Patrick Leamy manages the Financial Services & Banking Division at Eden Recruitment.

How did you end up here in the Green Chair?

Business is in the blood, I guess, as I grew up in Sligo in a family of small retailers. This influenced me in deciding to study business in Maynooth. Through a spell in hospitality I discovered a love for working with people, and that’s where recruitment came in.  Being all about people, and helping them find their own voice, I find it suits my personality and is a great way to build relationships. I’m definitely in my element meeting and talking to clients and candidates, compared to just sitting at a desk all day in front of a PC!

What makes you passionate about your job?

Interacting with a wide range of clients and candidates from different backgrounds … helping people and learning from them. Recruitment is fast–paced and always challenging. Every day I feel I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone, and I like that. I think recruiters have to be passionate about their job if they are to succeed. You either love it or you don’t, it isn’t for everyone.

What do you like about the sector you work in?

I would say banking and finance is more predictable than other sectors. I like structure and I am fortunate that I get to work with well established brands in my role. I also enjoy the spread of candidates who I encounter, from junior people looking to enter the field to senior executives. Candidates in the sector are generally very professional and know what they want.

What are the ‘stand-out’ trends in the sector at the moment?

Banking and finance recruitment is more candidate-driven than I’ve ever seen it. Candidates hold all the power. With so many options out there, they can allow themselves to pick and choose. Finding the right candidate is a real challenge.

What advice would you have for employers looking to attract and retain talent in this sector?

As previously mentioned, candidates have so many options out there that attracting and retaining talent is extremely difficult. Material aspects of a job, like benefits and salary, are still very important – especially here in Dublin – but companies must invest in their employees in terms of their personal development. This includes further learning and other lifestyle features which companies traditionally did not have to worry about.

Employees care about career progression, personal development and work/life balance. Employers need to show they care about them too. In my opinion, this begins at the interview process. Treating candidates well during interview and providing strong constructive feedback will always be appreciated.

What’s your advice to people facing a job interview in banking and finance?

Do your research, especially for junior to mid-level roles. Companies often decide who to hire based on how well the candidate knows their company. They see it as a good indicator of how engaged the employee will be in the role. Also, don’t be afraid to be nervous – it is normal and it shows you care about the job. As long as you portray yourself in the best light, a little awkward nervousness is OK. Last thing – ask your recruiter as many questions as you need. We are here to help you, after all.

Let us in on one thing your clients might be surprised to learn about you!

Well, something I don’t tend to shout about – except in the shower maybe – is that I’m a die-hard fan of Westlife. I won’t be performing at any client meetings, don’t worry!

Finally, you chose the Irish soccer team as your ‘passion shot’ on the screen behind you … tell us more.

This is Robbie Brady’s goal against Bosnia en route to the Euros in 2016, a tournament which brought many iconic moments I’ll never forget. I claim to be a rare breed of Irish supporter these days – one who rarely, if ever, misses a game. This hasn’t always been easy, thankfully the last few years has given us some brilliant moments to celebrate and remember. COYBIG!