retail Team of the Year

Londis St. James Hospital, Dublin 8

Supreme Champion

Jamie Caffrey,
SuperValu,
Blanchardstown,
Dublin

Grocery Management Awards 2020 Shortlist

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We are excited to reveal the shortlisted nominees for the 2020 Shelflife Grocery Management Awards!

The ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards 2020 are now in their 15th year and Excel Recruitment is proud to have been involved since the beginning. Despite the uncertainty of this year, the team have adapted the judging process and ceremony to continue honouring the Irish grocery retail sector, in a year where the sector’s importance has been highlighted to everyone. As usual, the standard of entries was exceptionally high, showcasing the talent, creativity and diligence within grocery retail management.

This year’s Grocery Management Awards gala ceremony takes place on 10 December and will be broadcast live from the RDS in Dublin. Check out the list of shortlisted nominees below.

 

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Retail Team of the Year 2020

Sponsored by BRANDHUB

XL Shop at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9
Daybreak Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Herlihys Centra, Fermoy, Co. Cork
SuperValu Castletroy, Limerick
Londis James Hospital, Dublin 8
SuperValu Walkinstown, Dublin 12
SuperValu Blackrock, Co. Dublin
SuperValu Northside, Dublin 17

Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager

Helen Taylor, Daybreak Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Eoin Crosbie, Crosbie’s Daybreak Irishtown, Athlone, Co Westmeath
Annah Yesayan, Herlihy’s Centra, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork City
Zlata Vacova, Herlihy’s Centra Grand Parade, Cork City
Jason Plazo, Griffins Londis Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Tina Delaney, Daybreak, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Aiden Sheahan, Corrib Oil Tralee, Co. Kerry
Claire Dineen, Daybreak Clerihan, Co. Tipperary
Lestor Valencia, Griffin’s Londis Carmnhall Rd., Sandyford, Dublin 18
Tomislav Dobrijevic, Griffins Londis, Parkwest, Dublin 12
Joe Canning, SuperValu Sundrive, Dublin 6
Linda O’Sullivan, Eurospar Cobh, Co. Cork
Aoife O Hara, Herlihy’s Patricks Street, Fermoy, Co. Cork

Cash & Carry Manager

Sponsored by BAT

Winner announced at the show

Off-Licence Manager of the Year

Sponsored by Bibendum Ireland

Shane McNulty, SuperValu Ballinteer, Dublin 16
Denise Cummins, Herlihy’s Centra, Patrick’s Street, Fermoy, Cork
Robert Mooney, SuperValu Sutton Cross, Dublin 13

Protein/Provisions Manager of the Year

Sponsored by EIQA

Dominic Kelleher, Herlihy’s Centra, Fermoy, Cork
Jason Mc Donagh, SuperValu Lucan, Co. Dublin
Alan Curley, SuperValu Sutton Cross, Dublin 13

HR Manager of the Year

Sponsored by Excel Recruitment

Louise Kelly, Asia Market, Ballymount, Dublin 12
Carley Dennan, SuperValu, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
Jessica Maher, SuperValu, Lucan, Co. Dublin
Susan Doherty, Kelly’s Centra, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Nichola Deere, Castletroy, Dublin Road, Co. Limerick
Janine McCormack, SuperValu, Sundrive, Dublin 12

C-Store Manager of the Year (Large)

Sponsored by PepsiCo

Sean Hennessy, Corrib Oil Tralee, Co. Kerry
Nick Ye, Londis DCU Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Martin Rodgers, Kelly’s Centra, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Briege O’Kane, Top Oil Newhall, Naas, Co. Kildare

C-Store Manager of the Year (Mid-Size)

Colum Browne, XL Clogheen, Co. Tipperary
Aivars Mezapuke, Spar Caple St, Dublin 1
Alan O’Donnell, Daybreak Cahir, Co. Tipperary
Grainne Keating, Scully’s XL Daingean, Co. Offaly
Dean Hand, Daybreak Clerihan, Co. Tipperary
Simon McCarthy, Londis Fonthill, Dublin 22
Ger Kelly, Delaneys Mace Tuam Road, Co. Galway
Deirdre Stoneham, Londis Top Oil, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

C-Store Manager of the Year (Small)

Eoin Crosbie, Daybreak Rustic Castlerea, Co. Roscommon
Raj Kodali, Herlihy’s Centra Patrick Street, Cork
Martina Webb, Londis St James Hospital, Dublin 8
Lucia Fitzpatrick, Spar Rathangan, Co. Kildare
Tony Geelan, Geelan’s XL, Waddington, Cleariestown, Co.Wexford
Rebecca Murphy, Herlihy’s Centra Grand Parade, Co.Cork
Jane Mooney, Smyth’s Daybreak, Williamstown, Co. Galway
Abdullah Saghir, Griffin’s Londis, 49 Grafton Street, Dublin 2
Imran Ishfaq, Griffin’s Londis, 14/15 Lower O’Connell Street, Dublin 2
Christopher Lane, Hanrahan’s Londis, The Faythe, Wexford town, Co. Wexford
Liam O’Brien, Kernan’s XL, Drumboy, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Forecourt Manager of the Year (Large)

