Digging Deeper to find Workers

Welcome to Issue Number 3 of our Ward Personnel client newsletter. We hope that you find the content useful and interesting. We would love to hear your feedback, including any suggestions for topics to cover in future editions of this newsletter.

Ward Personnel Polish office – a terrific first 6 months with major growth projected

We opened our Polish office in Lublin, in Eastern Poland in early January 2022 and it’s been an incredibly busy and successful first 6 months for our Polish operation.

The office is led by Chris Rogal, who is originally from Poland, but lived in Ireland for 7 years from 2014 to 2021. Having worked for Ward Personnel in Dublin, Chris was the ideal candidate to relocate back to Poland to open our first office there.

Over the last six months we have successfully sourced over 150 workers in Poland who have relocated to Ireland to work across a range of our client’s construction, production and manufacturing sites throughout the country.

Reflecting on these first six months, Chris feels that there are major opportunities to continue to grow these numbers: “The level of interest among skilled Polish construction workers in moving to Ireland is still very strong as the pay rates are competitive compared to the local rates in neighbouring countries. Yes, the cost of living and major challenges around finding accommodation in Ireland are certainly there but our Irish based team of Polish speakers help our candidates with every step of the journey to get them set up in Ireland, including accommodation, so the model can work for all parties, including our clients and the workers. We are steadily building our reputation as the “Go To” recruitment agency for Polish and Eastern European construction workers looking to work in Ireland so that his great progress since we opened the office”

Matt Mis who heads up our overall Irish based “Foreign workers desk” is equally optimistic about future growth. “With the scale of the labour market shortages in Ireland we are finding that the option of bringing in foreign workers for specific projects both in Ireland and across Europe is one that clients are increasingly willing to consider as a realistic and viable option. On our own client service team, we now not only have Polish speakers, but we have also hired Croatian, Romanian and most recently a Ukrainian native speaker to support the sourcing and onboarding of foreign workers for our clients’ sites in Ireland and across Europe”.

We are also in the process of hiring a Polish based recruitment consultant to specialise in supporting our Irish clients increasing need to source foreign construction workers (both on the professional and the labour and trades side) to work on large Data Center and Pharma construction projects across Europe. The number of Irish contractors involved in managing these projects is growing at a fast rate and the labour requirements to get the work done is one of the key challenges facing these companies and we feel we can really help out there with our growing infrastructure and database of foreign workers, mainly from Eastern Europe.

Ward Personnel Recruitment Open Day in Cork and Intreo job fair in Dublin

As everyone in the construction industry is well aware there are ongoing labour shortages in the Irish market and we as one of the largest agencies in the sector have a role to play in sourcing and attracting workers to the industry from both within Ireland and abroad. We have various initiatives in train as part of these overall sourcing efforts and one of them is around holding open days and attending job fairs which we held in May as outlined below.

Ward Personnel Recruitment Open Day held in Cork on 16th May 

We held an open day on Monday 16th May at the Clayton Silver Springs Hotel in Cork and it proved to be a great success which was mainly down to our digital marketing team who promoted the event in the preceding weeks.

We met a great range of candidates who were looking for work in either construction or manufacturing environments and the range of skills and experience was strong across all sectors. In particular, we met quite a few candidates who were interested in returning to the construction sector, having moved away from the industry in the recession years post 2009.

Overall, we were delighted with the event, and we certainly met a large number of candidates that we can hopefully support getting into the workforce over the coming weeks and months. We even had one worker who we met on the Monday start work for us on the Wednesday morning! – well done to our Account Manager Shane Leamy for that one 
Intreo jobs fair held in Dublin on 19th May
Ward Personnel were delighted to attend the Intreo Job Fair held in Tallaght on 19th of May with Jamie Hanley and Brian Goode from our Dublin office manning our stand. Our team had a great day at the event and managed to speak to over 150 potential candidates about the large number of current opportunities for construction workers, and in particular how to get that first role to gain some valuable construction site experience. The array of nationalities attending was terrific to see and our team met candidates from a range of countries including Ukrainians, Romanians, Polish, African, along with a large number of Irish workers who are looking for work opportunities.
Some of these candidates have recently arrived in Ireland and have some great construction Industry experience so we look forward to working with our client base to find some good quality work for these workers in the coming weeks and months. Thanks to Intreo for setting up this extremely useful event where candidates can meet and chat with agencies and employers who have real and immediate labour requirements, and we will be looking forward to Ward Personnel taking part in similar events in the future.

