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Midlands Engenuity Careers – Post 1

The Covid 19 pandemic has presented many challenges for young people grappling with career choices. Not least the questions of; “What can I do that will allow me to make a living during future lockdowns? How can I make my career recession-proof? Are there any careers which will allow me to live and work in the Midlands, or take some time out to travel the world if I choose to do that?” Step forward “Engenuity” – the Midlands Engineering Network. This is a growing network of Small Engineering companies offering live career opportunities in 2021 in spite the covid pandemic. Jobs from entry level to mid-to-senior Management level.

Lifelong Earning in Engineering

Featuring Derek McCreanor MD – Enhance Acoustics, Edenderry

Questions by Tom Griffith, Midlandjobs.ie. Replies by Derek McCreanor, Enhance Acoustics

1.     “Take us from when you left school – what was your initial career choice?”

When leaving school, I wanted to study sound engineering but at the time there were very few third level programs in that area. My guidance councillor in school told me that music was a hobby and not a career and encouraged me to apply for a computer course in Dundalk IT instead. However, that was not for me so I didn’t last very long there and I then went to work in a number of admin jobs for a couple of years. After a while I decided that I would apply for a trainee accountant position in a firm in Dublin, working for the firm during the day and studying for my AACI degree at night. This allowed me to earn a wage and study at the same time in the industry. Within that year I became ill and after a period off work to recover from surgery I decided that I did not particularly enjoy my job and decided to take some time out to find what it was I wanted to do. I went back to playing music, travelling to New York in 2001 to try make a go of it playing music over there as some of my friends had done. After the events of September 11, 2001, I returned to Ireland and knew that I wanted to play music for a little longer. So, the following summer I got a job playing music in IBIZA in an Irish Bar which I did for two years, moving to the south of Spain then for a year and then back to Ireland where I continued to play music professionally. I began to get interested in sound engineering in 2009 and decided I would go back to college. In 2011 I began a master’s degree in Trinity College in Music and Media Technology, it was here I became interested in the engineering of sound, not from a musical perspective but the way sound could have both a physiological and psychological impact on people, and how we could use sound in design to improve the spaces that we occupy to create healthier and more productive environments.

2.     “What prompted you to change career mid-stream?”

After leaving college I continued to work as a sound engineer touring with theatre groups and musical groups. When my partner and I decided to have children, I wanted to get away from the long nights and trips away and have a more predictable lifestyle. I was just about to pack it all in and take up a job in a completely different field in Intel when I got a call from one of my college lecturers asking if I would be interested in a career in Acoustics and Noise Control. While I was absolutely interested, this involved going back to college again (paid for by my employer) and going back onto what was then called jobbridge. This job was a big risk for both myself and my then very young family as the first 9 months of the job cost me money to go to work every day, but I had to look to the future, I was presented with a very rare opportunity to get into the exact career I wanted even though up until this point I barely knew it existed. I worked hard to make sure after the JobBridge contract was up that my employer would keep me on. And he did, giving me a 5% stake in the company and I got to work on a number of large-scale projects both here in Ireland and abroad. I also ended up with a second master’s degree in Applied Acoustics.

3.      “What made you decide to go into technical / engineering work?”

I guess I was initially inspired by my college lecturer Dermot Furlong to look at sound and its influence on us as humans. Not only musically but in every part of our lives. I then discovered the whole industry of acoustics and noise control and once I discovered this it was like a light went on in my head. I then knew that this was the industry for me. If I was told about this industry in school, I could have saved myself a lot of time. But I also think the experience I picked up along the way through my different career choices gave me a unique perspective that I could bring with me into the industry and also a valuable skill set that would stand to me when I decided to set up my own business. In other words – all experience can be valuable if you are doing the right things along the way to making your eventual final chosen career choice.

4.     “What does your job involve and what services does your company provide?”

We work with architects, designers, system integrators, local authorities and other professionals in the construction industry, fit-out industry, building management and human resource sectors. We provide consultancy, design, fit-out, and acoustic testing and certification services to promote and provide healthier and more productive buildings and spaces for users. In setting up my own company, our approach to acoustic engineering is one which benefits people more than the approach of designing to meet the minimum standards set out in international standards and technical guidance documents. Although our work always obviously does adhere to the relevant international building standards and technical guidance documents, we work to exceed their requirement for minimum standards for the benefit of the people who user those buildings.

5.       “What type of career opportunities will your company offer now / in future?”

In the coming months we will be looking for the following

  • Junior acoustic consultant, no experience necessary just a proven passion for the industry.
  • Business development manager
  • Admin staff to look after accounts, marketing and general admin duties
  • Fitout personnel
  • Project manager

For the technical jobs at Enhance Accoustics, the following are some of the skills candidates would need to possess.

