Staffing the Census

The Census Team

The census operates from its headquarters in Swords Co. Dublin.

At its peak 189 staff will be working on the census to process the census forms and prepare census data for publication. HQ staff also carry out a variety of other functions throughout the 5 year census cycle including preparation and distribution of the census form and other materials, mapping, development of applications to process the census and the recruitment and management of the field staff.

Field Staff

In order to conduct the successful delivery and collection of census forms to every household in the country, the CSO recruits a temporary field force of about 5,140 people. The recruitment is carried out in a pyramid structure, with 50 Senior Managers, 430 Field Supervisors, and 4,660 enumerators. The 50 senior manager positions were filled through open recruitment in July/August 2015. The Field Supervisor posts were filled through an open recruitment competition in November 2015 and the successful candidates took up their positions in January 2016.

Recruitment Process

The CSO directly recruits all the 5,140 field staff who work on the census. The recruitment is carried out in three phases using the people recruited first to assist in recruiting the next layer down. So, for example, we first recruit 50 senior managers who are given responsibility for different regions across Ireland; these people then assist in recruiting 430 field supervisors who are each responsible for managing a team of 10 or 11 enumerators. These field supervisors then assist in interviewing for the enumerator jobs. The recruitment and selection process for all appointments to these positions is conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service and Public Service, (No.01/07) published by the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA).

Census Liaison Officers

The Census Liaison Officers work out of Census HQ in Swords, County Dublin, and are responsible for managing the conduct of the field operation in one of 6 different parts of the country, namely the north west,  the south west, the south, south east, the north east  and Dublin. The people recruited for these positions have extensive senior managerial experience and a proven track record of managing large projects in their former jobs.

Regional Supervisors

The Regional Supervisors work out of regional offices established across the country. Each regional supervisor is responsible for the conduct of the census in their region and for the work of 10 field supervisors and about 100 enumerators.  All regional supervisors recruited for the census have extensive senior managerial experience and have worked at a high level within their former organisations.

Field Supervisors

The census Field Supervisors are responsible for managing a team of 10 or 11 enumerators and work out of their own homes. They have previous experience of managing teams of workers, often at a distance, and of delivering results within a fixed timeframe.


The census will employ 4,660 Enumerators to deliver and collect a census form to every home in Ireland. Each enumerator is responsible for delivering all the census forms to every household in his / her area. It is the enumerator’s job to make personal contact with every householder and deliver the census form in person; this means they often have to call back to some households several times. It takes the enumerator about 3 weeks to deliver all the census forms in his / her area so you can expect to see your enumerator out and about in your area quite often while the census is on.