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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? 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 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, and of course not to forget! 

With FAS being repainted with SOLAS colours, should we expect that their new web site will actually provide a service 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 contributed to development of a number of Irish businesses being set up that took the role 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’ 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, 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 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 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 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?

Kind Regards,
Ivan Stojanovic
Head of Online

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I write a lot about the job boards and there is one I was avoiding so far, but the time has come – Let’s talk about FÁS!

FÁS as the organisation was in the media a lot for many months now. When the 1bn budget FÁS has reached the media, earlier this year, FÁS made it as the Story of the Week, in the most national print and TV channels.

To put this story in the perspective, only a handful Irish job boards reach 1 million revenue. In the same time all the job boards are very profitable. OK we all know FAS is more than just a job board, but to anyone in the recruitment industry 1bn budget sounds simply astronomical.

Comptroller - FASDepartment of Enterprise, Trade and Employment – Comptroller and Auditor General John Buckley published a Special Report titled: Advertising and Promotion in FÁS for presentation to Dáil Éireann.

In the summary of Findings one can read that: Over the period 2002 to 2008, FÁS spent over €48 million on advertising, promotion and related activities including jobs fairs and activities to promote science.

In other words €48.2 mil advertising budget for 7 years. That is well over a half a million a month! €573.810 to be precise.

How did FAS manage to spend half a million a month for seven years? Well not very creatively: Print 62%, TV%, Radio 13% and Outdoor 13%. Did you notice something missing? Well no online advertising budget? Half a million advertising every month and not a cent in online?! Well come on FÁS…

Comptroller - John BuckleyThe full report is actually quite interesting read. It is full of over a half a million (or more) here, half a million there, for stuff that was either not used or not even delivered. My personal favourite is the car purchased and paid for in full, but never delivered.

The FÁS report is a very good reed. I can highly recommend it, and many thanks to John Buckley for putting it together. Here is a full PDF download.

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Any Jobs in Ireland?

Today’s announcement from one of the leading jobs sites in Ireland nicely describes what does a jobs scene look in Ireland today:

Hi All

Just a quick note to let you know we have now added some new locations;

United Arab Emirates
New Zealand
South Africa
North Africa
Middle East

If you have any queries please let me know.

The jobs sites cannot really survive advertising the jobs in Ireland only. Simply there is not enough jobs in Ireland to sustain the business model of advertising jobs in Ireland only. There simply isn’t enough jobs here anymore. Irish Jobs are gone. Jobs are elsewhere today.

Welcome to the emigration wave…

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Where are the Recruitment Agencies in Dublin?

Ever wondered where are the recruitment agencies in Dublin? Well Golden Pages has a service called that has a location on the map of their listings in the Golden Pages. How accurate it is? Be the judge yourself:

dublin recruitement agencies

I know one thing I did a training and consultancy in the recruitment agencies this year From Swords to Bray, and even further in Graystones. None of those recruitment agencies are on the map. Perhaps those are other counties? Bray and further south is Wicklow, and perhaps those are only the Dublin based displayed?

A nice touch from the Golden pages, I think. Is it worth their subscription fee, that is another question.

96 recruitment agencies opted for this advertisement. I wonder if it brought any business?