80% of Heads of Comms and Agency PR Directors are making the same costly hiring mistake – every time

28 May 2015 by Sarah Leembruggen.

Are you hiring in the right way? The reason I pose this question is that from what I can see, most – and I mean 80% of – Heads of Comms and Agency MDs are making classic and costly hiring mistakes, every time. I hear clients telling me about trying to fill roles for months at a time and horror stories of interviewing 25 people and not hiring one. That must be a week’s worth of time lost on interviewing. The poor team must be pulling their hair out and the bosses are surely going grey!

It would seem that when someone hands in their notice, the immediate reaction is one of panic, fretting over how to function without this person. At this point, you ask your team to brief all the recruitment agencies they can think of – clang! – classic mistake number one.

Headhunting businesses work on filling a job for a set amount of time depending on the job. We don't have time sheets but we do monitor where our focus is spent. We work on retainers like agencies do and we also guarantee results – even when money isn't paid upfront. Why would we do this? The answer is one word – exclusivity.

So how do you get a recruitment consultant to prioritise the ten jobs they are looking at on a Monday morning? You say the golden word. Exclusivity. They go all out to find you that high performer. They will even guarantee it. They will find you four candidates and guarantee you will offer one. How do I know that? I have stats to prove it. Everyone is measured on quality of performance and delivery in our business.

No money has been exchanged but commitment has. Then off we go. In this candidate-driven market, exclusivity is your best friend. Great candidates are moving off the market quickly and they are getting counter offers so we're having to go the extra mile to find the hidden gems.

When you ask headhunters to compete against each other, they will put up an advert and do a quick database search as it’s about finding someone fast. The client wants the CVs fast and all the agencies want to send them someone. However, if you give a consultant exclusivity, they move away from the active 20% on the market and they dig into the 60% of gems who are interested in moving for the right opportunity (the remaining 20% are not interested in moving). Your talent pool increases beyond belief and you are more likely to be presented with high performers.

So the next time you need to hire, forget about scrambling to contact every agency in your address book. Ask us in for a meeting and we’ll put the wheels in motion and save you a few sleepless nights – not to mention wasting your precious time interviewing over 20 people who are way off the mark. We guarantee results and give you peace of mind. Just remember, it's all about … exclusivity.

The Works specialise in placing high flyers in PR and corporate communications. We have a strong track record of placing with professional services and offer career-making advice. Do get in touch if you would like our support building your team.

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