Success & Innovation at 2016 gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards

winners group shot _001  (1)April 28th saw almost 600 of Ireland’s graduate recruiters, course providers and stakeholders come together in the Round Room of Dublin’s Mansion House to celebrate achievement and innovation in the graduate recruitment area, on this the tenth anniversary of the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards. 2016 saw the largest ever Graduate Recruitment Awards, conducted in partnership with the Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS) and the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The 2016 event attracted over 160 submissions from more than 60 organisations and almost 7,500 students participated in the vote to determine Ireland’s most popular graduate recruiter.

Opening the evening’s proceedings, gradireland Director Mark Mitchell said; “More organisations than ever are investing in defined graduate programmes. Graduate programmes that lapses during the recession are being reinstated and reimagined, this has led to increasing competition and a different set of challenges for graduate recruiters, careers services and students.” Mark also spoke of the importance of partnerships and invited Professor Maria Hinfelaar, former President of LIT, to give the keynote address on the evening.
Hosted by RTE’s Brian Dobson, the awards ranged throughout the graduate recruitment spectrum and also acknowledged achievement in the postgraduate course provision area. Indeed this area saw the first awards of the evening, the AHECS awards, being presented, the winners being:

Employability Award (Small and Medium Services)
Winner: National College of Ireland

Employability Award (Large Services)
Winner: Ulster University

Engagement Award
Joint Winners: Deloitte and PwC

The award winners on the night represented a broad spectrum of Irish and international industry. PwC landed the award for Employer of the Year, while KPMG was named Ireland’s Most Popular Graduate Recruiter in the student vote, displacing Google, who had held top spot for several years. Abbvie was judged to have the Best Specialist/Professional Graduate Training & Development Programme and Abbott was awarded with Best Internship Programme. The dynamic of the graduate recruitment sector was evident everywhere in the room. Stakeholders in industry rubbed shoulders with course providers, tasked with providing the next generation of talent. Commenting on the awards, Mark Mitchell, gradireland Director, added: “These awards are now firmly established as a key event in the year, enabling all of the stakeholders in the graduate recruitment process to create important networks as well as to celebrate success.”

The full list of winners (and silver and bronze awards) at the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards and Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2016:

The most popular graduate recruiters

Accountancy/Professional Services
Winner: KPMG

Banking, investment & financial services
Winner: Bank of Ireland

Winner: Accenture

Winner: Intel

Winner: Jameson – Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Winner: Google

Winner: A&L Goodbody

Logistics, transport & supply chain management
Winner: Aer Lingus

Online retail services and telecoms
Winner: Amazon

Winner: Lidl

Public service/business organisations
Winner: Department of Education and Skills

Winner: Boston Scientific

Utilities, Energy, Renewables
Winner: ESB

Ireland’s Most Popular Graduate Recruiter
Winner: KPMG

Best Graduate Recruitment Website
Winner: ESB

Silver: Aldi

Bronze: Jameson – Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Best Innovation on Campus
Winner: Deloitte

Silver: KPMG

Bronze: Intel

Best Student Marketing Campaign
Winner: Jameson-Irish Distillers

Silver: Glanbia

Bronze: PwC

Best Graduate Training & Development Programmes
Specialist/Professional Training programme

Winner: Abbvie

Silver: Abbott

Bronze: PwC

Business/General Training & Development programme
Winner: Glanbia

Silver: Jameson – Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Bronze: EMC

Best Internship Programme
Winner: Abbott

Silver: Abbvie

Bronze: KPMG

gradireland Diversity Recruitment Award

Winner: Enterprise rent-a-car

Silver: Abbott

Bronze: KPMG


Winner: DCU, MSc in Human Resource Management


Winner: UCC, MEngSc Information Technology in Architecture, Engineering and Construction


Winner: UCC, MSc Information Systems for Business Performance


Winner: NUI Galway, MSc Biotechnology


Winner: Maynooth University, Masters in Design Innovation


Graduate Employee of the Year
Overall winners
Robert Beirne, LIDL
Maxim Romancovs, HEDGESERV


Graduate Employer of the Year

Thinking of moving job? Make sure you make an informed decision

With the economy continuing to improve, opportunities are on the increase and plenty of those in their first time job have the opportunity to make a career move. But, when should you move, and why should you move? A recent article in Forbes magazine pointed out that even seasoned professionals frequently make poor career choices, so as someone who is relatively new to the job market, what should you look out for and when should you make your move, and for what reasons?

