How Using a UK & Ireland Joint Website Hurts Talent Attraction for Ireland
Enough with the UK & Ireland please!
(Transcript) There has been a big trend over the last decade for international companies to include both the UK and Ireland on joint websites and career pages. This is a big problem for optics, particularly for companies with a presence in Ireland who are looking to attract talent. The problem is this is a big cultural misstep. Can you imagine there being joint websites for the USA and Canada? Can you imagine a career page that includes the USA and Canada as one recruiting region, it wouldn’t happen, they are two independent countries. Why, then, do companies combine the UK and, tagged on like an afterthought, Ireland on their career page? The problem is this, and I am writing as someone born in the UK but having worked in Dublin for 14 years, Ireland has been independent of the UK since 1937. The only thing in common is the English language, same as the USA and Canada, so why do companies insist on this joint approach when it backfires endlessly?
Think how it must be for an Irish person to have to go to the UK site to look for jobs in Ireland, it’s astonishing companies haven’t caught on to this fact. So, if you want to attract talent in Ireland, or attract talent to Ireland, you have to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. If a candidate is looking at the UK and Ireland site, say from France, and the role they want to apply to is in Ireland, they may think the role sits in a second-class division, if Ireland doesn’t warrant its own career page. Maybe they will think they should work in the UK instead of Ireland.
Why has this weird misstep come about? It certainly seems to be territory led, if a business territory is combining both Ireland and the UK in its sales or cost centre. Or it could be a decision made by someone who doesn’t appreciate geography and the independent relationship between Ireland and the UK. It's time to stop it now! It doesn’t cost much at all to separate those two websites out and it will increase value to any recruitment campaign you are planning in Ireland. Show you understand the cultural differences and make it easy for people to find a role in Ireland and feel good about making a move to Ireland. I have to point out that this applies to any combined territory career pages, not just UK & Ireland.
Here is how it can go wrong. A large US pharmaceutical company, with a few hundred people in Ireland, was struggling to compete with the UK team, for international talent, even though the Irish company had a new building close to opening and no one to fill it, they had a deficit of 70 people to hire and were plateauing with opening day a mere few months away and a lot of pipelined R&D for this new facility to work on. The problem? The UK had control over the careers page for Ireland, there was no push on that site for people to consider moving to Ireland, it was all UK centric information, needless to say the UK talent team had no problem recruiting for their own territory. The real problem, the US HQ were not listening, the person in charge sat on the West coast of America and didn't see the problem combining the two career sites even when there was a big struggle to hire going on. I was brought in to troubleshoot this and I managed to rectify it but I am sure you see the point.
We also have to talk about – Brexit. This separation of websites has to happen now before Brexit. Ireland is a very proud European member and there will be frustrations for Ireland, such as border issues, when the UK leaves. Think about that. Think about how potential candidates are going to perceive your combining two very separate territories and prioritising the UK in your website, when the UK is no longer a member of the EU. Understand how to make candidates feel welcomed to your own Irish website and career page and how this will greatly benefit your recruitment in that proud country.
For more information on cultural awareness or recruiting in different countries and how to use the right attraction methods on different country career pages contact me Clare Reed, at Talent Optics or book in a call.