Press Release

Southern Region

Future for HR

2 October 2014

Southern Region Cheese Event - October 2014 - group 

Michael McDonnell - Managing Director CIPD Ireland, Peter Cheese - Chief Executive Officer CIPD Ireland, Niamh O'Driscoll - Managing Director Fastnet Recruitment & Search, Liam Linehan - Human Resources Manager - Irish Examiner & Evening Echo

CIPD’s Chief Executive addresses CIPD Event sponsored by Fastnet Recruitment & Search

A packed room of more than 90 HR professionals attended the CIPD Ireland Southern Region breakfast briefing at The Clarion Hotel Cork this morning, sponsored by Fastnet Recruitment & Search.

Southern Region Cheese Event - October 2014 

The guest speaker Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD and voted as the UK’s most influential thinker in HR by HRM Magazine in 2013 delivered a highly engaging and thought provoking presentation on the future for the human resources profession. Peter spoke about Megatrends, a new set of 'norms' including: economic volatility, a shift towards a recognition of the intangible value in organisations; more collaborative, networked & flexible ways of working and a more diverse and demanding workforce. He believes that while there are significant and complex challenges, this is 'an inflection point for business and HR' and 'a tremendous opportunity for HR as a key enabler'.

Peter spoke about the changing demand for skills and skills mismatches in OECD Countries quoting McKinsey analysis which validates an increasing shift towards a demand for highly skilled workers. He advocated the necessity for more collaboration between educational institutions and industry in particular highlighting the gap between supply and demand in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) areas and the deficit in career guidance and asks: 'where will this talent come from? In China 45% of graduates are STEM graduates with only 12% in the US and 16% in Western Europe'. The shortage of skilled graduates is now impacting on business growth.

Closer to home, Niamh O’Driscoll, Managing Director Fastnet Recruitment & Search and event sponsor cited the 2014 PwC Irish HR Leaders survey which revealed that 78% of Irish HR Directors are currently experiencing some levels of skills shortages with almost a third reporting that such talent constraints significantly impacted business performance. 'For most organisations we work with, building a sustainable future necessitates defining and developing a unique selling proposition and creating and managing a robust talent pipeline to support the business objectives. Sourcing, attracting and retaining the best leaders who can drive exceptional performance is a business critical issue for all our clients'.

On a practical level Peter questioned 'are our people management practices good enough?' He talked about the generational diversity in the workforce and the need for HR professionals to understand and relate effectively to new generations who think differently and have new expectations and demands. Peter also stressed the critical importance of supporting, training and developing Middle Managers who are managing increasingly diversified teams of people.

Peter concluded by talking passionately and convincingly about the bright future ahead for the HR Profession: 'Now is our time to become more strategic, more commercial, more tech savvy and less process centric, more value driven. We need to be stronger on the science as well as the art of HR'.

For further press information please contact

Renate Murphy
CAMEO Communications
Tel: 086.8145462

About Peter Cheese

Peter Cheese joined the CIPD as chief executive in July 2012 and is leading a significant change agenda for the CIPD and for the future of the HR and learning professions.

He had a long career at Accenture holding various leadership positions and culminating in a seven year spell as Global Managing Director leading the firm’s human capital and organisation consulting and services practice.

After leaving Accenture in 2009 and before joining the CIPD, Peter became Chairman of the Institute of Leadership and Management, was an Executive Fellow at London Business School, and continued with some consulting as well as teaching and writing.

Peter is also a European Board Director with Junior Achievement Young Enterprise, is a member of the Advisory Board of the Open University Business School, and member of the Council of City & Guilds. He has authored a book on globalisation and the trends in organisations and people management called The Talent-Powered Organisation, and is currently working on a book on organisational change based on insights gained from deep analytics. He holds an honorary doctorate from Kingston University and was voted by HRM Magazine in 2013 as the UKs most influential thinker in HR.

About Fastnet Recruitment & Search

Fastnet Recruitment & Search, the leading provider of Retained Search, Recruitment & Outsourcing solutions to the Life Sciences, Food/Agri and Associated Business Services Sectors. For further information visit