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Thinking of a ‘Place in the Sun’?

by Paddy Collins on January 18th, 2018

An increasing number of Irish people are moving abroad in retirement to avail of better weather, cheaper property prices and a lower cost of living.

Today’s retirees seeking a haven abroad are most likely to look first at the Mediterranean – Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Cyprus being the favourites.

However, a lot of research needs to be done before making such a major decision. Major factors to consider include:

Cost of property and cost of living

Entry requirements eg Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US

Healthcare – if you retire within the EU the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to access state provided healthcare in all EU member states. However, each member country’s health system is different and might not include all you get at home. You would need to check how transferable any health insurance is, if at all.

Language & Culture –if the Med’s your choice you will need to learn the language and adapt to the culture – by doing so you will adapt more quickly, get greater respect and integrate more easily to the local community.

Affordability – tax laws vary from country to country so you need to get proper advice.

Christmas Greetings

by Paddy Collins on December 19th, 2017



Wishing you all the lovely joys of the season 

And happiness throughout the coming year 2018!!!

                                                          TORC Team



TORC Career Services Framework

by Paddy Collins on November 8th, 2017


Open the link to see the full content Model – Torc Career Services Framework


Torc’s model for supporting client organisations grappling with supporting staff through their career journey has evolved from our work in the field over recent years.

The model above attempts to encapsulate the potential solutions.

There are five core pillars of supporting interventions

1. the underlying talent management systems which all organisations have whether formal or informal

 2. career related training,

 3. coaching,

4. career advisory supports,

 5. relevant assessments and psychometric tools.

The core pillars can determine the shape of whatever internal programmes and pathways are developed to facilitate the journey and the plans adopted by each individual throughout.

On the left side of the model we show how the supports are relevant and necessary at every milestone through the individual’s career journey.




by Paddy Collins on October 26th, 2017

This is the fourth of the series of typical interview questions. For each question we outline why the interviewer is asking the question and how the interviewee should respond to it.

Our suggestions should be treated as guidelines, always adapt them to your personal judgement of the situation and to your own particular experience and individual style.

Why are you the ideal candidate?

Why should we choose you?

How would you differentiate yourself from the others applying for this role?

Why is this question asked?

To see whether you have considered and analysed this question before the interview

Do you really know this job?

To gauge your readiness, passion, interest and motivation

To select the best/most suitable person for the job

To look for the person who stands out, whose experience, skills and motivation would match the job and would add value to the company

Can this person act as an ambassador for the company or department?

 How to answer?

Initially think who else might be applying for the role and what they may offer

Then consider  your personality and interests to understand what makes you unique and different? Highlight your “differentiators”

Show how you match the specific culture, the company, the job competencies (e.g. being adaptable, open to change, multi-tasking, attentive to detail, flexible, committed to company, able to develop and maintain good relationships)

Show why you really want it – emphasize the element of your particular interest/challenge in the job

Show your forward looking approach and vision. Prove it by linking your unique experience and strengths with potential benefits to the employer

Show how you have worked towards this opportunity and how this job is a logical next move in your career

Always remember not to come across as “desperate” or “arrogant” – stay very positive about yourself but factual.


by Paddy Collins on September 28th, 2017


This is the third of the series of typical interview questions. For each question we outline why the interviewer is asking the question and how the interviewee should respond to it.

Our suggestions should be treated as guidelines, always adapt them to your personal judgement of the situation and to your own particular experience and individual style.

What are your 3 top strengths and your main weaknesses?

Or quite similar:

If asked, what would your friends (and enemies) say about you?

Why is this question asked?

– To see if you’re self-aware and to identify your mindset and attitude.

– Do your strengths fit the job spec? Do they match your CV?

– To check your consistency across the interview, application process, CV etc.

– To see if you are you self-aware and mature enough to know and express your strengths and acknowledge your weakness.

– Have you got the good judgement to decide which of your strengths / weaknesses should be emphasised as they could ‘fit’ to the organisation, culture, job?

– Have you figured out how to address and manage your ‘allowable’ weakness?

– Can you handle the question – are you prepared, honest and objective (with a healthy self-critique)?

How to answer?

– Stay calm – remain composed.

– Remember your feedback from your colleagues – what are your personality / leadership / behavioural strengths?

– Highlight positives. Giving an example of your strength say e.g. “I am told consistently that I am strong with….”

– Make the link from you your main weakness?r interests to your skills – always link to the job.

– On weaknesses, choose a non-critical competence or skill (an ‘allowable weakness’).

– Ensure you can turn the weakness into a positive – show how it ‘works’ for the target job.

– Show how you have dealt with it and prove you have overcome it. Show resilience.

– Appreciate and emphasize the learning you get from managing your weakness.

