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Midlandjobs Adds Field for “Key Competencies” in Job Listings

To highlight the importance of competencies in the recruitment process, the website has now uniquely had a new field to our job listings screen, especially for Key Competencies. We strongly encourage employers to consider using competency based recruitment techniques in 2021.

Of course skills will always be important for securing a job anywhere. And yes, good qualifications are often a minimum requirement. However there does seem to be some disruption to the usual norms of hiring going on right now, amid the uncertainty of a pandemic-hit jobs market of 2021.

In fact, the only certainty about the supply of talent this Summer, will be uncertainty itself. Uncertainty about how many skilled new hires a business will need before the end of this year. Uncertainty around how many qualified candidates will be available, already located on the island of Ireland [and are therefore not subject to hotel quarantine]. Uncertainty if overseas candidates will even be free to travel this year to take up jobs in the Midlands.

The adoption of Competency-based recruitment techniques in this scenario, could provide employers with the chance of securing suitable staff, even in this restricted pool of candidates.

Competency recruitment is to an extent, about focusing only on the absolute MUST HAVES!! You’re reading the cv and asking yourself if there is any evidence of your pre-designated key competencies. So even if there may be some shortcomings in the skills and qualifications, if those key competencies are present at all, you could potentially proceed through the stages of the recruitment process with this candidate.

The key to success is in deciding what those key factors are as you write up the job description and job ad, all of which takes a little longer at the start. It also makes the job of the pre-screening that little bit more onerous. But it’s at that all-important point of hiring that the hard work pays off in spades. Now you know that while your successful candidate may not be coming to you necessarily with all of the boxes ticked, they certainly have come through as having the ideal “attitude” and approach to the job you’re hiring for. You know they will hit the ground running and they will be a safe pair of hands.  You can at least hope that you’ve uncovered a gem and that your hire will turn out to be a win-win for both the company and the candidate.

Silver Lining

From a candidate point of view, many may not realise that the demand for talent in many sectors continues unabated, despite the disruption to business caused by the pandemic. Could this be the opportunity that many talented local candidates have been waiting for? – their moment to shine. And the good news for candidates is that competencies (not to be confused with aptitude) can actually be developed throughout your career. You can train yourself for competencies.

We know in Midlandjobs that there is no shortage of competency in the Midlands. Naturally occurring, home-grown talent, already located in or in some other way connected to the Midlands region of Ireland. In a normal year, international job-boards help to channel cv’s through from overseas candidates. And so the eyes of employers may inadvertently be drawn away from local talent. It could be very beneficial therefore that local candidates strike while the iron is still hot in 2021 and keep a close eye on job opportunities with local employers on and all job boards used by Midlands employers.

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What Work Perks Should Employers Offer Irish Candidates?

Working in the Midlands

Work perks are quickly becoming a crucial part of attracting the very best candidates to your roles.

Yes everyone loves a competitive salary, open-plan city-centre offices and plenty of holidays – but companies are being forced to get inventive with perks to make their business the place to be for inspired, young applicants.

So, what can Irish companies, in particular, do to set themselves apart from the competition and offer some truly attractive work perks?

Freedom to travel

Travel is on everyone’s mind these days.

It’s almost as if you haven’t lived until you’ve hopped on a plane and seen the world.

Even career-minded folk who value their company position over the thought of nights sleeping on the beach can be forgiven for yearning to get away from it all. In this new reality, employers shouldn’t try and repress a yearning for adventure, they should embrace it.

A great work perk to rope in great candidates early is to offer them the opportunity to travel down the line. Sabbaticals and extended holiday periods are now becoming commonplace, but give your team the impression they won’t need to give years to the company to get a month out to travel. You can even introduce the idea of remote working while travelling to please both parties.

Adventurous go-getters can also be swayed by the promise of travelling for work. Whether internationally or within the country, travelling for business can be an enlightening experience for your staff. With saving systems such as an Applegreen fuel card (fuel card novices can learn more here) and frequent flyer miles it doesn’t even cost businesses that much to send an extra staff member on what could be a great educational journey.

Relocation assistance

More and more Irish companies across a number of different sectors are embracing the idea of hiring internationally.

Bringing in international candidates is not as easy a process as our global economy might suggest. Yes, the tools are there to find great applicants, but there are legitimate logistical issues to hiring from abroad. If the process is not treated with respect and consideration for the individual involved you can end up missing out on a high-quality candidate with a unique, creative perspective.

You need to make these candidates feel comfortable – and doing so requires relocation assistance.

Make the applicant feel wanted. Show them you’re willing to help them find a temporary living situation until they find the perfect permanent home. Put effort into acclimatising them into a new culture with social events. Provide home comforts to make them feel more at ease in their new setting, particularly when they’re at work.

