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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Economy in Ireland poised for recovery
Article Type: Competitive horizon From: Strategic Direction, Volume 27, Issue 9
After three years of economic decline, Ireland’s economy is set to rebound this year, a report published by EU Business (www.eubusiness.com) claims. The country’s government now expects 0.75 percent growth in 2011 and 2.75 percent the year after. Further acceleration should bring growth of 3 percent between 2013 and 2015, Ireland’s finance ministry anticipates. The report points out expectations of strong overseas demand for the country’s goods and services, leading to government assumptions that exports will be the main growth driver. That the sector posted its strongest performance in a decade last year further supports this prediction. It is, however, noted in the report that the government has pledged to retain the controversial 12.5 percent rate of corporation tax as this is perceived to be central to its strategy for growth, investment and employment.
Internet recruitment better option for smaller firms
According to a report published by Business Europe (www.businesseurope.com), small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can be disadvantaged when it comes to staff recruitment. Traditional methods are costly but advertising for new recruits online can help them compete better with larger rivals. UK research has shown that advertising a £30,000 position online can be as much as five times cheaper than using a newspaper. Although the vacancy will often appear only in one edition of a newspaper, the same advertisement can be constantly viewed online for a fixed term of weeks or months. The growth in online careers’ services makes this an even better proposition. Savings made against the cost of employing recruitment agencies can be even more substantial. Posting a job vacancy online is also invariably much quicker than using other methods and helps companies needing to recruit staff. Furthermore, the option for jobseekers to apply various search filters when looking for work has increased the likelihood that only appropriate candidates will apply. Likely savings in time is another benefit of a service able to prompt a higher response rate for a considerably lower outlay.
Denmark set to exploit internet potential
The Boston Consulting Group has conducted a survey that reveals the growing importance of the internet for Denmark’s economy. It generates some 96 billion kroner each year and now accounts for 5.8 percent of the country’s GDP. In contrast, the key transport and construction sectors contribute 5 percent and 4 percent to GDP respectively. The group also points out the massive potential offered by the internet, particularly since only 40 percent of Denmark’s retail sector currently boasts an online presence. Improvements to marketing and customer services could help increase online sales and enable companies to compete in the global market, where growth prospects are huge. A report published by www.denmark.dk predicts that the internet could contribute over 150 million kroner to GDP by 2015 and create new jobs to increase the 30,000 already employed by internet-based firms.
Why staff appraisals matter
Many employers view staff appraisals as awkward and time consuming. However, holding effective reviews helps to build a motivated workforce. You can give the right signals to employees by showing them you are taking the meeting seriously. Appraisals need to be pre-arranged, with no interruptions or calls allowed. Preparation is vital too as it shows you have cared enough to find out about the individual employee. Showing the human side of management can make an employee feel valued. A review is a two-way process, not just an opportunity to lecture or rebuke someone. Discussion helps build bridges and permits opportunity for any grievances to be aired. Shrewd managers exploit appraisals to create training and development programs with the employee and set realistic future objectives. Making rash promises on training, pay and benefits must be avoided. A failure to deliver on promises leaves a tarnished reputation and a disenchanted employee. Formal meetings provide time to review progress in more detail but it is equally important to regularly inform employees how they are doing at other times too.