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Do You Know Where You Are Going To?

by Paddy Collins on July 9th, 2019

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.

Alice: I don’t much care where.

The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.

Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.

The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”

(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)

Having worked in the recruitment of professional level candidates for clients for over 20 years I am still astonished at how few people actually have a real plan for their futures.

This is even more shocking when I am referring to the very best talent and performers in their particular fields.

My observation is that most career moves are haphazard and generated by an unexpected opportunity or an approach by a Head-hunter.

We currently observe a serious economic growth accompanied by a wide range of career opportunities. I suggest it is the time to start taking carefully planned and considered steps towards own professional future. 

There are many models of career planning but all fundamentally require rigorous self analysis and self awareness to determine the following about ourselves: fundamental career anchors (motivators), personal values, preferred work environments, skills & competencies, development needs, &  life interests.

A thorough analysis of the above will enable any candidate produce a range of realistic and appropriate career options to further evaluate and prioritise.

The final element of the jigsaw is committing the number 1 option into an action and development plan designed to achieve personal career targets over the next 5 – 10 years.

You will find your career plan a helpful tool and well worth the investment of your time and effort.  

Mindfulness at Work

by Paddy Collins on June 26th, 2019

Recent years of research have confirmed a powerful impact of Mindfulness, Resilience and Wellbeing on effectiveness and happiness levels in the working environment.

An increasing number of the world’s most successful organisations have been introducing Mindfulness training for their employees to help them consciously and effectively deal with everyday stress and workplace challenges.

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain, 8 Jan 2015, Harvard Business Review:

“Neuroscientists have also shown that practicing mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, and sense of self. […] Mindfulness should no longer be considered a ‘nice-to-have’ for executives. It’s a ‘must-have’: a way to keep our brains healthy, to support self-regulation and effective decision making capabilities, and to protect ourselves from toxic stress.”

In line with this scientifically supported worldwide movement we deliver following workplace solutions in the form of Workshops, Seminars, Masterclasses, Lunchtime Talks and One-to-One Coaching:

Programmes for Teams
• Develop a team Wellness Action Plan
• Empower and engage the team to Deliver Change

Programmes for Managers
• Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work – the role of managers
• Mindfulness for leaders/managers

Mindfulness and Wellbeing Programmes (corporate and individual)
• Guide to a Mindful Work Life
• Fit for work – building workplace resilience and wellbeing
• Bring Mindfulness to Work and Enhance Your Communication Skills
• Positive Psychology at work
• Mindfulness Based Meditation
• 8 weeks Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme (MBSR)
• Training for Mental Health Ambassadors
• Returning to work – support and wellness planning
• How to build and keep your boundaries

Individual coaching sessions
• 1-to-1 mindfulness coaching
• 1-to-1 wellness coaching, developing a wellness recovery action plan (3-4 sessions)

Employee Wellness

by Paddy Collins on May 30th, 2019

We are launching our new Employee Wellness suite of support services including Workshops, Seminars, Masterclasses, Lunchtime Talks and One-to-One Coaching.

We focus on Mind, Body and Personal wellness – including on-site Health Screening.


Programmes for Teams

Develop a team Wellness Action Plan
Empower and Engage the team to deliver change

Programmes for Managers

Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work – the role of managers
Mindfulness for leaders/managers

Mindfulness and Wellbeing Programmes

Guide to a Mindful Work Life
Fit for work – building workplace resilience and wellbeing
Bring Mindfulness to Work and Enhance Your Communication Skills (half day)
Positive Psychology at work (half day)
Mindfulness Based Meditation 8 weeks
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme (MBSR)
Training for Mental Health Ambassadors
Returning to work – support and wellness planning
How to build and keep your boundaries


Conducted on-site by our Occupational Nursing team – Typical Screen Content*: 

Blood pressure
Height, Weight and BMI
Body Fat
Diet & Lifestyle

*Additional screening tests can be provided – please contact the Torc office on 01 662 3020.