Expecting someone to just slot in and feel at home in a new place, no matter how far they’ve travelled, is ignorant. Listen to what international applicants are saying and build a relocation plan around it.

Milestone celebrations

We all want a great salary, the corner office and free coffee on tap – but above all else most workers just want to feel appreciated for the effort they put in.

You can’t put a price on being celebrated for a job well done, but you can use it to make sure you have a happy workforce. HR Headquarters reported earlier this year that 24% of Irish workers believed they were underappreciated at work, making it one of the biggest barriers to engagement in offices across the country.

If you want to build a team that works to maximum capacity and brings new ideas to the table you need to make sure you appreciate what they already do.

One of the better ways to do this is to celebrate important milestones. Making a big fuss about a job well done, winning a new client or recording new profit records is great – but sometimes you need to just take a moment to celebrate the presence of key workers.

Celebrate major milestones with the company, whether that’s promotions or anniversaries. It gives everyone an opportunity to take a break from work and celebrate one important person. That worker will now realise that their presence alone is appreciated and go back to their work invigorated to keep performing.

It’s a simple, harmless way to build morale and keep your best people happy.

Remote working and flexi-time

By now, a lot of us are very familiar with the idea of working remotely.

If you were averse to it before and believed your company could never stay as productive from makeshift bedroom offices you’ve likely been proved wrong.

Many modern companies can do everything entirely remotely and even if you’re not planning to go down that route full time there are a lot of lessons about making your business more flexible to take away from this whole experience.

The modern worker has hundreds of responsibilities and not enough time to do it in. they have childcare needs, appointments to get to and a social life to try and balance with their work. Having a more flexible schedule in your organisation can help accommodate these needs and make sure you’re not losing out on key talent for the sake of “the way things have always been.”

Embrace remote working as a permanent option for your team. Don’t force it upon people it doesn’t accommodate, but be willing to accept it as an alternative. Lockdown has shown there are communication and project management tools out there to keep businesses running as usual even if people are out of the office.

Workers who are used to this will be attracted to the prospect of retaining theri schedule in a new job, and won’t be afraid to turn down an opportunity to work with you because of potential life changes.

In reality, employee perks are pretty easy to get right. People want to work less and feel happier. That might not chime with your profit margins, but you can work around the edges of that sentiment to create an environment where people are inclined to put in the effort and build a strong collective.

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Mullingar e-Working Centre

Are you commuting long distances and would like to work closer to home? Westmeath County Council has provided remote working facilities in the historic Governor’s House, adjacent to the Council Offices on Mount Street, Mullingar. Comfortable work space is available with both Wi-Fi and plug-in broadband provided.  The e-Working Centre is suitable for both employees or for owners of small or start-up enterprises, who need a quiet work space.

Benefits include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Greater productivity
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Reduced transport costs
  • Improved work-life balance
  • Less distractions

The e-Working Centre is situated in a convenient town centre location in the heart of Mullingar. Business advice and support is available from the Local Enterprise Office in the nearby Council Offices. With meeting rooms, canteen and printing facilities available, the Mullingar-Working Centre offers an alternative to commuting or working from home.

For further details contact:

The Local Enterprise Office
Westmeath County Council
Áras an Chontae
Mount Street
Phone: 044 9338945

More details here: Development/E-Working-Centres-in-Westmeath/

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Joint Recruitment Channel Option – Midlandjobs & Topic Newspapers  and Topic Newspapers are delighted to announce a unique pairing of their respective recruitment ad services to offer a one-off joined-up option to our respective customers. This unique pairing offers the benefits of both print and online media to the customers of both companies.

In an era when media audiences are increasingly fragmented, this is a novel pairing which offers employers and job-seekers a coming together of recruitment content, bringing extra added value to all – more jobs, more content, better coverage and of course, better results for job advertisers. So what’s included?

By selecting the “Topic Newspapers Package” on on the website of either company, you will be availing of the following features for your job advertisement:

1. Topic Job Listing

The Topic Job Advert will include a display advertisement in four Midlands newspapers for one week. These publications have a combined readership of 40,000 readers.

  • Westmeath Topic
  • Meath Topic
  • Offaly Topic
  • Athlone Topic

Your Job listing will be promoted on Topic Facebook and Twitter weekly 20K followers as well as a listing on jobs web page.

2. Listing 

The web listing will be live immediately on both sites and the print advertisement will be published on a Wednesday (deadline for entry Monday at 1:00pm). For more information on this package and to see sample adverts, please see or

The Topic are delighted to discuss tailored print advertising requirements e.g. if you require a larger/smaller advert please contact them on 044 9344868