Orla Moran joined IrishJobs.ie in 1999 when it was a start-up. Her first role was in business development quickly followed by promotion to Senior Account Manager, Team Leader, Sales Director and General Manager in 2008.
IrishJobs.ie is part of StepStone which runs 46 websites in over 20 countries. Orla works to ensure IrishJobs.ie continues to offer the best service to both recruiters and jobseekers in a rapidly-evolving market where technology and demand are changing constantly. The IrishJobs.ie website attracts over 1.5 million visits every month and has over 10,000 live jobs advertised by 1,000+ companies.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
It really depends how you define leadership. If you believe a leader is a visionary and a strategist then probably not. However, if you define a leader as a person who can motivate and lead a team to achieve great things, then yes it can be taught. A great deal of management is about establishing good processes and clear targets and then hiring the people with the skills to achieve the goals you set. That being said I think there are leaders who are better at “people” management but it comes down to good emotional intelligence and an innate ability rather than something that can be learned.
When you are filling a leadership role in your organisation what qualities do you look for from candidates?
A willingness to work hard and lead by example. It is important you don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself or haven’t done yourself. Integrity is important and also an openness to learn. I think an organisation should recognise an individual’s own ambitions. It’s a mistake to assume that all people want to progress up a career ladder i.e to become managers. Many people derive great satisfaction from developing their expertise in their chosen profession. It’s the difference between horizontal and vertical career progression, both are equally valid.
If you had to leave your organisation for 1 year what would you ask of your team and what advice would you give them?
A large of part of your role as a leader is to bring people on. Set objectives, establish good processes and develop your team. A sign of a good leader is someone who can leave for a year and come back to a thriving organisation.
What are you doing today to make sure your organisation will be relevant in 10 years time?
We have expanded our IT team substantially over the past number of years and invested heavily in our product. Our team of developers and designers are leading the way in building recruitment technology that makes it easier for recruiters to find the best candidates for their vacancies and, on the other side, makes it simple for jobseekers to find a job that matches their skills and experience.
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
To be honest, when it comes to leaders I prefer to look close to home. As I mentioned I believe in leading by example so I take my inspiration directly from people I have worked with. Jane Lorigan is CEO Europe, Saongroup.com and I find her clarity of vision when it comes to business decisions, her calm demeanour and her approachability all qualities that I admire and aspire to.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
A book that really speaks to me is Daniel Goldman’s “Emotional Intelligence”. So much about leading and managing teams is about understanding how to motivate people as well as how to recognise and harness individual talents. In my experience, a team which is productive, motivated and efficient will be also achieve their goals. If you are an emotionally intelligent leader then you will lead a happy team and drive better results for your organisation as a whole.