Food & Nutrition

Eating for Health
Cholesterol lowering Top 10
Food allergies and intolerance
Eating for digestive health
Change your habits, change your weight
Stress, nutrition and how to manage
Boost your mood with food
Understanding sugar – the hidden enemy
Nutrition in Retirement


Career Progression & Career Change

Irrespective of career stage we offer guidance in:

Career planning
Achieving career goals
Mastering CVs
Performing effective job search
Preparing for career mobility
Enhancing interview skills
Contract negotiation

Embracing Change

Assert yourself & become a change agent
Manage and embrace personal change
Personal transformation – become your best self

Preparing for 3rd Age (Retirement)

The Changing View – Final Finish or New Beginning
Preparing for life change
Relationships & Community
3rd Age Activities
Financial & Tax Matters, Social Welfare
Personal Action Plan

Torc Management Recruitment

by Paddy Collins on April 25th, 2019

Our model shows the unique depth of input we can provide to our clients.

Business context – It is very important for us to gain a clear understanding of the strategic business circumstances surrounding the appointment – without this we could struggle to meet the longer term needs of both client and candidate.

Job description – we will advise (and help draft) a detailed and accurate role content and person specification.

Recruitment strategy – we set out the various options for our client and agree with them the best approach to filling the role.

Research – irrespective of whether it is a head-hunt or a contingency based assignment detailed research is required to identify suitable sources and locations of talent.

Social media – we utilise all online platforms available to us to identify, attract and connect with suitable talent.

Screening – our process includes detailed CV analysis, initial phone interview to cover all key requirements, holistic one-to-one interviews and our in-house assessments to enable us rank candidates in order of ‘fit’ for the role.

Shortlist – we present a shortlist of candidates to our client of candidates who can do the job, with an appraisal of each and rationale for inclusion. At formal interview the client will also assess the culture fit with their team. We propose the interview process, content and organise the schedule.

Contract and package negotiation – we arrange the job offer and agree terms, advise on the employment contract, collect references, arrange medical etc. We finally agree a suitable onboarding programme with the client. 

Looking for Talent? Be decisive!

by Paddy Collins on March 28th, 2019

Adapted from a blog by Tim Gerrells, II, GVentures – North America Executive Recruiter, Manufacturing Finance & Accounting

-I’m sorry.  The candidate has just accepted an offer from another firm.

What?!  You told us she loved us, that she wanted to work for us.

-She did.

We’re #1 in our space, you said she liked that.

-She did.

You said she liked the team, that she thought she would fit in here.

-She did.

I don’t understand, we were thinking about making her an offer.


And while you were THINKING… 

Your competition was ACTING.

While you waited three weeks to get that last business partner to meet with her…

Your competition flew her in to meet the key players and had her do a video call with the business partners who weren’t available.

While you sat on the knowledge that she was interviewing elsewhere…

Your competition MADE THINGS HAPPEN and sped up the process.

While you waited a month to get a few more people into the mix for “comparison”…

Your competition RECOGNIZED TOP TALENT and made the call.

While you debated with HR over salary requirements and asked her for her history…

Your competitor PUT OUT AN OFFER at the top end of their range to ensure the deal was  done.

If you want the top talent, you need to be thoughtful, yes.

But you need to be decisive.

I promise you, your competition is!

Putting Life into your Retirement

by Paddy Collins on February 28th, 2019

Retirement can be a golden period, full of adventure and fulfilment with each day bringing new joys and new adventures – but only if retirees plan for it well in advance.

We have recently refreshed our Two-Day Pre-Retirement Programme and we are ready to cater for both in-house and individual booking. 

The Programme is designed for pre-retirees and partners. 


To understand the process of planning for retirement with respect to key aspects such as finance, health, work, leisure, relationships, self-identity, fulfilment etc.

The course is a combination of individual and group work through participative discussion, questionnaires and case studies – spiced with humorous anecdotes.



Welcome & Introductions

What is Retirement? The Changing View

Pre-Retirement: Preparing For Major Change Event

Managing Relationships: Spouse, Family, Friends

Our Need For Community: Belonging & Letting Go

Exploration of transition issues within the group


Financial Concerns Part I




Financial Concerns Part II

Managing for positive mental wellbeing in Retirement

Health in Retirement


Third-Age Activities: Managing 2000 Extra Hours of Time.

Work/life Balance 

Working Options after Retirement: Paid and unpaid.

Individual Action Plan.

              Creating those tomorrows … today.

Recap: Summary & End. Final questions & goodbyes. 

Please contact us on 01 662 30 20 for further details.