  • Strong mathematical skills
  • CAD or REVIT Experience
  • Computer Literate
  • A technical knowledge of audio devices and systems such as microphones, speakers, amplifiers, cabling, and sound level meters.
  • Background in construction trade beneficial.

Enhance Accoustics

Winner of Innovation Award, Enterprise Awards 2020

Winner of Emerging Business Award, Enterprise Awards 2019

Ireland: +353 (86) 3744132

U.S.A: +1 646 846 1267

www.enhanceacoustics.com

derek@enhanceacoustics.com

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Midlandjobs Adds Field for “Key Competencies” in Job Listings

To highlight the importance of competencies in the recruitment process, the Midlandjobs.ie 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 Midlandjobs.ie 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
Mullingar
Phone: 044 9338945
Email: localenterprise@westmeathcoco.ie

More details here:

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Westmeath/Enterprise Development/E-Working-Centres-in-Westmeath/

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Joint Recruitment Channel Option – Midlandjobs & Topic Newspapers

MidlandJobs.ie  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 Topic.ie jobs web page.

2. MidlandJobs.ie 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 https://midlandjobs.ie/topic-newspaper-job-advertisement-package/ or http://topic.ie/jobs/job-advertisement-package/

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

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Job Skill & Education Fair – Friday May 17th

Minister Bruton to deliver address at the Jobs, Skills & Education Fair & Idea Generation Bootcamp Friday 17th May in Mount Lucas Training Centre, Derrycricket, Daingean, Co. Offaly from 10am – 2pm.

Another great opportunity for local Midland Job-seekers to meet local employers face-to-face and talk to them about their local opportunities.

For full details check out the Westmeath LEO web page.

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Introducing the Midlandjobs “Best Places to Work” Package


The newly redesigned Midlandjobs website offers our employers a unique opportunity to really sell their Midlands based employment. The uploadable areas of the site, such as the Company Profile and the Job Post area allows employers to add promotional material such as picture files and video. Pictures tell a thousand words, video sells a whole story.

The benefit of this to employers is very simple. At a time when it is increasingly difficult to track down and engage the “exact fit” candidate for our increasingly niche  roles, there is a massive advantage in being able to reach out and “promote” the excellent employment you offer.

Companies often don’t have staff  in-house to properly develop images, photos, graphics, video and so on tailored to promoting your actual employment. Midlandjobs can now offer this to employers for the development of their careers page. This means you are putting your best foot forward when it comes to attracting in the right talent for your pivotal jobs.

This new aspect to our service therefore consists of the following:

Combined with our new targeted Midlandjobs’ social media campaign for pushing out our job content, we consider these to be two compelling new reasons for local employers to list their job vacancies on Midlandjobs.ie. They give our employers the competitive edge on attracting the best talent to the Midlands.

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Att: Midlands Employers – List Jobs on Midlandjobs.ie to Target #SkilledMigrants Post-Brexit – #WarForTalent

 

The world of International recruitment is changing by the hour. By now, International job candidates will already be thinking very carefully about where they want to locate themselves post-Brexit. In recruitment terms, in December 2018, we’re already in the run up to this game-changing #Brexit. Migrant job-seekers could #indeed represent a massive opportunity for Midlands employers.

Here, demand is once again out-stripping supply for specialised skills. Some skilled roles can often be pivotal to a business operation. If vacancies in such positions can not be filled quickly, there can be potential implications for the financial health of a  company, as well as for the very future career prospects of it’s staff.

Which makes it all the more astonishing at this time of a global #WarForTalent, why any modern civilised country would effectively want to shut their doors to sources of the scarce skills which often migrant workers offer. In fact, it is difficult to see how there is any business case whatsoever for not seeking more inward migration. Thankfully, the Irish system is actually increasing the numbers of work permits it issues from year to year and has recently had the good sense to set about reviewing  it’s procedures to be better able to respond to skills shortages. Ireland also seems to have a very good track record of integration of populations from overseas countries and this is certainly evident in day-to-day life in the local Midlands towns with different nationalities living in relative harmony thankfully.

Midlands employers could and should position themselves to benefit from the change in the Geo-Political atmosphere in Britain, the US and other countries inexplicably turning their backs on sought after skilled immigrants. In fact, it can not be highlighted enough that Ireland will be the only English speaking country within the EU post-Brexit. The chances are the isolationist political mood of populism will fairly quickly be found out to be flawed and will probably even be reversed soon enough. But until such time, Irish [Midlands] employers with skills requirements should take swift advantage of other Global regions lack of HR foresight.