– Present examples of positive feedback you have received from all sources.


by Paddy Collins on August 1st, 2017


This is the second of the series of typical interview questions. For each question we will outline why the interviewer is asking the question and how the interviewee should respond to it.

Our suggestions should be treated as guidelines, always adapt them to your personal judgement of the situation and to your own particular experience and individual style.

Why do you want to work in this organisation – in this role?

Or quite similar:

What would it mean for you to get this job?

Why is this question asked?

– To find if you have researched the company, including ethos, culture, structure, growth, profitability. Have you studied their web site, reports, and press releases?

– Have you a positive intention with positive drivers? What is your purpose in seeking this role?

– Have you a clear understanding of the role? Have you a realistic view of yourself as a good ‘fit’ with this role?

– Does it fit into your career plan and does your experience and competencies fit with the needs of the hiring organisation? Are you (and how) are you ready now?

– Can you (and how specifically) contribute now to this company in this role?

– What will you be positively and generously motivated to bring to this organization?

– How interested are you – do you really want this job?


How to answer?

– Show your enthusiasm, interest, ‘heart’ for the job

– Show you understand the organisation and the challenge of the role – prove you have done your research!

– Good opportunity to compliment the employer (with honesty) – tell them they are one of the best employer’s in a specific area, explain why you think this department contribution/role is important

– Link organisational values with your own – e.g. excellence, innovative, green energy, learning

– Outline what the employer will gain by you contributing to it – highlight the added value you bring (try to identify some timely, specific, relevant areas you know you can contribute to e.g. managing change)

– Identify what you will learn, how you will be developing your career – a natural next step

– Show you are ready – that you have worked to actively develop yourself towards this point – and that this particular role is a further development opportunity for you

– Show fit between your career progression + what you will contribute (focus on your intended contribution)

4 Simple Things Every Team Wants From Their Leader

by Paddy Collins on July 6th, 2017

by Brian Treadgold, Founder & CEO, Leadership Principles

While it can be difficult to become a great leader and to achieve great things, practicing great leadership is actually quite easy. There is a tendency to overcomplicate or overthink what leadership is, but actually, leadership can be very simple. I have worked with teams all over the world, from dozens of cultures, and from different generations, Baby Boomers to Millennials, and I have found that if you provide these four simple things your team will appreciate you, follow you, and achieve great results.

1. Clear direction

This is the leader’s number one job. If you don’t do anything else, you absolutely must give clear direction to your team. Let them know what the goals and objectives are. Too often there is a lack of clarity, which can lead to confusion, misalignment, frustration, and disengagement. Sometimes, clear direction is all a team needs; General Patton said, “Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

2. Support

Your team does the lion’s share of the work, and as their leader, it’s your job to provide them with everything they need to be successful. When you set a team up to be successful, most of them will grab the opportunity with both hands and become successful. Leadership is about serving your team, not about being served by them. This doesn’t mean doing the job for them; it means providing the right environment, and then being there to help, if needed.

3. Space

Give the team the space to get on with the work. Provide support, but don’t micromanage them. Micromanagement is not only frustrating and demotivating, but it can also lead to mistakes, as it can put your team under unnecessary stress. Micromanagement is not good for your team, and it’s not good for you, either, because no one wants to work for a micromanager. If that becomes your reputation, then the best staff will look to work elsewhere, and it will give you both recruitment and retention issues. It’s OK to check up on the team, to see how they are doing and what you can do to help, but it has to be within reason.

4. Praise

Positive feedback, in my experience, is key to building a great team that achieves amazing things. I am always surprised by how resistant many managers and leaders are to giving praise. You need to create a culture of recognition, and it starts by recognizing effort. No one is successful immediately, so you should look to give people positive feedback for trying, for being willing to give things a go. What gets recognized gets repeated, and we want people to repeat the effort, because that is what  is going to lead them to success. If you wait for your team to achieve success before you praise them, then you could be waiting a long time.

If you want to become a better leader, or you want your team to achieve better results, providing these four simple ingredients will go a long way toward motivating and inspiring your team and boosting their efforts.

Leadership is a lot more simple than we think. Don’t overcomplicate it.

The Future of Performance Management

by Paddy Collins on June 29th, 2017

By Boris Ewenstein, Bryan Hancock, and Asmus Komm; McKinsey & Company

What happens after companies jettison traditional year-end evaluations?

The worst-kept secret in companies has long been the fact that the yearly ritual of evaluating (and sometimes rating and ranking) the performance of employees epitomizes the absurdities of corporate life. Managers and staff alike too often view performance management as time consuming, excessively subjective, demotivating, and ultimately unhelpful. In these cases, it does little to improve the performance of employees. It may even undermine their performance as they struggle with ratings, worry about compensation, and try to make sense of performance feedback.