Job Searchers: How Linkedin can help you?

by Paddy Collins on January 30th, 2019

A blog by Ellie Rich-Poole,  +44 7454 244861

You have found yourself looking for a new role. It is an important time of reflection about what next.

If it is the first time you have been on the market for a number of years, you may notice a lot has changed. You are likely to be more senior, and therefore need to be talking to a different level of the recruitment world; it may no longer be appropriate to return to the agencies you used last time. You may realise that your network in recent years has been internally rather than externally focused and you don’t know where to start for asking for help.

You may not have been on LinkedIn much before and not in relation to finding a new job.

Here are some ways it can help in your search:

1.Firstly, make sure your profile is up to date and accurately describes who you are and what you do. My earlier blog 8 tips for a successful LinkedIn profile will help.

2. Don’t copy and paste your CV onto your LinkedIn profile – they should not be the same. Your LinkedIn profile should be succinct – an overview of who you are, what you do, the value you add and what you want.

3. Although good researchers and recruiters will always find good candidates, help them out!

4.Ensure people can send you an invitation to connect. A candidate I was once trying to head hunt (who turned out to be actively looking) had their privacy settings so high that no one could invite them to connect without knowing their email address.

5.Ensure you are being discreet if you are currently in a role and don’t want everyone to see that you are exploring new opportunities. Make sure you turn off the ‘sharing profile changes with your network’ facility, otherwise all your network gets notified when you have updated your profile.

6.Actively engage in discussions and conversations around interesting industry media. Comment on blog posts, share articles and start conversations. Remember everything you post is in the public domain so write accordingly. Each time you post or comment your name and strapline will be seen by others. A great reminder of you.

7.Choose your strapline wisely. If you are immediately available and actively looking for your next role you may wish to make this known, using something along the lines of ‘exploring new HR Director opportunities’. Some prefer to be more discreet. It’s a personal choice.

8.Use the private message facility to catch up with former colleagues and industry contacts. Networking should be two way, so look at how you can help them, not just what you need from them. Trusted former colleagues who know and rate you are an often underused pool of support when you are on the market. Don’t be afraid to drop people a line. Most of us would always be willing to help out a contact. But please return the favour when you are settled in your next role.

9.Always personalise invitation requests, explaining why you want to connect. This is easier on the desktop version of LinkedIn because it gives you a prompt. If doing it from the app, go to the person’s profile, but don’t hit ‘connect’ which immediately fires out a non personalised invitation. Instead hit ‘more’ and select ‘personalise invite’ where you can add a note.

I also spoke with Researcher Charlotte Payne from Eton Bridge Partners to get her top tips:

1.If you want people to get in touch with you, make sure your contact details are easily accessible

2.Make sure your latest job information is up to date and accurately reflect when / if your previous jobs have ended, so it doesn’t look like you have several roles concurrently.

3.Try to avoid using company specific jargon or acronyms in terms of job titles and how you describe your role. Keep it as accessible as possible so people have the best chance of finding you.

4.Ensure you include relevant key words in your profile. This could be within your job titles, your summary, or within individual roles. This helps you come higher up in searches, much like with a Google search. Including your skills in the Skills & Endorsements section will also help with this.

5.Don’t forget to include any relevant education and qualifications, this is important to some employers.

The value of a good phone interview

by Paddy Collins on December 13th, 2018


Adapted from an article by Lou Adler, CEO and founder of the Adler Group, a training and search firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring

With the demand for talent exceeding the supply for these jobs it turns out there is just no time for face-to-face interviews. Instead, people are being hired after one or two phone screens. There are powerful reasons why this actually might be better than the in-person interview.

The big benefit of an in-depth phone interview is the ability to more accurately assess ability, fit and motivation by eliminating the visual impact of first impression bias.

I stumbled upon this concept long ago when I realized I could save a lot of time by conducting a thorough phone screen before conducting an onsite interview. As I started meeting candidates screened this way, it became apparent very quickly that the person’s first impression, good or not so good, had little impact on the assessment if I had already determined these people had the ability to handle the major performance challenges of the job.

As I handled more national search assignments it wasn’t generally possible to meet candidates in-person before presenting them to my clients. To get around this I conducted multiple phone interviews, one preliminary screen and a second one equivalent to the in-person performance-based process described above. When I subsequently met the person, it turned out the phone assessments were more in-depth, more objective and more accurate in predicting actual performance.

