The largest independent search company in Ireland, HRM Search Partners understand the importance of hiring the very best talent for their clients – and the very best HR tool for their staff leave. As they celebrate 30 years in business, the executive recruitment firm told us about their formula for success, their collaborative culture and how using Leave Dates has slashed their leave admin by a whopping 75%
Founded in 1992 by chairman Michael O’Leary, for 30 years HRM Search Partners have pioneered executive and professional talent acquisition across Ireland.
With headquarters in Dublin and regional support teams in Cork and Galway, they support customers of all sizes with their hiring challenges. Clients are local champions and global leaders in a broad range of industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, as well as consumer markets, business services and technology.
Knowledge is what sets the firm apart. Their understanding of the Irish market, borne from three decades in executive and professional search, is unique. By blending this deep local market knowledge with unique research networks, data analytics, innovative assessment, and a powerful international reach, they are able to successfully deliver the best candidates to their clients.
A team of 40 researchers and consultants in Ireland work across three highly specialised practices enabling in-depth industry expertise, while, as the sole Irish representative of global executive search firm IIC Partners, drawing on a network of 450 consultants worldwide.
“The team is everything to us here. It is a very collaborative culture, everyone works together and everyone’s very approachable. It’s fast-paced, it’s dynamic, but everyone gets on brilliantly. With the nature of recruitment, you have to. It’s a high-performance culture. Everyone works extremely hard but it’s also great fun – it’s a very cool place to work” says business accountant Shane Brosnan.
The company is very people-focused, says Shane. There’s a dedicated wellness team who get in touch with employees each week and set up coffee mornings, buddy systems, book clubs and online yoga sessions, there’s a social team who organise gatherings (when covid restrictions allow) and there’s also a big focus on learning and development.
“It’s very people-centric, they really stay in touch and look after people.”
That approach extends to annual leave. The firm operates a generous annual leave policy and “they’re big on people actually using their leave,” says Shane. “They encourage everyone to take a two-week break every year and managers make sure that everyone is getting the breaks they need. The pandemic has been tough for everyone, but the focus on work-life balance has helped. If you’re sending an email outside of hours, they encourage you to time delay it to go out the next morning rather than at 7 o’clock in the evening.”
The firm offers family-flexible working arrangements, and they’ve put in place “gathering days” where everybody can work together in the office, and flexible days where staff can work from home. “The idea is the collaboration, and that’s the nature of the business, it’s very advantageous to have people working together in the same building, at least a couple of days a week, and then 3 days from home, with flexibility if you need it. Everyone’s happy with that.”
They also have a recognition program. “Some of the prizes are a half-days leave or you can have a late start or an early finish – that’s a good innovation.”
Before the firm found Leave Dates, they managed staff leave manually with an Excel spreadsheet, says Shane. “It was very time consuming, and the team didn’t have access to see where they were up to on their own leave. It was a lot of emails back and forth. That was the biggest problem; the amount of time that went into managing it.”
Just as research plays a crucial part in their recruitment process, so it did when it came to choosing Leave Dates.
“Our systems manager did some research into leave systems and came back with all the options and Leave Dates looked like the best bet for ease of use, how it looked and felt, and value for money. We did a couple of demo calls with Phil, which was great, we liked the look of it and went from there.”
Set-up was simple: “The set-up instructions are very good, and Phil’s very approachable – he got back quickly about any queries. We put all the initial information on a spreadsheet and uploaded it. I’ve been involved with this before and set-up can go on for months but Leave Dates is very good; it’s easy to implement.”
Day to day, “the system effectively runs itself,” says Shane. “We’ve set up email alerts so the senior management get an email in the morning to flag up leave for that day. We pull reports for payroll and reports for the social team to check if they’re organising an event. Day to day anyone can just go in and send requests or check when others are off."
Has it solved their challenges managing leave?
“It's been excellent. It has 100% solved the problems we were facing. The two main problems being that staff couldn’t see the leave they had remaining, and the time-consuming nature of the admin around that. I had a look, in terms of the emails I received in the year before putting Leave Dates in place, compared to the first year of use, and they decreased by 75%.”
Wow! “It has been a life-saver for me,” Shane adds.
The best thing about it? “The ease of use, everyone is very happy with it, everyone picked it up very quickly. It runs itself, any query you get is not really related to how the system works, it’s just about holiday, so that’s great. The support is really good. Phil has been very helpful from day one, he comes back to you very quickly and they’re always working on it and improving it. It’s very good value, and it looks great. It’s excellent.”
“I’d have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. Whatever sector, whatever industry you’re in, it’s perfect, it does exactly what it should. We’d really recommend it. Go for it, have a call with Phil, get a demo. For ease of use and value for money, it’s very hard to beat.”
Very hard to beat – just like their best candidates.