Sponsored by Seattle’s Best

Denise Farrell, Mace Headford, Co. Galway
Brian Joyce, The Galway Plaza, Athenry, Co. Galway
Ian Leahy, Herlihy’s Maxol Service Station, Ballincollig Co. Cork

Forecourt Manager of the Year (Small)

Sponsored by Seattle’s Best

Pedro Gamelas, Daybreak Castletownbere, Co. Cork
Kevin Forde, Daybreak Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Daniel Gherca, Daybreak Ballinalack, Co. Westmeath
Matthew Monaghan, XL Salthill, Co. Galway
David Martin, Mace, Glanmire, Co. Cork
Ela Oczachowska, Brackens Gala, Stradbally, Co. Laois

Supermarket Manager of the Year (Mid-Large)

Sponsored by Johnston Shopfitters

Chris O’ Driscoll, SuperValu Castletroy, Co. Limerick
Doug Thompson, SuperValu Sundrive, Dublin 6
Edgaras Stanius, SuperValu Walkinstown, Dublin 12
Jamie Caffrey, SuperValu, Blanchardstown, Dublin
David Howell – SuperValu Lucan, Co. Dublin

Supermarket Manager of the Year (Small)

Sponsored by Bank of Ireland

James Brennan, SuperValu Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Jonathan Mooney, Eurospar Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Tanya McGarry, Charlesland, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
Tommy Murphy, Burkes Eurospar, Kinvara, Co. Galway
Shane Jones, Eurospar, Cobh, Co. Cork
Fintan Battles, Liddy’s Eurospar, Ennis, Co. Clare
Simon Champ, Herlihy’s, Fermoy, Co. Cork

Brand Marketing Team

Sponsored by BWG Foods

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How, and why, to think long-term when hiring during post lockdown uncertainty

As a country, we continue to balance the fight against COVID-19 with the fight to rebound against its effects on the economy. Businesses are also moving from focusing on operating safely to focusing on their longer-term goals; while still operating in an uncertain and constantly changing landscape. This leads many managers to question their strategies for hiring during post lockdown uncertainty.

What this means in recruitment terms, is that hiring someone new at any level is now a more important decision than ever. Even for business with bright long-term futures, the uncertainty that’s affecting the entire world has understandably hindered everyone’s ability to plan anything, from holidays to houses to new hires. Below are a few tips to ensure you maximise the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts for the long-term, even as things continue to change.

Take stock

Now more than ever it is crucial to be clear on the needs and goals of your business, and who you may need to hire to achieve these. Taking a step back and actively assessing your current team’s strengths and weaknesses can allow you to identify potential gaps in talent or assess whether it may be a simpler issue of retraining, motivating or even promoting your current team. By refocusing on the long-term vision for the business, as well as current needs rather than just making the quickest/ cheapest/ most convenient hire, you are less likely to make a potentially costly mistake.

Quality over quantity

An unfortunate fact of this pandemic is that more people from a wide range of industries are now looking for work. Many are looking for a change of sector, either temporarily until things return to normal or permanently. Open vacancies, including those that were headaches to fill just a few months ago, are now seeing a huge spike in applications. While this sounds great, shifting through unqualified or unsuitable candidates can be time-consuming, particularly if you’re not looking with a focused eye. While it is important to stay open-minded to transferable skills and experience, by building the profile of your ideal hire before you start recruiting, you’re less likely to waste on unsuitable CVs or make a snap decision on who to hire for the sake of speeding up the process.

Candidate experience

While we are no longer operating in the candidate’s market we were just a few short months ago, it is important to remember that to have high calibre staff, you must first attract a pool of high calibre candidates. While there are now more active jobseekers generally, grocery retail is still a competitive and thriving employment market and you want to ensure you’re attracting the best applicants possible.

Budgets are tighter and employers want to avoid having to offer candidates more and more money to entice them to move. But salary isn’t the be-all and end-all for candidates either. Factors such as commute, work/life balance, company culture and career progression are all still priorities to candidates regardless of COVID-19 and should be highlighted throughout the recruitment process.

Remember the soft skills

Although there is a lot to be positive about as the country returns to normal, there is still uncertainty around the economy with government guidelines being revised and reassessed as needed. As frontline workers during the entirety of lockdown, those working in the grocery industry know more than anyone how crucial it is to be able to react and pivot quickly, while simultaneously remaining welcoming and friendly to customers. Resilience, adaptability flexibility and positivity are qualities in your team and potential new staff that cannot be underestimated as we continue to learn how to operate in post lockdown life.