For one CEO appointment, the candidate hired for the job told me candidly that the phone interviews I conducted with him were far superior to any of the in-person interviews conducted by the board members.

This leads to my conclusion stated earlier: A series of properly conducted performance-based phone screens are more effective than interviewing candidates in. The impact of first impression bias and all of the factors associated with it cause interviewer bias – this doesn’t happen over the phone!

Regardless of how it’s done, phone-based interviewing with no video results in a more business-like interview and assessment process. The research clearly shows that interviewer bias and lack of objectivity are the top causes of hiring mistakes including not hiring the best person for the job. You’ll solve both problems by picking up the phone first.




Culture – the Best Measurement Tool

by Paddy Collins on November 28th, 2018

Click on the image to see full version of Hofstede’s Multi-focus Model

Every organisation has its unique style of working which often contributes to its culture. The beliefs, ideologies, principles and values of an organisation form its culture. The culture of the workplace controls the way employees behave amongst themselves as well as with people outside the organisation.

Clearly the culture also defines how the organisation is likely to interact with customers, suppliers and a range of external stakeholders. Consequently there is a clear link between culture and bottom line performance.

Measuring culture is important for your company and measuring the right things – those that matter most to performance and provide a framework for positive change is crucial to future success.

Organisational culture is the pivot on which a company’s competitiveness in the market (including the job market) hinges.

And this brings us to another challenge: how to use an intangible and pervasive dimension like culture as a management tool in order to achieve our company’s strategic objectives and, indeed, ensure the culture we are setting up doesn’t subsume our strategy, but the two sustain and enable each other?

The best answer I have found yet to this question is Hofstede’s Multi-focus Model on Organisational Culture, comprising a conceptual framework to map out our corporate culture and a digital tool to effectively measure it and identify any gaps between the “as is” (the actual behaviours and practices taking place at all levels of the organization) and the “to be” (what top management wants to believe).

The model breaks down a company’s organisation culture in 6 core dimensions:

1 Organisational effectiveness (goal oriented vs. process oriented)

2 Motivation (internal vs. external)

3 Structure, Control & Discipline (low vs. high)

4 Degree of innovation (local vs. professional)

5 Inclusiveness (closed vs. open system)

6 Management philosophy (people vs. task oriented)

These dimensions are measured through the online tool and compared to internal and external benchmarks. It is important to notice that there is no absolute measure of success (i.e. not necessarily a company that scores higher on any dimension is “better” than its competitors); on the other hand, it is relative to the external market and industry conditions (the external benchmark), as well as the top management’s vision and objectives (the internal benchmark).

How does measurement lead to success? The Hofstede tool provides an assessment of current and desired culture for the organisation plus a suite of change levers to deliver the optimal culture – this is delivered by changing real life work activities including for example:

> The way we deal with each other;

> The way we do our work;

> The way we deal with the outside world.

Should you wish to arrange a demonstration of the Hofstede Multi-focus Model please call us for details on +353 1 662 3020.



by Paddy Collins on October 26th, 2018

This is the ninth 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 was your biggest professional failure or mistake to date?

Why is this question asked?

To see how you cope with probing and with sensitive question

To assess your understanding of what constitutes a ‘failure’ or ‘mistake’

To explore your attitude to ‘failing’, learning from mistakes, taking a risk, putting yourself out of your comfort zone

To see how quickly and positively you learn and recover

To gauge your resilience levels and your ability to adapt and recover

To explore your tolerance if others ‘failed’ on your team

To explore your self-awareness and honesty

To see whether you would admit your and your team mistakes

To find out what your way of highlighting problems is

To see if you involve others in an appropriate manner and in right time

How to best answer it?

Indicate your self-acceptance and tolerance threshold as well as expectation of yourself (show high but realistic expectation)

Choose an appropriate example, do not let it be too extreme or personal – stick strictly to work, job, business, life in organisations

Remember it is vital to emphasise the constructive action you took to recover:

1. get back in action

2. address mistakes

3. turn situation around

4. rebuild relationships

It is important to indicate your quick learning from setback – list learnings from ‘failing’ and/or ‘mistake’

And finally show how you turned your ‘failure’ or ‘mistake’ into a positive!