Interview with Seanann McGrath

Hello and Good morning.

How are we?



This week on the Primtac Blog, I am pleased to be chatting to Seanann McGrath.

Seanann is a colleague of mine at Primtac Personnel and also one of the more recent success stories in the company. Boasting a standout record, a stellar work rate Seanann has already built up a solid reputation in his field with both clients and candidates.

A little on the man himself.

After a stint of over a decade in the Big Apple, Seanann came back to Ireland having spent the bulk of his time there working in hospitality. 

He loved it, and took a shine to dealing with people. 

Fast forward to the more recent past, Seanann worked his way up to Management in both Aldi and Lidl. With managing several busy retail outlets while simultaneously raising a young family, the 60/70 hour weeks made him opt for a better and healthier work-life balance.

Bringing this trajectory to the present, Seanann now makes the Porridge and Granola for his kids every morning, runs home from work every day and even gets his eldest to do his Wordle for him. 

It was supposed to be a strictly in-office competition, but this proves just how much the ‘McGrathzinhos’ mean to him…

Moving on to our chin wag. 

“In your previous roles you were heavily involved in the recruitment process and I am wondering what kind of insights do you think you’ve brought to your candidates, having sat on the opposite side of the table during the interview process, which other recruiters perhaps wouldn’t have much experience with?”

S – “I suppose the vetting of candidates would be one that comes to mind. I currently work with General Operatives, who I would have often hired in some of the stores I was managing. Similar age demographic, qualifications and skill sets. I remember body language, comments, stories told which stood out. Details that nowadays I hear and they continue to ring true. So I can get a feel of what a client is looking for, and equally who they will not consider. These can make the difference when chatting to candidates and when it comes to the interview stage.

When I was hiring, we’d often do a work trial before hiring, spending 5-6 hours on the shop floor with candidates before making an offer which was really valuable for both parties. In a recruitment office, this isn’t possible so vetting becomes even more key.” 

You’ve already achieved a lot in a relatively short time at Primtac and are now in a position to build your own team. What tips do you think you can give to your incoming team, and anyone reading this, which can benefit and help them on their recruitment journey?

S – “Without going into too much detail, confidence stands out as being an essential element of recruitment which I don’t see discussed as much as it should be. 

It can be a little harrowing picking up the phone to a complete stranger, you don’t know how it’s going to go. Especially if you don’t know what you’re talking about and we all start in the same place. 

After a period of time, and it does take time with most people, I’ll look to get my team out of their comfort zone and make that a place to be comfortable in.”

“For me, cold-calling was the hardest thing and I was really nervous at the start. To throw something I learned from the ERF Course, ‘Active Listening’ guided a lot of my actions. Listening to the team in the office who were a big help, what and what not to say, changing it and adapting it to how I speak naturally was great.

So confidence, Listening and challenging yourself by going out of your comfort zone are some of the points I’ll be trying to get across to my team.”

For the Recruiters and clients who may be reading this, Temp or Perm?

S – “I started Temp, and as time went by, my clients were looking to take people on permanently, and this moved to just wanting to see permanent candidates and fill roles permanently.

I spent a few months doing both, but long term I would prefer the Permanent side of recruitment. The work that goes in day to day is more manageable, emotionally!!

Temp recruitment carries some frustrations with it, and while everyone knows in recruitment, and sales in general, there are highs and lows, the consistency you have with Temp is short lived.

The risk vs reward for the pipeline is different, from this side the Temp world can be a better world to be in. 

A big loss to Perm is heartbreaking

You’re telling me…

So my team will be mainly Temp Recruiters, but with one Perm. 80/20 for the time being.”

“Initial thoughts of recruitment before starting in the industry? Hitting Gongs and Screaming College Grads used to be an image, but that’s changed recently and recruitment has really come into its own and is taken a lot more seriously”

S – “Well I’ve been headhunted before, and it seemed simpler that I understand it to be now.

I thought, put up a job, great candidate applies, you make contact and job’s a good’un. 

I see it now to be account management and relationship building, candidate management in both Temp & Perm, relationship building with everyone you speak to.

It’s a partnership, and partnerships breed longevity.”

“You’ve touched on it a little already, but what would you say are the key processes or pillars of recruitment”

S – “Everyone is likely to have a different answer here, though there are some obvious essential parts of the job we all do. One pillar that sticks out immediately is Business Development. There is no success without it, though it is not by any means my favorite part of recruitment. 

After building up trust and rapport with clients this process gets more manageable and as time goes by, more enjoyable. I now look forward to site visits.”

Like a lot of sectors in recruitment, Warehousing and Transport seems to be a crowded market. In Engineering a lot of candidates I speak to have heard it all before and have been put through the ringer, same with a lot of clients. 

Is this the same in your field?”

S – “With Warehousing, the right qualifications, the rate of pay and the location are all deciding factors in guaranteeing a candidate is happy and is suitable for the role. For a lot of candidates, location is key.

HGV Drivers, mechanics and the positions in between are a little different. There has been a big change in this market over covid. A lot of movement with candidates, to and away from Ireland specifically, making it harder to find the right people. 

A lot of the time it is not about the location, as these professionals put the Kilometers in no matter where they work. Salary is key. 

If I place a driver for €42K, and within a month he gets a call with an offer of €45K, more often than not, this driver will move. This isn’t the case with every industry but there is only so much a company can offer.

It’s a candidate driven market across the board, which is absolutely fantastic. 

With inflation and costs rising across the board, this is how it should be. With the resources I have, candidate recommendations and an honest relationship with clients, I’m getting there slowly but surely” 

There you have it. I could have stayed in the room another hour. A lot of information for recruiters and for me seeing someone do well in recruitment is a huge motivator. 

Everyone has their own style and techniques, their own market to work in, their own client, but not everyone succeeds. 

For anyone thinking about recruitment as a career, I hope some of the above has helped.

For everyone else, do you do your own wordle or does your 12 year old do it?

Leave a Reply