Appointment of new Ukrainian speaking Account Manager based in our Dublin office

We are pleased to announce that we have appointed Alexandra Polkovnikova as a new Account Manager in our Dublin office. Alexandra has recently arrived from Ukraine due to the war and we are delighted to have her on board to support the Ukrainian refugee community in their efforts to join the Irish labour force over the coming weeks and months.

Alexandra is really looking forward to continuing to develop her recruitment career with Ward Personnel in Ireland. Born in Ukraine, Alexandra started her career in the Beauty Industry in 2016 and expanded to include opening her own salon in Ukraine in 2018.

In 2018, Alexandra graduated from University with a degree in HR & Business Management and has worked in the recruitment sector for the last 2 years, specialising in using social media to source workers, particularly from Ukraine and Poland. 

Alexandra is fluent in both Ukrainian and Russian and is proficient in both Polish and English also.

In her free time Alexandra likes to travel, explore new cultures, and lead an active lifestyle. 

Alexandra has really settled in well and attended the Ireland v Ukraine football match in Dublin in early June with Marcin Hadala, Pawel Grabowski, Victoria Bienkowska from our Dublin office. We were also delighted to give away two tickets to Lubomir & Beley for the match who are a father and son team, and both have recently arrived in Ireland from Ukraine.  We also met a large number of potential candidates from Ukraine at the match who have great construction industry experience, so we are looking forward to trying to find them some quality work with our client base in the coming weeks and months.

Recruiting by Day and Coaching by Night! 

Some of our Ward Personnel staff give their reflections of the significant crossover and learnings between recruitment and sports coaching.
In Ward Personnel we have quite a few staff who have either coached in the past or are currently coaching in different sports in their spare time. All of this coaching is on a voluntary basis, so we are proud of our staff who dedicate their personal time to help out with their local community and local sports teams etc. We thought it would be interesting to get their thoughts on how recruitment and coaching can often link very closely and what they have learned in relation to same. Some of their thoughts and musings are included below.

Matt Mis is the Divisional Manager for our Industrial Division and is an experienced soccer coach for underage teams in Cork
Matt says “Being a sports coach is like being a manager so definitely the soccer coaching experience has helped me in my current role in Ward Personnel. Building team spirit is a key platform for success both at work and in sport.”

Jamie Hanley is an Account Manager in our Dublin labour and trades Division and is heavily involved in coaching his local underage soccer teams in Dublin and some national underage squads
Jamie says “I have definitely learnt some management skills from coaching that I can use in my day-to-day work role.  The interaction with players/parents, adapting when players are missing, and having a plan so that there is a clear program for the players have all helped my communication and organisation skills. We do a lot of data analysis for the soccer teams and again this has helped me to understand the power of data which I have taken into my day-to-day job with Ward Personnel”.

Paul Carr, Operations Director, coaches his local under 12 camogie team in Cork
Paul says “yes there is certainly a crossover and ultimately it’s about doing your best every time you” take the field” whether that is at work or on the pitch and there is a great satisfaction when the hard work pays off and gets you a good result. The other side of coaching is the enjoyment and the ability to switch off from work – you can be sure that the camogie players I coach have absolutely zero interest in my work life so it’s just very refreshing to head out training after a day’s work and enjoy the training sessions and the fun atmosphere with the team and fellow coaches. ” 

Brian Goode is our Dublin Office Manager and has extensive Gaelic Football coaching experience with his home club in Roscommon 
Brian says “There absolutely is transferable aspects from my sports coaching roles to my day job.  In recruitment you have to have very strong interpersonal skills - to be able to assess our candidates applying for work and then match their strengths to any particular job that is available with the information we have to hand.  Being involved with sport teams the journey of continuous improvement and self-development is always in play, and those are basic fundamentals that I try and transfer to my daily work with Ward Personnel “. 

