Leo McAdams, divisional manager for ICT, Enterprise Ireland
Leo McAdams, divisional manager for ICT at Enterprise Ireland. Image: Connor McKenna

Enterprise Ireland: ‘Everything can’t be homegrown; you have to bring in tech talent’

24 Feb 2016

Enterprise Ireland does an important job in Ireland, supporting indigenous companies as they scale globally, creating jobs along the way. But not everything can be homegrown, says Leo McAdams – for talent, we may need to look abroad.

A number of Enterprise Ireland companies were exhibiting at Career Zoo this past weekend. We took the opportunity to sit down with Leo McAdams, divisional manager for ICT at Enterprise Ireland, to speak about trends in the tech sector, growing the tech pipeline and the benefits of working in an Enterprise Ireland-supported company.

No one is blind to the fact that the tech sector is booming across the board. The internet of things (IoT) and fintech, however, are perhaps the two areas that are experiencing the biggest growth at the moment.

They’re certainly two areas McAdams flags as particularly ‘trendy’ in the sector. Of these, though, fintech is the one that really captures his attention.

“[Fintech] is a really interesting sector because, for us, it’s about disruption, it’s about opportunity… What we see is a lot more start-ups happening in that space.

“Over the last number of years, we’ve actually seen the number of start-ups doubling in the whole fintech area,” says McAdams.

Any increase to the number of start-ups in Ireland can only be a good thing, showing Ireland to be a vibrant ecosystem for growth, and technology plays a big part in showcasing that ecosystem to international audiences.

“Technology is an enabler now, and it’s really giving our companies a competitive advantage when they’re selling internationally,” says McAdams.

But, of course, Enterprise Ireland’s raison d’être is jobs and, more than just making Ireland look good on the global stage, the constant tech growth creates multitudes of jobs.

Those jobs are not all direct tech roles, but encompass everything from international sales to finance functions. It’s tech adjacency that’s key.

If there’s a downside to relentless job creation, it’s the ever-widening talent gap – something that’s been causing concern in the tech industry for some time now. When faced with more job vacancies than people to fill with them, how do you go about closing that gap?

For McAdams, it’s relatively simple – as well as growing the indigenous talent pool, it’s essential to look abroad. Enterprise Ireland is currently developing a talent portal to attract talent to Ireland to work at some of the best and brightest tech companies in the world.

“Everything here can’t be homegrown. You have to bring in the tech talent from abroad in order to satisfy demand,” he says.

For more information on the state of the tech sector and tech recruitment in Ireland, watch the full interview with Leo McAdams:

Looking for tech jobs in Ireland? Check out our Featured Employers section for information on companies hiring right now.

Kirsty Tobin
By Kirsty Tobin

Kirsty Tobin served as careers editor of Silicon Republic from 2015 up to August 2017. When she was younger, she had a dream where she started and won a fight with a T-Rex, so she’s pretty sure she kicked butt at this, too. Passions include eating all the cake, watching more TV than is healthy and sassy comebacks.

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