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Report on Talent Summit Galway

May 13, 2019

Founded by Sigmar Recruitment in 2011, Talent Summit is an action-packed thought-leadership conference aimed at HR professionals, CEOs and hiring managers and has grown to become one of the largest HR conferences in Europe. On 9th May, Talent Summit once again brought a fantastic line-up to The Clayton Hotel, Galway, in association with Sigmar Recruitment and Vhi Healthcare.


The event brought together a delegation of over 130 HR professionals to share and engage in content around the theme, “The Talent Revolution: Leading Change.”




Throughout the day, delegates heard keynotes from expert speakers on talent attraction and retention strategies and panellists who shared real life case studies from employment successes and failures. Here are some of the key take-aways from the day:


The Talent Supply Chain: Buy, Build, Borrow or Bots


David Barrett, Chief Commercial Officer of cut-e, began the morning with a presentation on automation and artificial intelligence. As AI, robotics and machine learning replaces elements of what we do, how do we approach recruiting, re-organising and deploying talent for today’s augmented workforce?




David introduced the topic with some interesting statistics:




With the use of AI becoming more prevalent with each passing day, David aptly quoted Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” As AI grows, skills and competencies change, and jobs become automated, it is up to us to adapt.



Employment Law Update


Employment law expert Eoin O’Connor briefed the summit delegates on updates to the Employment Equality Act 1998, introducing the ins and outs of the Gender Pay Gap Bill, which was approved by the Dáil in early April. Eoin gave a comprehensive overview of every new development HR professionals needed to consider moving forward with regard to the publishing of payment equality in the workplace. The reporting of companies’ gender pay gap data is a sensitive, complex issue but, with Eoin’s insight, attendees left the conference fully informed of the practical implications presented by this new amendment.




Leadership Through Action


Just before the morning break, Maureen Walsh, Managing Director of DeCare Dental, spoke on the topic ‘Leadership Through Action’. In her keynote, she explained that “everyone is brilliant at something” and that leaders need to encourage others to find their inner genius.



Leaders should look at the individuals in their team and ask themselves, what do they do... 


- better than anything else they do?

- better than the people around them?

- without effort?

- without being asked?

- readily without being paid?


Asking these questions as a leader will help you to unlock your teams inner strength and talents.


Unlocking Performance Through Engagement


Sigmar Recruitment Director Malwina King led a panel discussion on ‘Unlocking Performance Through Engagement’. She was accompanied by Tony Óg Regan, Performance Psychology Coach; Niamh Graham, Vice President Global HR of Workhuman; and John Goulding, CEO and Co-Founder of Workvivo.



At the end of a lively discussion about employee engagement and interactive leadership, Malwina asked each of the panellists to share their most important tip for candidates to take away with them back to their workplaces.


- Tony championed “feedback” as his most important tool when engaging employees. Constant communication with workers, checking in and monitoring performance and morale are all crucial to unlocking the best out of people, he says.


- John’s number one tip was that leaders should not try to do everything at once. He argued that the best way to unleash potential in employees is to have one clear message and communicate it efficiently and consistently.


- Expanding on Tony’s advice, Niamh advocated strongly for getting to know each employee on a personal level. She put forward an excellent case for getting to know your staff’s hobbies, personalities, strengths and weaknesses, so that you are able to engage with them that surpasses a transactional level



Leading Change


Chanelle, Lady McCoy gave an honest overview of her personal journey and what lead her to be the successful business person she is today. She bravely opened up about the struggles she faced as working woman and mother of two children. Although she was born into a successful family, with her mother and father both founding Chanelle Medical, her father advised her to go out and make her own success. Holding up her parents as inspiration, Chanelle worked hard to achieve everything she has. Her biggest piece of advice for anyone managing people is to “serve your people to serve your customers.” She has learned that the best way to manage people is to have empathy and always give recognition. Looking after your staff means they will look after your business.




This was the second event of its kind held this year. Talent Summit will also be coming to Cork this June 18th in the Clayton Cork. You can find out more about the event online at or follow us on Twitter @TalentIRL






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