Employment Agencies

Public and Private Employment Agencies

The Irish national Training and Employment Authority is known as FÁS (which stands for Foras Áiseanna Saothair and is pronounced ‘foss’) and is funded by the Irish Government, the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

You must register with FÁS and provide details of the type of job you’re looking for. These details will then be ‘matched’ with vacancies notified to FÁS by employers. FÁS staff will also help you to prepare your CV and practise interview techniques. All FÁS offices offer a self-help scheme called Career Directions, which involves answering a series of questions on a computer programme to access relevant information and guidance. FÁS registered vacancies are listed on teletext pages 580–584.

FÁS can help if you’re looking for a job, if you’re already in a job but want further training, if you’re running a business or thinking of starting one and need advice or training, and if you’re looking to recruit staff. Job-finding services are available not only to those who are unemployed, but also to school and college leavers, to those wanting to return to work after a break, and to job-changers.

All FÁS services are open to men and women equally and to all citizens of the European Union. Services to businesses cover small, medium and large firms, foreign as well as indigenous, in all sectors of industry and services, and include training advice and incentives to recruit from certain sections of the unemployed, as well as recruitment.

FÁS International and FÁS International Consulting provide technical assistance and consultancy and training services to government ministries, state organisations, international agencies and private companies throughout the world. It has clients in more than 35 countries.

Employers wanting vacancies to be advertised in other EU and EEA states can make use of the EURES ( European Placement System) which electronically links FÁS to the other public employment services in the EEA. Those considering working in Europe can obtain information on jobs as well as on living and working conditions through EURES or by speaking to one of FÁS’s Euroadvisers.

As part of the government’s plan to attract foreigners to work in Ireland, FÁS has recently launched a glossy quarterly magazine called Jobs Ireland, which is distributed at job fairs and through Irish embassies as well as by Irish companies recruiting overseas. A CD-ROM version of Jobs Ireland is available free to employers (Tel. 01-607 0506). Further information is available from the FÁS head office, 27/33 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4 (Tel. 01-607 0500).

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies are engaged by employers to fill vacancies and therefore don’t charge you for finding you a job (they normally charge employers a percentage of the successful applicant’s first year’s salary).

Signing on with a recruitment agency, whether for a permanent or temporary position, normally involves being tested on various skills such as typing speed and familiarity with computer software packages. You’ll need to take a current CV with you and will be interviewed by the agency before they register you. They will then endeavour to get you interviews for positions they feel are suitable. Other services such as compiling CVs and counselling may be offered for which you may be charged, so check in advance.

Some recruitment agencies have offices abroad and, if you plan to use them, it pays to make a few simple checks before doing so. For example, the law of your home country may permit them to make a charge for finding you a job or even for simply registering your details. Also check exactly what they will do for you.

A recruitment consultant who merely mails your CV to prospective employers is unlikely to find you a job, whereas a consultant with employers on his books in the industry in which you want to work (ask for evidence) could prove to be a useful contact.

One of Ireland’s largest recruitment agencies is SkillsGroup International, which was acquired by Manpower PLC in 1999. SkillsGroup, which was founded in 1990 as Skillbase International, has offices in Cork and Limerick as well as access to 3,500 offices in 54 other countries.

A number of major management recruiters are members of the Executive Selection Consultancies Association (ESCA), which enforces a code of professional practice aimed at assuring clients of a certain standard of service.

Executive Search Companies

If you’re looking for a managerial position, it might be worth registering with one or more executive search companies. These are ‘retained’ by firms looking to expand their exiting operations or set up new businesses, rather like an ‘out-house’ personnel or HR department. If the company thinks that your credentials are suitable, you’ll be put forward for a job.


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