MBON - How to Stand Out & Win Talent in a Competitive Jobs Market


Press release from Meath County Chamber


Meath Business Owners Network meet on Zoom

This Friday the 22nd of October, the Meath Business Owners network met over Zoom. Participants were delighted to get together again to network with their industry peers and keep up to date with business activity in the County. The meeting was once again chaired by Raymond Gibbons of BMS accountancy. The Meath Business Owners Network is a partnership between County Meath Chamber and Meath Local Enterprise office and is sponsored by Pinergy and Permanent TSB.

The theme of this month’s meeting was How to Stand Out & Win Talent in a Competitive Jobs Market. The call started with a panel discussion with James Gibbons from Gibbons recruitment and Shane Collins from Priority placements Dunboyne.  Gibbons’ recruitment specialises in Recruitment for careers in Construction, Engineering, Horticulture, Landscaping, Manufacturing & Warehousing. Priority placements specialise in Accountancy and Finance recruitment as well as HR, Marketing, and office support. 

Shane started the discussion by explaining how competitive the jobs market is now. There is a shortage across all sectors giving job seekers a lot of choice. “Candidates can afford to be fussy. They are looking for progression opportunities and hybrid working”. Shane also stressed the importance of keeping in touch with your current employees. “Talk to them. If they are working from home touch base with them to see how they are feeling. If they are new, onboarding is critical. Make them feel that they are included by explaining the company culture. Give them time and respect”

James Gibbons also stressed a focus on staff retention. “Look after your most valuable asset by practicing the three R’s. Respect, recognition, and reward.” James also stressed that employees want to feel safe. Antigen testing, sanitising stations, and commitment to face masks will give your staff confidence that you care for their safety.

When asked what practical things employers can do to attract new staff, Shane advised to stress the benefits of working with your company. “Sell the benefits first- progression opportunities, location, and anything else that makes you stand out from competitors. Employees will scan your website and social media pages to see what type of company you are. They will look at reviews also. Make sure all of these are up to date”

James also talked about considering the availability of employees. “You have to be flexible. Don’t disregard older applicants as they have a lot to offer and more than likely years of experience. We shouldn’t look at an age cohort when making appointments”. Exit interviews were also mentioned as a good way of finding out why people were leaving the company and getting feedback from people. Get current staff to recommend job opportunities to friends also.

Following on from the panel discussion Paula McCaul, CEO of Meath County Chamber welcomed 2 new members for their business shout outs. David Gilroy of Smart Sustainable business introduced his new business. “We are a small team of business practitioners who help business understand the challenges that are coming down the line in regards environmental, corporate and social governance.” As a managed service, Smart Sustainable Business will work with companies who don't yet have an internal sustainability department or serve as a support to the in-house sustainability team. Whether you need data for reporting, certification support, or supply chain data management, they offer an additional sustainability resource for your organisation.

Shane Collins of Priority Placements was the second business shout out. Established in 1999, priority placements are a leading Irish accountancy & finance recruitment agency based in Co. Meath. Shane is a qualified accountant having worked in practice, financial services, and corporate finance. They also specialise in recruiting for HR, Sales, Marketing, & Office Support.

Minister Damien English kindly joined the call for a Covid update. Minister English was relieved that the economy is opening further as planned after uncertainty last week. He asked all businesses to recommit their efforts in keeping their workplaces safe. “Guidelines, advice and updates are all available on the gov.ie website as well as hsa.ie. Employers should engage with it, especially for remote working employees.” Raymond Gibbons asked the minister when the PUP payment was due to end as a lot of employers felt that this was a hindrance to hiring staff. The minister explained how the PUP payment is being reduced gradually and recipients are being contacted regularly to check on their status. The Job placement programme was highlighted as a possible opportunity for employers to train staff. The state then pays the employee €300 per week and the employer can then take them on full time. Minister English offered his time to organise a training session on INTREO supports in the future.

After a breakout room where participants had the chance to meet in a smaller group with other members and discuss any feedback on the Meath Business Owners Network, Paula McCaul announced the winner of the spot prize- a €35 Mí Meath Card. Almost 200 businesses have already signed up (and growing) to accept the card from their customers. Keep an eye out for the ‘Spend Here’ window stickers in participating stores or check out ‘Where to Spend’ on www.mimeath.ie for a town-by-town breakdown. For shops/businesses that haven’t signed up to accept the card, you can do so for free at www.mimeath.ie. 


The next MBON is happening on the 19th of November. To register, please keep an eye on the County Meath Chamber social media pages or www.countymeathchamber.ie. Pre-registration is necessary. To sign up to accept the Mí Meath Mastercard, claim your free listing on the Meath Business Directory or to become a member just email info@countymeathchamber.ie