SOLAS is the new name of FAS. Regardless of the way the government is trying to paint the picture, FAS is still alive and well. All the staff are safe, all the decision makers and all the way to the Board of Directors in FAS. The internal organisation is to change a bit, but in essence same people that made FAS what it is, and you have probably made your mind up about that, these same people are automatically now all safe in their jobs in SOLAS. Same desks, same offices, same jobs, just a change of the logo and the name. Probably a nice gig for some marketing and rebranding agency.
From the recruitment perspective FAS was a failure. Statistics are showing that job seekers that got the FAS training were less likely to get a job than those that didn’t. When I first saw it, it seemed unbelievable. A Government agency managing to achieve the opposite from what is its main goal. Like a Department of Finance that works successfully on bringing the country to the bankruptcy. Not a good example?
FAS staff cannot be fired basically. Regardless of the company performance. Now how cool is that? Imagine working in an average Irish SME that does not make any revenue, any service, any product, and profit. And all your co-workers have a safe job in the company. You go bankrupt, they just change the name on the front door. And keep on doing (or not) what you always was. Wonderland? Communism?
FAS.ie was set up as a web site where every Irish company could advertise their jobs, and job seekers could find them. In the time that FAS.ie was ‘operating’, there was a long list of private companies that realised how well FAS operates. They took that role and delivered a great service to Irish Employers and job seekers for many years. From Irish Times on Friday, to IrishJobs.ie, Jobs.ie and of course not to forget EmployIreland.ie!
With FAS being repainted with SOLAS colours, should we expect that their new web site will actually provide a service FAS.ie was built for? Same people, same (no) agenda and a new colours, is there a reason to expect a different results? Well know. And this is what hurts me. FAS (oops, SOLAS since yesterday sorry) was built with a really great idea. A free service (eh,… OK there is an army of people on its payroll paid by taxpayer) that facilitates getting the best available candidates to fill the vacancies in Irish companies. If this task is done right, if he best people available in Ireland is hired for each vacancy that appears, and that done fast, this reduces the recruitment cost and increases the speed. Less overheads for Irish companies, makes them more profitable and hence more competitive internationally. So poor FAS.ie contributed to development of a number of Irish businesses being set up that took the role FAS.ie leave vacant. This created jobs in those companies, and tremendous wealth within a handful of the job site owners. On the other side it made hiring staff in Ireland more expensive for the Irish companies. That in essence made Ireland less competitive as a country to do business in.
Polish or Romanian or people do not speak English, are not that well educated according to the IDA presentations shown worldwide. At least that is what we thought until Poles cone over here and showed us who they really are and how their work ethics compare to ours. So when Poles introduced a Corporation Tax similar to ours, and Romanians introduced their equivalent of our PAYE and PRSI with a discounted rate for the IT and similar attractive workers – our loved multinationals started migrating there. And shutting down operations here. What is the message? We are too expensive. We are too inefficient. If you have ever been into a FAS HQ or any other building, you know exactly what I mean.
The ‘new’ FAS.ie should be a free web site that works for every employer and every job seeker in Ireland. It sounds too simple that anyone could even think it can fail. Then again only a month ago the release of the Governments internship web site JobBridge.ie, with jobs advertised where the application process requires a printed resume and a form to be filled and posted to the employer. In this century? Internships are for graduates or young people without anything to put on their CV anyway. They are unemployed, so what do they put on their CV? Their interest in painting and GAA? They live on Facebook (just in case you did not know!). They do not ‘get’ this old technology, the printers and paper CVs. They do not even wear wristwatches. They wear headphones. As a fashion statement more than anything. Signed by Dr Dre. Worth a monthly wealth care payment even in this country.
The more I think of it, the benefits a new FAS.ie would bring to all of us, to the nation, and to the EURO currency in that matter since we are seriously destabilizing it lately, the more I think how I would like to do it. Do it right. Not the FAS.ie way. Not the (same) SOLAS way. But right. So that it helps put this 14% of us back to work. So that it helps us get staff into all those vacancies almost every good company has today, and finds it terribly hard, slow and expensive to fill. Yes I do want that job! It would make me feel I do something good for my country, for the future and for my kids essentially.
I have spent my last two years making the best Irish Recruitment Agency making even better in the Internet space. I can proudly say I made CPL a market leader in sourcing candidates online on their numerous web sites. It felt great, and the sense of achievement to bring a company you work for to the top is irreplaceable.
The chance to do it with FAS.ie or whatever the new site will be called, to make a best recruitment web site for the whole nation, especially today when it’s needed so badly, would be the best I can wish for.
Hey FAS people, will you let me create and run your online presence?
Head of Online