Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

14.40 8 Jun 2021


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Two Irish employers have dismissed suggestions it’s hard to find staff in Ireland - suggesting it’s easy to recruit people if you “pay them properly”.

It comes as some businesses say they’re struggling with staffing as the economy begins to reopen after months of lockdown.

CSO figures, for example, show that 78% of employers are struggling to fill roles after losing staff throughout the pandemic.

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Lunchtime Live heard from two Irish employers who have not faced such recruitment issues.

Businessman Pat Phelan: 'I'm sick of hearing it's hard to get staff... it's easy if you pay people properly'

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Pat Phelan is the CEO of SISU Clinic, a chain of aesthetic clinics, as well as the founder of tech firms Trustev and Cubic Telecom.

He recently tweeted that he's "sick to my back teeth" of hearing it’s hard to get staff.

Speaking on Lunchtime, he explained: "We’ve been hiring, and had zero problems.

“The problem people are having is it’s really hard to get cheap staff. It’s very easy to get good staff if you pay people properly.

Mr Phelan said his own company offers staff packages that include pension contributions, educational grants and free private healthcare.

He said that applies to everyone from front-of-house staff to doctors.

He explained: “Everyone in the company is sharing the rewards. There’s no minimum wage.

“If I was to pay 10 or 15 cent extra on a coffee, or €1 on a sandwich… that wouldn’t kill me if I knew people were being looked after.

“If you have a business, the team should be looked after - because the team is going to be the thing that drives the business.”

"If you pay people properly, you will get them"

Mr Phelan’s comments were echoed by Michael Hartey, founder of Home Care Direct.

He said his sector has seen increased demand for workers - but he believes there’s not a shortage of carers out there.

He explained: “There’s a shortage of people who want to work on the minimum wage, or zero wage type contacts.

“Home-caring is a tough job, and you have agencies crying out to the Government that we need to bring in carers from abroad. But we’d be quite clear… if you pay people properly, you will get them.

“It’s absolutely vital to have happy, well-rewarded carers going in to look after older people or people with disabilities… yes, there might be an initial bit of pain, but it has long-term benefits for your business.

Mr Hartey acknowledged that some businesses will struggle as they get back up and running after a long closure - but they should be aiming to treat their staff as best they can in the long-term.

He added: “If you want your business to survive in the long-term, you’ve got to look after yourself.”

Main image: File photo of Pat Phelan. Photo: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

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