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Wednesday, 17th April 2024
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Finding the ‘right fit’ Back  
At Deutsche International, priority is given to finding candidates with the ‘right fit’, which means that they are matched to the job in terms of their abilities, interests and personalities says Ciara Heslin.
When James Gandon designed and built the Customs House in 1781 for the princely sum of ?200,000, he faced a stream of protests from Dublin’s merchant traders, who feared that the relocation of this institution from Essex Quay to its present location in Beresford Place, would serve to transfer the wealth of the city down river away from the Parliament Street/Capel Street axis where at that time real wealth was centred.
Two hundred years later, the real wealth of the city is concentrated even further down river in the IFSC, established on waste land adjacent to Connolly station without a murmur of protest as the development was initiated in a recessionary/pre Celtic Tiger era.
In 1986 the Government established the Custom House Docks Development Authority (CHDDA), whose ambition it was to redevelop the 27 acre Custom House Docks site. In 1997 the CHDDA was dissolved and a new authority, The Dublin Docklands Development Authority, was established. An additional 12 acres were redeveloped and today the IFSC employs 6,500 people directly with significant numbers again in the legal, tax and banking professions.
It is anticipated that the numbers employed in the funds industry will grow from 4,534 to 5,215 this year. With that in mind organisations today are challenged with attracting and retaining talented employees. Finding and keeping the right people can have a huge impact on the organisation’s financial performance, and most managers have experience of employees who were not matched to the role and are aware of how disruptive this can be. Many companies underestimate the negative impact of poor hiring practices:
• Team productivity disruptions caused by ‘bad hires’
• Managing out poor performers
• Attracting and hiring replacement staff
• Training new staff
• Stress and anxiety among experienced employees
• Lost productivity until new staff become proficient
Deutsche International Ireland Ltd was established in the IFSC in 1991. Today we employ 360 people. We celebrated our tenth anniversary by announcing a major expansion of our fund administration activities in Kilkenny and this month a new building will be opened in Kilkenny to accommodate our growing business.
Central to our strength in Dublin and Kilkenny is the quality of our staff and the skills that have been accumulated in the eleven years since our establishment (we have in excess of 1,000 years of experience between our Dublin and Kilkenny offices).
We offer successful candidates an opportunity to work in a dynamic environment, alongside some of the most experienced managers in the IFSC, supported by leading edge technology. We strive to be an employer of choice, as we believe we understand the factors that drive employee satisfaction. We select candidates who have displayed the ability and interest in the roles we offer and provide all the tools necessary to complete the roles. We offer career progression, through promotion and rotation and our robust performance management system promotes regular communication and more importantly gives everyone a clear ongoing development path. We have an environment that promotes self-development both internally through training and externally through our Education Sponsorship Programme and we ensure that our total compensation remains competitive through participation in numerous salary surveys.
We have seen dramatic changes in over the last five years in the availability of human resources. Two years ago we were all experiencing significant increases in staff turnover and staff costs generally but labour market conditions have since eased significantly. We do not tend to recruit candidates experienced in the funds industry and we are delighted with the quantity and quality of candidates that apply from our Top Jobs web board. However we are open to the recruitment of highly skilled managers from the industry.
For recent graduates or those experienced candidates from the world of retail banking and insurance, we offer careers in the area of fund valuations and accounting, client services and market data.

Fund valuations and accounting
Valuations and accounting are responsible for the accounting and calculation of the net asset value per unit, for a range of collective investment schemes i.e. funds. They also provide additional administrative services to the investment managers of the schemes such as:
• NAV calculations
• Cash management - reporting of cash availability to investment managers on which they can base investment decisions
• Client reporting and servicing - provision of a range of additional portfolio reporting
• Accounting - perform daily accounting for funds.

Client services
This department interfaces with the investors and the fund. It has three primary functions:
• The dealing team are involved in taking deals from retail and institutional investors and buying or selling shares/units on their behalf
• The cash control team monitor multi currency bank accounts; carry out foreign exchange transactions and income distributions to shareholders. They also ensure timely cash settlement of client trades
• The client communication group are responsible for the share register, publication and distribution of prices to stock exchanges and financial publications and assistance to investor queries.

Market data
Market data is responsible for the accuracy and quality of the information that is entered into the fund accounting system.
• They verify the prices of all securities held
• Corporate actions are processed on a timely basis
• Static data relevant to securities held are maintained.
There are further opportunities for internal moves to areas such as operational development, marketing, financial control and IT.
At Deutsche International we feel that the key ingredient in retaining people is that they are matched to their jobs in terms of their abilities, interests and personalities. It sounds simple. How do we ensure we have a ‘job fit’?
Our approach to assessing candidates is founded on the belief that a candidate’s talents are a predictor of future performance. We select and develop employees on the basis of their aptitudes and competencies. Our objective is to get the most out of our staff by giving them an opportunity to do what they do well everyday. To help our managers make accurate decisions on recruitment we use a combination of job analysis, psychometric assessments and a competency based, structured interview.
Job analysis is vital. Before you can hire effectively, you must understand what each job requires as once you know what each job requires you can match candidates to the job. Psychometric tests are used to examine candidates’ numerical and detail conscious abilities, as where key job demands need to be assessed, the conventional interview is not a strong tool, although it does help to explore a candidate’s qualifications, work experience and general interest. It is not however a good predictor of possible success in a role and therefore is very weak if used on its own. Our competency based interview approach follows a consistent format and structure for all interviews. The format is as follows:
• Identify whether the applicant has had an opportunity to display the criterion competency
• Can the applicant give specific examples and give a thorough replay of the example?
• Probe the applicant and assess the standard of the result
• Check how the candidate can use their learning in the role they are applying for.

Each candidate’s answers are evaluated and rated. While it’s hard to imagine an objective interview or selection process, this allows our managers to make the most objective decision. We make an offer to the candidate whom we feel suits the ‘right fit’ criteria the best. It might seem like a very long process but it’s worth the wait for the ‘right fit’.
The IFSC has regenerated inner city Dublin and the Irish economy and has been one of the catalysts for the booming 1990s and beyond. What James Gandon started with his venture up the river two centuries ago has proved the pessimistic traders wrong and although nowhere near as architecturally striking as the Customs House, the legacy of the IFSC is sure to be as important.

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