19 December 2010 By Martha Kearns

A recruitment company operating in a recession might expect to have seen a dip in business, but this is not the case for The People Group.

Founded 21 years ago, the company has seen a drop in the number of clients doing business with it this year, but has increased the number of roles it is dealing with.

Managing director Colm Buckley said that there had been a increase in demand for senior sales and marketing jobs, despite the recession.

‘‘While we have seen a 25 per cent reduction in the number of clients doing business with us this year, we have recorded a 40 per cent increase in the number of roles we are dealing with compared to 2009,” said Buckley. ‘‘We are doing more with fewer clients and dealing with more senior roles this year than last.”

The group, located in Clanwilliam Square, Dublin 2, is seeing that companies which over-reacted during late 2008 and 2009 and let a lot of talented and experienced staff go are now quietly trying to boost their ranks with an expectation of growth.

‘‘Businesses that have survived and that are looking to growth in 2011 are taking a hard look at costs, but are also prioritising getting close to their customers again,” said Buckley. ‘‘There is a new realisation that quality of service and professionalism are key ingredients to successful business in the next year.”

He added that more attention was being given to succession planning when it came to hiring for middle to senior level roles.

‘‘We have dealt with a number of large companies in Ireland who are finding it difficult to hire the right type of candidate who can fit with their culture and develop up through the ranks,” said Buckley.

‘‘Academic qualifications and experience are taken for granted, and are not enough for these companies.

They are looking for candidates with passion, energy, versatility, emotional intelligence and strong commercial acumen.”

The company has also noticed that, while employees are reluctant to change job due to the uncertain economic climate, salary is bottom of the list of priorities for those choosing to take up a new position.

Strong leadership, a good culture and decent career prospects are more important than rates of pay.

‘‘Candidates that have moved this year have done so because of redundancy or uncertainty in their current role, rather than ambition,” said Buckley.

He added that The People Group was optimistic for 2011, and was forecasting growth for its business ahead.

‘‘We have survived two recessions in our 21 years because we have a strong and experienced team that focuses on matching the requirements of our client companies with the experience and aspirations of candidates, thereby leading to long-term sustainable business relationships for all.”

Taken from an article that appeared in the Sunday Business Post on the 19th of December