If you’ve only recently graduated and are currently in your first job, it might not be looked upon favourably by future employers if you make a move too soon. It’s a mix of not having gained enough experience, and a possible perception of lack of loyalty. But at the end of the day, it’s your career, and in a market where opportunities are definitely growing, you will likely be faced with the choice of whether to stay or move on.

What to look out for

The prospect of a new job may seem so tempting that many of us can blindly ignore plenty of warning signs that an initially tempting position may be flashing in our faces. Remember, even if you have been offered a new position, try and look past the prospect of purely financial reward and remember that is ok to say no, in many cases it may be a better decision for your career, and your personal welfare.

First, find out as much as you can about the new company. Is it result-driven, or rule-driven? If it’s result-driven, can you match the heavy expectations that could be placed upon you at this stage of your career? If it’s rule-driven can you work in a process based environment? It could be a small or start-up company, which may sound attractive, as you’ll get varied and practical experience, but will you be working for someone who will call you after hours and at weekends and expect you to answer emails at any times of day or night? If you value your personal time, make sure you get a real sense of the culture of the company, and the employer, before you accept the offer. Make sure you ask the questions; ‘what’s a typical workday like?’ and ‘would I be expected to answer emails or take calls in the evening or at weekends?’

If you are joining a large corporate company, consider how this fits in with your long-term career goals, understand the short-term and long-term priorities of the position.
Network and get in touch with someone who you could be working with, find out the reality of day-to-day work there.This ensures that you and your employer have a clear understanding of what is expected of you. Make sure all the details are covered and you’re not in the dark about anything, get everything in writing about your position—whether it is in an offer letter or a contract. You should have your salary,  benefits, and other terms and any other terms and conditions on paper before you make a decision. Moving for purely financial reasons is a risk, as it can cloud your judgement, but if the offer is generous, it’s understandable for it to be a driving factor.
Make sure you have room to grow professionally. Will this new job enhance your employability skills and take you further down the road you want to be on?  You do not want to take a job only to realise later that it is a stagnant and limited position.
For some, working in a group environment is great and enhances creativity. For others, it is a distraction.

Ultimately, you have to make your own decisions, but use all the supports that are out there, peers, friends, and your careers service. But no matter how much you prepare, you will never know what working somewhere is like until you actually get in the door. However, if you’ve done your research, at least you will know that you’re making a decision armed with the best possible information.

For more on making informed career choices, visit or watch our videos on what working life is like in a host of sectors.



Are you career clueless? #FYI Careers Showcase is here to help

It’s less than two weeks away from gradreland’s brand new event, the #FYI Careers Showcase which is taking place in the RDS Simmonscourt on Tuesday 12th April from 12pm.

This unique and innovative event is designed to enable students to understand their career options, in order to help them make better informed careers decisions. If you are curious about all the different career paths that are available, this is the event for you!

So what should you expect at this ground breaking event? The event itself will be highly innovative, with video booths, live demonstrations of key employability skills and one-to-one advice for all the students who attend! If you have any questions about specific jobs, what they mean and what you will do all day, pop along to this event and ask graduates these burning questions; people who were in your situation just a few years ago and are now working with Ireland Ireland’s leading national and multinational companies.

The #FYI Careers Showcase is designed for first and second year students, to give them the opportunity to discover the abundance of opportunities available in a whole range of different sectors.  But of course, anyone who is feeling career clueless is welcome – especially if penultimate and final year students are feeling overwhelmed about career choices or potential career pathways. This event gives students the opportunity to find the answer to all of these questions in a relaxed and informal setting.

This event is completely free for students to attend and you can register here. Find out more about the #FYI Careers Showcase on our website or watch the official event video here.