Let me start off with a few figures from The Works Search to give you an idea of what roles we have filled this year.
* 46% of the roles we filled were in-house and 54% agency – in-house is creeping up
* 80% of those briefs were corporate communications-focussed and 20% financial comms
* In-house roles filled range from Heads of Corporate Comms and Heads of Financial Communications through to Communications Managers at companies including Sainsbury’s, Savills, Grosvenor Group, Hammerson, Alliance Bernstein, AIMA, Puma Investments – to name but a few
* For agencies, in the main, we placed COOs, MDs, Partners/Directors, Associate Directors and Account Directors at consultancies such as Teneo, Four Communications, Grayling, Headland Consultancy, Infinite Global, and Project Associates amongst others
Which in-house teams have been hiring?
We are pleased that we filled 93% of the permanent roles where we managed them exclusively. We placed the most people in well-known corporates in property, followed (in order) by asset management, law, private equity, financial regulators and retail. Historically, our strengths lie with financial services and professional services, so it’s interesting to see property taking centre stage for the first time this year.
Which levels have been in most demand?
We have taken the largest number of Account Director briefs (32%); this is followed by MD/Director level roles (28%); and Associate Directors (28%). In-house Corporate Communications Managers are most in demand (76% of the in-house briefs were at this level), followed by Head of Media/Communications roles.
The most challenging role to fill for agencies?
Account Director in corporate communications with financial services experience. They are like gold dust!
Most challenging in-house roles?
Law firm briefs are tough, as this sector isn’t as desirable as others. Some contract roles can be challenging, as clients still ‘want it all’ as well as someone who is available now.
Executive search success
Like last year, we filled 100% of our Platinum executive searches. We secured top 5% industry performers for these searches and guaranteed results.
Exclusive searches have rocketed
We designed a Gold service, which is halfway between an executive search and a paid-on-results (contingency) search, but much better value. We have had a 200% uptake on the service this year. Clients get our laser focus, and a dedicated team determined to source a great shortlist. The result has been that we have successfully filled 93% of these gold searches in four to six weeks.
Due to our confidence in filling roles, all in-house communications roles were handled exclusively; we turn away multi-agency briefs. The stats showed that we are 68% more likely to fill our roles when we focus on them exclusively.
Strong matching abilities
The data also indicated that we are filling these exclusive roles with our clients only needing to meet three of our candidates. We are super proud of this – so few agencies in London can say this. This is thanks to our knowledge, our network and keeping the calibre bar high.
Interesting new business result
We have worked with some of our clients for 14 years, but we are always looking for new opportunities because that’s what our candidates want. This year, 42% of roles filled were with clients new to The Works Search.
The market feels steady and strong, and teams are hiring. In-house roles are coming through the door at a steady pace, and agency roles are a-plenty.
Fingers crossed the market remains strong next year, but for now, thank you for all your business this year and, as ever, your ongoing support.
Wishing you all a very successful 2019.
As I’m sure you are aware, The Works Search is a search consultancy specialising in PR and corporate communications. We have unrivalled matching abilities and known for finding the top 5% performers in the industry - the ones who deliver and make your reputation great.