The Sales Recruitment Network UK Ltd

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Recruiting Senior Appointments

We’ve dealt with a wide range of briefs this year but some of the most challenging to fill are the more senior roles, for a variety of reasons.

Marketing the position is often compromised. Many companies do not want to be named until a candidate has been through our initial interview which impacts on advertising the role and makes ‘selling’ it to the potential candidates difficult.

We’ve had more than one brief this year where we were asked not to advertise the role at all as the employer felt that they were too readily identifiable in any advert. This leaves us with the only option of head-hunting, something we undertake on a retained basis but which does inevitably mean that we’re likely to miss out on some good candidates.

In addition to this good people are hard to find; this is true at all levels but of course the number of viable candidates diminishes the further up the corporate hierarchy you travel and, in all honesty, not everyone occupying a senior role is there on merit; those that hold positions through nepotism, blind luck or being ‘last man standing’ are easy to find out and not readily employable in the wider world.

Despite the above we find good candidates, it’s what we do and inevitably this leads to an offer but this is rarely the end of the process.

No company wants to lose good senior staff and find themselves with a lengthy and expensive search for a replacement. Managers often have loyal teams that they can take with them, along with marketing plans, sales strategies, pricing, margins and a list of customers, exasperating their former employer’s and so counter offers are almost inevitable.

Lengthy notice periods and restrictive covenants in contracts don’t help. The former are expected and the employer ends up paying a premium salary for no work; the latter are very difficult to enforce as they contradict the ‘right to work.’

To pre-empt the counter offer the overall package has to be taken into consideration and I’ve seen good offers refused (ostensibly perhaps) because healthcare didn’t extend to the family, because of limited administrative assistance (eg “I have to book my own travel!”) and because the car wasn’t the right grade.

That’s why we work hard to not only ensure that the candidate can do the job but that he will do it.

We spend some considerable time discussing and understanding a person’s reason for moving. What motivates them, what are they unhappy with, how much loyalty do they have to their employer and (crucially) how much loyalty does their employer have for them.

By concentrating in these areas we are able to present our client with a thorough picture of our candidate and a very good understanding of why they want the job, why they’ll be good at it and what it will take to bring them on board.

Of course we’re not 100% effective because people don’t always tell us everything but being a boutique organisation enables us to do a lot more than our competition and that gives our clients an edge.

If you want to know more, please call.    

Michael Thomason

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