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How to plan your next agency move?

07 Oct 2019

Here’s our tips on how to plan your next agency move in order to secure a future role that could keep you happy and challenged:

1. Understanding your value

Many candidates are attracted by the potential of boosting their salary through a job move. Our research shows that candidates generally achieve a 12% increase when they move jobs through The Works Search. Whilst moving jobs is an opportunity to improve your compensation, you need to ensure that you are requesting a reasonable salary for your level of experience. This demonstrates to a future employer that you a serious and well-researched candidate.

Check that you are up to date on the industry average compensation for your role. Our Salary Guide provides useful insights into average salaries and bonuses for all levels in both in-house corporate communications teams and PR agencies. Note that some agencies might operate on different title so do your research on the equivalent title for your role in the wider market and reference the correct title when working out your market salary.

2. Re-evaluating what is important to you

Compensation aside, your goal is to look for a role that is most aligned with your long-term goals and personal needs. For example, if you wanted to strengthen your campaigns experience, you may want to work at an agency that is known for its integrated offerings. On the other hand, if you enjoy focusing on a industry or particular function, you may want to work at a firm that has a specialist, niche offering. Being a sector specialist can also help with moving in-house later in your career.

It will be much easier to articulate your ideal role if you know what’s important to you in a role and your career. By limiting your search, you have a better chance of ensuring that your next move is strategic and gets you closer to your goals.

3. Working with a recruiter/ executive search firm

There are many benefits of working with a recruiter to plan your next agency move. Recruiters have a broader knowledge about the culture/ offerings of lots of different agencies and can give you fresh ideas for your job search. They can also help advise you on the level of compensation to ask for. If you aren’t sure whether there are openings at agencies you are interested in, recruiters can discreetly ask for you, even without sharing your CV.

There is key difference with recruitment agencies and Executive Search firms. Search firms, unlike recruitment agencies, don’t rely on adverts to fill their jobs. Search firms literally ‘search’ for the best person in the market to do the job and use their network and knowledge to carefully source professionals. They are incredibly proactive in their approach to finding both people and exciting roles.

If you have decided to work with an Executive Search firm, make sure you engage them early on in the process. The ideal timing would be before you start applying for roles. You are more likely to be successful in your search if you work with one search firm on an exclusive basis. You can refer to our blogpost here to learn more about how to effectively work with a recruiter.

4. Be prepared for interviews

Often PR agencies would like to kick start interviews with candidates fairly quickly once they’ve received the candidate profiles/ CVs, so be prepared to attend interviews in short notice.

Future employers want to know what you have delivered in your current and past roles, so have specific examples at hand to talk about when going into interviews. Be willing to speak about the specific outcomes on work that you have done rather than just describing your responsibilities (e.g. instead of saying ‘I have managed a thought leadership campaign around Brexit for company X’, you should say ‘I have managed a thought leadership campaign for company X that leads to coverage in X, Y, and Z’).

If you are interested in working with a well networked search firm to support you in your career move, then get in touch. We will help you make your career a great success, offer you great advice and help take the headache out of interviews.

If you wish to discuss with us your job search confidentially, please contact Canace on canace@the-works.co.uk, and to download a copy of The Works Search’s Salary Guide, click here.

Salary Survey 2018 - 2019