Irish company AMCS is on the rise. In the last year alone, the Limerick-headquartered waste recycling software business has recruited 152 new employees around the world through a remote onboarding process spearheaded by Noreen Cantillon, its HR director, and her team.
AMCS was co-founded in 2003 by Jimmy Martin, its chief executive, and has since grown to employ more than 600 people in 11 countries in Europe, North America and Australia.
Most recently, the company announced the expansion of its Irish operation, following the acquisition of Dataset Solutions, another player in the recycling and waste management software sector, based in Dublin.
The deal strengthened the AMCS portfolio, in keeping with a growth strategy that has seen the company complete a number of acquisitions in recent years.
Earlier this year, AMCS also became the first company in the waste and recycling industry to secure SOC I Type II accreditation, an internationally recognised certificate for business controls.
For Jimmy Martin, a continued focus on building trust among the company’s customers and stakeholders is a key priority.
“We are one of the largest indigenous Irish software companies. We have around 190 highly skilled technical employees attached to our Limerick office,” Martin said.
“We provide software services to the growing circular economy around the world, allowing our customers to reduce their operating costs, increase asset utilisation, optimise margins and improve customer service.”
In March 2020, like many other companies, AMCS had to mobilise all employees to work from home.
“Moving to remote working was relatively straightforward from a technical perspective. As a software company everyone was equipped with the technology necessary to work remotely,” Martin said.
“However, we recognised the need to provide more than infrastructure support at a time when many people were struggling against the backdrop of a global pandemic.
“I am immensely proud of the teams and what they achieved. As we look towards more positive times we are delighted to report that AMCS continued to grow and expand over the last year.”
Noreen Cantillon, HR director at AMCS, said the company currently had between 30 and 40 people working on-site at its Limerick headquarters in Castleroy on any given day.
“As we move forward and consider a full return to the office, we are working with all employees to determine whether remote or on-site is the best fit for their role and their personal circumstances,” Cantillon said.
“We recognise that collaboration, innovation, learning and social interaction gleaned from the work environment is really important for the success of our employees and our business.
“The Leadership team at AMCS has invested in providing the best possible equipment and working environment for employees, whether that is in the office or remote.”
The move to virtual working has opened up new markets for AMCS from a recruitment perspective, Cantillon said.
“Recruitment of software experts is an extremely competitive space, particularly in the Limerick region,” she said.
“However, with 25 per cent of employees in Ireland working remotely and our successful experience of remote onboarding, we can now recruit from a much larger pool.”
This meant that potential employees could potentially work for a leading software company without having to relocate, Cantillon said.
“While this is a bonus, longer-term staff retention may become a challenge for many companies. With more and more employees working remotely, we need to be mindful of how we interact with our teams,” Cantillon said.
“Remote workers need to feel integrated and equally valued and, at AMCS, our collaboration and integration tools replace the in-person interaction found in the office environment.
“Our goal is to give every member of staff, whether remote or office-based, access to the same opportunities and skills.”
AMCS has successfully hired 152 people globally in the past year, all virtually, including 88 for its Irish headquarters “from Donegal down to Kerry” and a small number from overseas, Cantillon said.
“Some of our new hires are planning to relocate to Limerick, once we resume normal working practices,” she said.
“We really emphasise the quality of life here in the western region, with the perfect mix of city and rural living.
“We are close to the coast, the Wild Atlantic Way and a full range of outdoor activities, like walking, hiking, cycling and water sports. Access to further education is another plus.
“The University of Limerick and Limerick IT are on our doorstep, and both offer a wide range of technology programmes,” Cantillon said.
“We find prospective employees are enthusiastic to move west where the cost of living is much lower, but they can still work for a leading software and technology company that would usually only be found in a larger city.”
AMCS is now well positioned to adapt to the post-pandemic world of work. “We have a fantastic office in Ballysimon, just off the motorway,” Cantillon said.
“It’s modern and spacious with state-of-the-art ventilation, and we’ve put protocols in places to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our teams.”
Cantillon believes it will take another 12 months before companies in Ireland and elsewhere begin to fully grasp the new challenges associated with remote and virtual work.
“There is no blueprint to follow. Every company is going through the same discovery process right now, but we are confident that, with the right approach, AMCS will continue to be a great place to work,” she said.