Ann Frances Kelly, Partner Signium Germany, gives advice on Recruitment during the International Trade Mission of the visiting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in Duesseldorf


From January 6th to 8th Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny led a trade mission to the Netherlands and Germany involving over 85 Irish companies with the aim of further boosting Ireland’s economic recovery by expanding export markets, advancing trade opportunities and further strengthening the significant economic links between the countries.
His visit to Duesseldorf, accompanied by Ambassador of Ireland to Germany Michael Collins and Julie Sinnamon  CEO  of Enterprise Ireland (the Irish State Economic Development Organisation promoting the growth and development of  Irish Enterprises in world markets), was hosted by the EI’s Regional DACH head office located there.

At the opening seminar 40 decision makers from visiting Irish SMEs (small and medium‐sized enterprises) looking to establish a presence and grow in Germany were invited to a series of presentations by a team of experts on an array of topics to help them grasp the complexity of gaining a sustainable foothold in Germany.

Among them Ann Frances Kelly was chosen to speak on the challenges of recruiting strong talent in Germany coming into 2016. Drawing on more than 25 years’ experience with Signium, recruiting for indigenous and international companies in Germany and across Europe, she spoke about the fiercely competitive war for talent in Germany, the inherent complexity of international recruiting in unknown territory and specifically the challenge of understanding the subtle to significant behaviors and trends that determine the rules of play for international SMEs trying to attract and retain the talent they need. She encouraged her audience not to underestimate the potential reward and added-value that great hires bring to organizations of all sizes and how professional executive search service partners can help “get it right first time”.      

Other panel experts spoke on Tax and Labour issues, Website Optimization and Business Partner Development.

From left Ann Frances Kelly, Partner, Signium; Jürgen Helmhold, Partner & Tax Adviser, Schnorbus Helmhold Wardemann; an Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Brian English, CEO, Qupact International; Susanne Dirks, CEO, e‐Vorsprung; Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland; Markus Ludwig, Principal, MHL Law


In the evening a networking event was held at the Industry Club in Duesseldorf attended by 175 prominent Irish and German business guests. Opening proceedings an Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ambassador Michael Collins and  Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon all addressed the business  audience speaking on the phenomenal recovery of the Irish economy, the tradition and strength of business and economic relations with Germany and the success of the innovative Irish companies which have been driving growth at home and abroad.


During the course of the three day trade mission in Amsterdam, Duesseldorf and Munich business contracts to the tune of € 57m. were signed by Irish companies in both countries.

Ann Frances Kelly, Signium with an Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the networking dinner in Duesseldorf