Talent Summit – Prof. Neil Gibson, EY Ireland

So Prof. Neil Gibson, Chief Economist for EY in Ireland had a tough slot at Talent Summit – going in straight after the guy who could talk about astronauts at work. Neil delivered a lot of brilliant information, and did so in a very enjoyable manner. Here’s the main bits we liked:

We’re at near full employemnt and pretty much anyone who wants a job, has one. They may not have the job they want, but they have a job. As a result there are only limited ways for companies to fill their vacancies:

  1. Recruit from rivals – tempt them away
  2. Look for less traditional ways to facilitate – returners of all types (not just post raising kids!)
  3. Use of immigration

Ireland needs to be able to accomodate immigrants without negatively impacting the qulity of life of it’s current population – supporting infrastructure, public services, costs of housing. We need to learn from other countries mistakes as we have seen other countries fail here and strain their resources leading to sentiment being, unfairly, against the immigrant population.

Most macro indicators suggest Ireland is booming but people surveyed felt they would be worse off in 5 years time; there is a ground swell in populist political parties in Europe; public reaction to some high profilethings in Ireland are negative (e.g. the childrens hospital)

Its an era of low trust at the moment. People in general are not trusting of governments or big business.

Data does not generally change peoples minds – if someone believes something, large amounts of data telling them a differing story is not an effective way of changing their minds. I found this piece interesting and relateable and disturbing all at the same time. As HR professionals, we have all had ‘Big Data’ conversations, and ensuring we action that data is obviously the goal (to make better decisions). – it’s interesting if you have ever been in a conversation with someone who, at the end of seeing irrefuteable evidence (data) then say something like “yeah…I’m not sure….”.

Despite it being the norm now to automate and scale everything, people still love the personal touch and at times are happy to pay extra for it – so don’t forget this when servining your internal or external customer.

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