“I try to create a culture where excellence is expected, acknowledged and rewarded.”–60 Seconds with Donal O’Donoghue, MD of Sanderson Recruitment Ireland

Business, Interviews | Tue 24 Jul | Author – Business & Finance
Donal-O'Donoghue-Sanderson-Recruitment
Donal O’Donoghue, Managing Director, Sanderson Recruitment Ireland.

Donal O’Donoghue, Managing Director of Sanderson Recruitment Ireland on goal-setting, collaboration and the athlete’s mindset when it comes to motivation.


Q. What was your first job?

My first professional job was in corporate sales for a credit management company, which was a great training ground. I was fortunate to secure my first position in the recruitment industry in 1996 and knew immediately that I had found my niche. Recruitment as a profession suited my entrepreneurial spirit and allowed me to build the skillset required to run a business.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Professionally it has to be launching Sanderson in Ireland and leading it from start-up to the award winning recruitment business it is today. Central to its success was going into business with the owners of Resource Solutions Group (RSG-PLC), a €450m recruitment group with 10 offices across Ireland and the UK. Vital to Sanderson’s success was the support and dedication of my founding colleagues; Nicola Reid, Gary Vitagliano and Elaine Liston. In my personal life, I am dad to three amazing daughters Cara, Kali and Aviva who inspire and challenge me every day.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Healthy happy family.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Write your goals down! I tend to work in 5-year plans, broken down into quarterly goals. The process of writing your objectives down is a great tool for maintaining focus and staying on track. This can also be done through a performance management initiative in work or simply writing your goals down and sticking them on your wall. It bridges the gap between tangible and intangible.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

As a former international athlete, I am competitive by nature. I constantly strive for Sanderson to do better and aspire to delight our customers. For my colleagues, it’s about collaborating and empowering them to be the best they can be. I try to create a culture where excellence is expected, acknowledged and rewarded. I get a great deal of motivation from seeing my team achieving professional and personal success. 

Q. How do you relax?

I spent many years as an international Taekwon-Do competitor. I had the privilege to represent Ireland on many occasions and was European and World Silver medallist during my career. Having retired from the intensity of international sport a few years ago, my relaxation time is now spent with my three daughters.

Q. What’s your motto?

Don’t just dream of success, wake up and work for it.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

My aspiration for Sanderson Recruitment is to ensure that it continues to be a valued strategic partner for our clients. We have an exceptional team of colleagues who are passionate about what they do. Sanderson’s growth will create exciting opportunities for my team to develop their careers and I’m excited to see what we will achieve together in the years ahead.

Sanderson Recruitment (Ireland) specialises in Accounting & Finance, HR, Supply Chain & Procurement, Sales & Marketing, IT & Business Change recruitment. The company has offices in Dublin and Limerick and works in close partnership with many of Ireland leading employers.

Don’t just dream of success, wake up and work for it.