Lukasz Cebula is an Account Manager for our Cork Industrial Division and is an experienced soccer coach at all levels
Lukasz says “I try to use the experience I gained as a soccer coach to help me to succeed in work. I have learned how to communicate well with players to motivate them and build relationships with them - and at work the same skills apply as successful recruitment is all about good communication with our clients, candidates and team colleagues”

David Ward, Founder and CEO of Ward Personnel coaches with his local Under 16 Ladies football club in Cork and for him its all about the team
“Whether it’s at work or on the sports field it’s about building the team and instilling a resilient spirit that ultimately gets us through the tough days when things don’t always go our way. Its terrific to see players develop on the pitch over a few years and that applies to work also – we often recruit staff in the early parts of their career and by supporting them properly with training and development their subsequent progression with the company is inspiring to see” 
David Ward pictured with the St Michael’s, Blackrock Under 16 Ladies Football Team with their Ward Personnel sponsored jerseys

Ward Worker of the Month Scheme

Our monthly awards program is continuing to be very popular with our workforce and we are delighted to support it every month. Our clients also really like it as it gives recognition to a worker who has genuinely contributed to the success of our clients' projects and has gone the “extra mile” as regards their work ethic and positive contribution to the work site.  Please see below the details of our winners for April, May and June being presented with their prizes. 

April 2022: Tomasz Tomaszewski who is currently working at our client's site at Intel in Leixlip. Tomasz is an experienced insulation fitter, working for us since June last year. See below photo with Tomasz accepting his €200 One4All voucher from Ward Personnel Account Manager, Marcin Hadala.

May 2022: John Cosgrove is one of Ward Personnel’s longest serving workers, first joining our ranks in 2013 and is a highly skilled carpenter. One of our valued clients, Ardmac Ltd, have utilised John’s skills on various pharmaceutical projects in the Cork region over the last 8 years which require meticulous craftmanship and attention to detail. We are delighted to say that John is Ward Personnel’s Worker of the Month for May 2022 and is shown below receiving his €200 One4all voucher at the Ardmac site in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

June 2022: We are delighted to announce that Bogdan Nichifor is the winner of our June Ward Worker of the Month award. Bogdan, who is originally from Romania, has been working on our client Bennett’s site in Oisin House, Pearse Street in Dublin City. Bogdan’s award is a reflection of his hard work, and the skill and commitment he demonstrates every day that he goes to work.
See below photo of Bogdan being presented with his €200 One4All voucher by Brian Goode, Manager of our Dublin office, and also pictured is Conor Shannon, Account Manager with Ward Personnel and Elena Popa, Site Safety Officer from Bennett's.

Ward Personnel article on Asylum Seekers featured in May edition of Civil and Construction Ireland magazine

We were delighted to be featured in the recent edition of Civil and Construction Ireland magazine where we outlined our developing role with the Asylum Seeker community in Cork and how they can play their part in tackling the current labour shortages in the Construction industry. The article features a great case study on one of our workers, originally from Angola, who has now found consistent well-paid work in the construction industry in Cork. To read the full article please click here.

Ward staff supporting the CIF Cork Annual Dinner and the Dublin Lighthouse Club Charity lunch

We were delighted to attend and support these events in May of this year. 

We had a full table at the Cork CIF annual dinner on the 13th of May with a combination of staff and clients enjoying a great night out with some terrific speakers, networking opportunities and after dinner entertainment being laid on. Well done to the Cork CIF team for a great event. 
David Ward and his wife Katheryn pictured at the Annual Cork CIF Dinner held recently at the Rochestown Park Hotel

The Lighthouse Club charity is a tremendous resource and support for Construction Industry workers, and we were delighted to support and attend the Lighthouse Construction Charity Lunch event held on the 26th May in Croke Park. Dave Ward, Brian Goode, Conor Shannon, and Jamie Hanley from Ward Personnel were all in attendance. It was a great event that stressed the importance of promoting good mental health in Ireland in general and in the Construction Industry in particular. There were a number of terrific speakers including some Construction Industry workers who had overcome some mental health challengers in their careers with the help and support of the Lighthouse Club. The contributions from some sports stars like Shane Byrne, Stephanie Roche, and John Treacy who talked about the importance of mental health in relation to maximising performance and overcoming challenges were also inspiring. 

Ward Personnel have been a long-standing supporter and sponsor of the Lighthouse Club and we encourage all of our workforce to be aware that help and support is always available via the Lighthouse Club if it is ever needed.  In particular, the 24/7 free confidential support for emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing is a terrific resource and the Lighthouse Club helpline contact information is listed below for the Republic of Ireland. 

Call: 1800 939 122 
Text: 50808
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