Despite the turbulence of the Irish economy in 2009 the healthcare sector is holding up well, says the director of the leading Irish jobs board, Healthcarejobs.ie.
“We’ve been immensely pleased to see so many new jobs being posted to our site these past few weeks,” says director Matt Farrah. “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for healthcare recruitment. In fact, at moments, I wondered if fate had it in for us!”
Healthcarejobs.ie was acquired by Matt and his co-director early in 2009. But a week after purchasing the thriving business disaster struck. The true scale of the Irish economy became clear.
“Of course we knew things weren’t good. In fact, it had helped us establish a good price for the business. But the full gravity of the situation regarding the Irish economy became clear to us just a few days after we signed the acquisition agreement.”
Worse news followed just a few months later when the Irish Govt announced a recruitment freeze on all public sector jobs.
For a business specialising in online healthcare jobs the news will have come as a massive blow.
“Naturally, we were very concerned. I think we were surprised when a moratorium on recruitment was announced so quickly. I’ve had better days in recruitment, that’s for sure!
“But we’ve turned the situation to our advantage. As a jobs board, we can help recruiters save costs and that helps to establish good relationships for the future. We also took much more time to develop a completely new version of the site and I think that we have a far better product of it. For instance, we’ve built a brilliant CV storage and search facility that will benefit our customers massively in years to come.”
Inevitably, a business owner will look at the positives, glass-half full and all that? “Sure, we had to be positive in a challenging situation. It’s not been easy. We had to re-present to our investors. But they’ve been really understanding and happy to show patience,” he said.
Matt points out that the past two months has seen an increase in jobs, traffic and customers. The site even ran jobs for BUPA in the last 6 weeks of 2009.
“We’re really looking forward to 2010. The signs are promising, there are some great opportunities. We’ll be happy with steady growth. But we’ve really seen that a recruitment freeze in the public sector means good skills become available elsewhere. Right now, ironically, our biggest jobs sector on the site is for Nurses. Not even the HSE can keep us down!
“There’s a real demand for these skills, these jobseekers. And the great thing for us, as the leading healthcare jobs site in Ireland, is that we’re perfectly placed to provide a platform for jobseekers and their new employers to come together.