On Thursday last, myself and colleagues Eoin and Maria set off to Poland to attend and speak at an event in Warsaw which we had organised. The evening was aimed at attracting banking professionals, in particular those with strong credit experience, to Ireland. After careful planning and lots of time and effort from the team, we arrived at our venue excited about the night ahead. As we sat in the conference room in the Radisson Blu in Warsaw, we ran through how we planned the evening to go; and then, as 6.30pm came, we crossed our fingers that the attendees actually showed!
To our delight, one after the other, people started to arrive and very quickly the room was full with banking professionals, prepared to listen to what we had to say. I made the introduction and gave the guests an overview of Ireland; with a short history on the past few years through to Ireland in the present day. Eoin then excellently delved in to the specific type of positions that we have been mandated to work on – the opportunities, salaries and a case study of a banking professional from Poland who lives and works in Dublin. This was followed by a Q&A and then an impromptu speech from an Irish ex-pat currently plying his trade with a big bank in Warsaw.
Afterwards, we invited attendees to fill out an application form if they were interested in exploring opportunities in Ireland further. To our delight, they swarmed around us to hand in applications and after sifting through the forms, we accounted that 75% of attendees had declared their wish to look in to this further. We couldn’t have been happier with the response and the interest that was shown and as I write and reflect on it now, two things stand out to me.
1. As I stood there talking about Ireland, I couldn’t help but think how far we have come as a country over the past few years. We have all faced huge adversity, some more then others, and now we are here selling the prosperity of working and living in Ireland to another country. Some might wonder why we would have to go to Poland to find these people, but with tightening of regulation from the ECB and the CBI, and with financial institutions under more scrutiny then ever before, the banks have had to beef up their credit and risk teams. With a skills shortage now created off the back of this, why not invite our European neighbours to come and explore what could be a better career opportunity for them. The people that attended our event couldn’t have been more appreciative and friendly and if any of them do eventually move to Ireland to work, they will be a fantastic addition to our society.
2. The second thing that struck me was how impressed and proud I was of Eoin and Maria. They worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the evening to make sure it ran smoothly and I think anyone who has organised such an event knows how much work goes in to it! Eoin and Maria both spoke passionately about Ireland and its opportunities and I don’t think they could have been better ambassadors. They were well informed, built rapport effortlessly with the crowd, and showed an interest in the people they were speaking to. The other thing I know is; if any of the attendees do move to Ireland, Eoin and Maria will facilitate it with the utmost professionalism and execution and will work closely with the candidate and the company in the short, medium and long term so that both will feel truly valued.
Getting someone to speak at an event or sell an opportunity can be taught; getting someone to genuinely care about other people can’t. Thankfully, for Mason Alexander, our clients, and and anyone they deal with, Eoin and Maria have both. I am truly grateful to them for all their hard work; and if you work or want to work in the banking sector, then I couldn’t recommend two people more highly to speak to.