As the very excellent, recently launched Invest Mullingar website very clearly points out, we are very well positioned in the Midlands to attract overseas staff ,with far more affordable accommodation than Dublin, yet within striking distance of the Capital and Dublin Airport. The message is a very simple one – The Midlands is [and has always been] an open and welcoming market for migrant workers and in 2019 is very much open for business.

Employers: Once a company posts a vacancy on Midlandjobs.ie it is then available to be promoted by International job aggregator sites, making your vacancy available to be applied for by International candidates. Click here to Post a vacancy.

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Qualified Employees and Self Employed Workers Are Eligible for Dental Benefits With Their PRSI Contributions

The Treatment Benefit Scheme

Did you know that The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) offers dental benefits to qualified employees, the self employed and their spouses? The terms of this scheme are available on their website and many people
are unaware that they are eligible to participate. The process couldn’t be easier. Simply provide your dental practice with your date of birth and PPS number and they will check your eligibility online. Verification is immediate and should confirm that you are eligible to have one free Dental Exam and one Scale & Polish for €15 per year. Please note that eligibility runs in calendar years, so you may only claim each benefit once from 1st January to 31st December in a given year.

A small number of workers will not have instant eligibility confirmed and their claim will be listed as ‘Pending’. In this instance, the person seeking to claim their benefit must call DEASP to find out the reason for their pending status. Often it relates to a small issue with records and it is usually resolved swiftly with a call to 074 9164480.
Certain Spouses of qualified workers are also entitled to benefits. Spouses must first seek the approval of their spouse to use their spouses PPS number and complete form D2.The form is available from your dental practice. The dentist will be notified of your eligibility electronically.

History of the scheme

The 2010 Budget ended most dental benefits for insured workers, with the benefit reduced to just one Dental Examination per year. This benefit cut meant that many workers lost benefits worth several hundreds annually towards their dental treatment costs. In 2017, the government finally reintroduced a subsidised Scale & Polish for qualified workers at a cost of €15 to the worker. For those with more serious gum disease, the Department pays a contribution of €42 towards the treatment, with the patient paying the balance. So, as of October 2017, the benefit now consists of an Annual Dental Exam and Scale & Polish
for €15. This is available from January 1 st to December 31st each year.

If you are an Employer

Have you informed your employees of these benefits, and encouraged them to avail of this scheme? Good news is always welcomed, and many of your employees may be unaware of the 2017 increase to this benefit scheme. Also, many self employed individuals are unaware that they are now also eligible – so spread the word!
Why should you encourage your staff?
Oral health is essential to overall health, so if your staff have healthy mouths then it follows that their overall health will be good.

Oral health is now linked to diabetes, heart disease and strokes, so it is an important part of your employee’s welfare. Untreated dental problems can lead to a worker being absent from work, with an estimated £105 million lost annually in the UK due to Oral Health problems. All employees want to minimise sick days, so encouraging dental checkups will help eliminate
toothaches and reduce sick days. Prevention is better than cure. Does this mean that my staff are going to need time of to attend the dentist? Not at Mullingar Dental. We offer late appointments every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 8pm and we are open every Saturday from 9am – 5pm because we know that most employees don’t want to schedule dental appointments during their working hours.
Share this post with your employees and encourage them to make use of their Dental Benefit.
Together we can campaign for more benefits to be reintroduced.

Guest Blog Courtesy of Dr. Anne O’Donnell

Clinical Director, Mullingar Dental

https://www.familydentist.ie

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Automatic Jobs Feed for Online Publishers & Communities in the Midlands

Final JobsFeed

Midlands based publishers and online communities can now publish automatically selected local jobs for their readers using a simple Jobs Feed tool offered by Midlandjobs.ie.

This is one of many new features on Midlandjobs designed to improve circulation of job posts for the benefit of local Midlands employers in your local area.

The links below are tailored for the main towns – however all locations can be made available if needed by getting in touch with us.

 

Jobs Feed Links Midlands towns

Mullingar:           https://midlandjobs.ie/feeds/rss.xml?location=Mullingar

Tullamore:          https://midlandjobs.ie/feeds/rss.xml?location=Tullamore

Athlone:              https://midlandjobs.ie/feeds/rss.xml?location=Athlone

Portlaoise:          https://midlandjobs.ie/feeds/rss.xml?location=Portlaoise

Longford:            https://midlandjobs.ie/feeds/rss.xml?location=Longford

 

If you have any enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact us on 086 8237179

Below is an example of how the creators of the Invest Mullingar website have successfully used this feature to publish jobs on www.investmullingar.com/jobs-in-mullingar

InvestMullingar Feed