Cormac Ó Tighearnaigh
As CEO of Fine Grain Property in Ireland I speak to business leaders daily about the criteria they apply in deciding the location for their business or its expansion. No matter the industry, size, operation or service, their top priority is always the same – recruiting and retaining talent.
The question is how do you get the edge over your competitors and best position your business to succeed in this war for talent?
A new concept that is gaining ground in guiding employers’ location strategy is the Pathway to Talent. At its core is a process of mapping the sources of prospective employees that possess the appropriate skills to propel business performance.
The concept includes a broad set of factors:
A key question is whether to locate within a cluster with competitors and share the same pool of talent, or avoid them and seek the relevant skills from complementary, non-competing sources. The experience of the medtech cluster in Parkmore in Galway is that clustering greatly develops skills and deepens knowledge for all in the market.
2. Pool of graduates
Third level educational institutions, and the extent of their expertise in the specific sector, and the relevant graduate programmes offered, can be an important source of new talent with highly relevant skills. A number of businesses have developed close co-operation with universities and technical colleges. Cook Medical and University of Limerick, both located in the National Technology Park Plassey, being a prime example of a collaborative approach to developing specialist skills.
3. Availability of Accommodation
Establishing close to residential areas that are attractive to the target demographic is an area of increasing focus. In recent times, internet and social media companies have targeted central locations in major cities that appeal to Millennials and employees re-locating from other countries. For others, availability of childcare and schools are key priorities. In both cases, the supply of accommodation is an important consideration.
4. Affordability of Accommodation
Rents in some parts of Dublin are averaging almost €2,000 per month in comparison to €1,200 for the country as a whole. This has resulted in a number of businesses choosing to locate either in suburban areas or outside of Dublin, closer to residential areas with a more affordable profile.
Many employers look at the catchment area within a one hour commute of a proposed location. This can be a matter of a few miles in certain locations. For others, it is an extensive area. Northern Trust in Limerick attracts employees from as far away as Waterford and Galway. The recent opening of the new section of the M18 motorway to Gort has significantly reduced commuting times for some of its workforce.
Once talent is identified and recruited, it’s important to have a work environment that is conducive to retaining that talent. Quality ‘end-of-trip’ facilities are offered by many employers to attract and retain talent. This can include adequate car parking, bike racks, changing facilities, showers, a gym, and a restaurant offering hot food. Having spent almost 10 years leading a property portfolio within the hospitality industry, I’ve come to understand the importance of these facilities and the tangible benefits that they deliver, and that is why this is a key component of Fine Grain’s design and development processes.
The IDA has been assisting many of the top global businesses with location decisions for decades, and has built an expertise in the field that is recognised and admired globally. Michael Lohan, Head of Life Science, Engineering & Industrial Technology with IDA Ireland, says:
“Choosing the right location is critical for multinational businesses. The Pathway to Talent is a robust framework that I see many global employers adopting to futureproof their business.”
At Fine Grain Property we are focused on helping to ease the challenges in the Irish market by providing high quality, tailored workspaces in areas that are in demand. Get in touch if you want to learn more about choosing the right location for your business – www.finegrainproperty.com/ireland.