These aren’t new issues, but they have become increasingly blatant as jobs in many businesses have evolved over the past 15 years. More and more positions require employees with deeper expertise, more independent judgment, and better problem-solving skills. They are shouldering ever-greater responsibilities in their interactions with customers and business partners and creating value in ways that industrial-era performance-management systems struggle to identify. Soon enough, a ritual most executives say they dislike will be so outdated that it will resemble trying to conduct modern financial transactions with carrier pigeons.

Yet nearly nine out of ten companies around the world continue not only to generate performance scores for employees but also to use them as the basis for compensation decisions. The problem that prevents managers’ dissatisfaction with the process from actually changing it is uncertainty over what a revamped performance-management system ought to look like. If we jettison year-end evaluations—well, then what? Will employees just lean back? Will performance drop? And how will people be paid?

Answers are emerging. Companies, such as GE and Microsoft, that long epitomized the “stack and rank” approach have been blowing up their annual systems for rating and evaluating employees and are instead testing new ideas that give them continual feedback and coaching. Netflix no longer measures its people against annual objectives, because its objectives have become more fluid and can change quite rapidly. Google transformed the way it compensates high performers at every level. Some tech companies, such as Atlassian, have automated many evaluation activities that managers elsewhere perform manually.

The changes these and other companies are making are new, varied, and, in some instances, experimental. But patterns are beginning to emerge.

– Some companies are rethinking what constitutes employee performance by focusing specifically on individuals who are a step function away from average—at either the high or low end of performance—rather than trying to differentiate among the bulk of employees in the middle.

– Many companies are also collecting more objective performance data through systems that automate real-time analyses.

– Performance data are used less and less as a crude instrument for setting compensation. Indeed, some companies are severing the link between evaluation and compensation, at least for the majority of the workforce, while linking them ever more comprehensively at the high and low ends of performance.

– Better data back up a shift in emphasis from backward-looking evaluations to fact-based performance and development discussions, which are becoming frequent and as-needed rather than annual events.

How these emerging patterns play out will vary, of course, from company to company. The pace of change will differ, too. Some companies may use multiple approaches to performance management, holding on to hardwired targets for sales teams, say, while shifting other functions or business units to new approaches.

But change they must.


by Paddy Collins on April 27th, 2017


This is the first of the series of typical interview questions. For each question we will outline why the interviewer is asking the question and how the interviewee should respond to it.

Our suggestions should be treated as guidelines, always adapt them to your personal judgement of the situation and to your own particular experience and individual style.

Tell me about yourself

Why is this question asked?

 – To start the dialogue, relax into interview, put you at ease  and ‘break the ice’

– To get to know you in a less formal way, to build rapport and to see if you can connect with interviewers in a human way – can you create ‘rapport’ at an early stage?

– Observing your friendliness and confidence level

– They are asking ‘could we work with this person’?  How have they progressed through their career?

– To find other areas / topics to explore with you later and to verify how they relate to the job (from the job requirements perspective)

– To see whether you are prepared and whether you have clarity about yourself. What do you choose to emphasise, how relevant is it to the role?

– Helps panel get to know you quickly or refresh their memory if they have met you already

– To consider if you have a ‘brand’ and how it sits with the interviewers panel

How to Answer?

 – Ideal max 2 – 3mins input. It’s the first chance to ‘sell yourself’ positively. Be natural  and concise.

– Get to work-related input quickly – focus on your profession, experience, progress of career

– Emphasize your recent experience and key achievements – direct towards competencies required for the job of interest

– Take control by providing ‘relevant hooks’ (linked to job requirements), you have prepared on these topics / competencies and you want the panel to probe on them

– Use aspects of your brand statement – finish with your key differentiators (relevant to the job)

– Optional: Give very short input on personal information at end – e.g. where you are from, your hobby

– Stay calm, be brief, simple, honest – remember to always tailor your message to the specific job


2017 – Treasure and foster your career

by Paddy Collins on January 20th, 2017

2017 – Treasure and foster your Career

You may not realise it but the way your career develops over time is almost entirely under your control. Certainly you can opt to stay in your current job, work hard, hope your efforts are recognised and some fantastic new opportunity falls into your lap.

However wouldn’t it be nice to know where you are going and have a timetable for achieving your personal goals?

I am not advocating any rash or dramatic changes but I can suggest some simple steps which will help you enormously:

Number 1

Take some time out to answer a few questions about yourself and your future, for example

What do you want to be working at in the short, medium and long term?

Where do you want to be doing this work (location, target companies, employment type)?

What steps should you take in 2017 to help deliver your career targets?

Number 2

Write down a plan of action for developing yourself and your career with target milestones

Number 3

Review and update your plan regularly, at least each quarter

Some of these actions are not easy to complete, especially on your own without support – we in Torc have developed a self analysis toolkit taking you through each stage quite painlessly.

You are invited to contact the office to get a copy – after all you and your career are well worth the effort!