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Why pay to use a PR recruitment agency?

06 Nov 2013 by Sarah Leembruggen.

As a specialist recruiter, I know that from a candidate’s perspective we are a free and very valuable service; the concierge for finding them  a ‘career- making’ job. It's a relationship that works and we're good at it. 

But, from the perspective of a Head of Communications or agency Director the recruitment process often seems to be more like this:

1. Who do I know??  Ask them if they want to new job.

2. Speak to HR or HR rep. Advertise the role internally and on PR Week/GorkanaPR

3. Start to panic when the perfect person doesn’t present themselves. 

4. Consult a professional recruiter. Give them the brief.

Of course you can use your network. It’s free and you might just find the perfect person for your role...Or are you really fitting the role around them?

Advertising the role is also a very sensible next step. You never know who is out there who just might spot the ad for the vacancy.  With any luck they will be outstanding.  However, in our experience, the days when you source an amazing shortlist from an advert are over.  We reject 97% of applications from ads.    

When you are busy, as we all are, there is a huge temptation to take from the immediate pool available to you. But by doing it this way, are you really sourcing from the best talent available?  We have all made poor hires (me included) and it’s an absolute headache when you realise you've recruited someone distinctly average for the team.  They zap your time, your energy and ultimately give you grey hair!

So why use an agency?  It’s simple in our eyes, we are experts and we spend all our time proactively looking for the very best people.  In essence, we find great people you may never come across.

Recruitment has changed so much especially over the last few years.  We now spend much more of our day headhunting, asking for referrals and networking.  It’s incredibly time consuming being proactive every day, I can tell you, but it’s the only way we find quality people.

What’s more, candidates often prefer to channel their search through us as we are impartial advisers and help shape their career.  We give them an extraordinary wealth of information on the market, insight into company culture, competitive salaries and challenges of a role - this list is endless.  We know what 'great' looks like and when you are pressured, providing this kind of insight makes the process far easier. 

We also give our clients a huge amount of advice on anything and everything within PR and recruitment.  This really is free information and we can counsel on 'best practice' on most things.

Getting the right match isn’t easy, and can be time consuming.  It’s our job to find you a solution, fast; and being natural investigators we love nothing more than a challenge.  We can also proudly say we haven’t made a match who hasn’t passed their probation in the last two years. 

We get paid on results (contingency) or we can dedicate a team to fill the role (executive search).  Either way, our fee is a lot less than the cost of a bad hire which ACAS estimate is 2.5 x the annual salary  (eg for an  Account Manager on £35k this would be c£87.5k) plus a huge amount of stress and even more grey hair! 

So the next time you want someone really talented give us a call before you reach the panic stage.

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