Getting to know us

Founded in 1988, we recruit for the very broad fields of PR, marketing, design, advertising, and digital sectors. We work with clients in two distinct sectors – agency and in-house. The types of agencies we work with range from brand and design entities to full-service digital outfits, and fully integrated ones in between. On the in-house front we have recruited for an eclectic mix of companies including national retailers, house building firms, manufacturers and distributors, premier league football clubs, Universities, charities, the professional services sector, and innovative tech based firms.

We’ve helped companies recruit at all levels, from a small independent PR firm taking on their first hire, to a multi-national property based PLC hiring a Head of Communications. Whatever the level, we apply the same basic principles, understand what our client is looking for in terms of skills and cultural fit, and work with them to find the most credible candidate that will stay with their business. No recruitment strategy is static – it will constantly evolve to suit your unique needs.

Our USP is knowledge, and our key recruiters, Emma, Simon and Debra, are business owners, so we fully understand the importance of placing candidates that will add value to your business. Our drive and passion is to unite unique individuals to inspiring businesses.

We fully appreciate that the cost of replacing employees is an excessive one, and our intention is to provide employees who are willing, manageable, and respectful to your business. The service we offer is honest and discreet – the more information you give to us about the role, company, and your unique culture, the better our understanding will be of your requirements. A lot of our current clients used to be our candidates, and there is no better testament to our service and ethics than this.

The agency and in-house scene has changed beyond recognition over the last decade and, no doubt, will continue to evolve over the forthcoming years. We’ve stayed with these changes and it’s been a fascinating ride – at the time of writing, May 2014, demand is still outstripping supply in the creative and marketing sectors, but our history and pedigree of attracting and sourcing candidates means that we will always find that little golden nugget for you.

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions:

How much will it cost?
The most common question – our fee structure is transparent with no hidden charges or upfront cost.Our fees are provided on request before the process begins and there is obviously no charge unless we are successful in placing someone with you. You are not just paying for the provision of a CV – we have years’ and years’ experience of assessing candidates’ CVs and we know what’s right and what isn’t, no matter what is written on paper. Our ultimate aim is to provide ‘the most’ suitable candidate that meets your requirements. We’d like to print our fee structure here but our competitors might take a peak!

How long will it take?
For more junior roles, we allow a period of 4 weeks, from brief to a verbal offer and acceptance. For more senior roles, in particular Account Director or Head of Marketing status, you should allow 8 weeks, sometimes longer. In the past, we have filled openings within 48 hours to one week, but in this current market, where there is the biggest shortage of candidates since 2004, there is no quick fix. In truth, it pays dividends to take time to source the right candidate, since they will be with you for a long time to come.

How will you find our candidate?
We will search our database of previously interviewed candidates, provide a shortlist, speak to the candidates to make sure they’re interested, and get their permission to forward the CV. We also advertise on our own website and social media, and associated niche sites such as PR Week, Guardian, Brand Republic, Only Marketing, Reed, The Drum and many more, and with fantastic rates with leading publications we could even advertise your job specifically if you need us to.

We don’t send a CV or social profile unless the applicant is fully briefed about your role and company. We don’t believe in disclosing the company name unless we are told to do so, and we certainly don’t send you a candidate’s details without their say-so.

Our site is purposely built to attract candidates from a wide berth of online channels. We have avoided jargon and kept it as simple as possible. We’ve helped many clients with interview technique and protocol, and provided up-to-date salary guides to ensure your role is being pitched correctly. We like to keep things simple and pain free.

What happens if it doesn’t work out?
We appreciate that it is not a perfect world! If the person leaves in the first 12 weeks we will return 100% of your fee, and be working hard to find a replacement. People can leave for a variety of reasons and more often than not it will go wrong before they have even started, due to a counter offer. It doesn’t happen very often because we place a lot of emphasis on providing candidates who have the right skills (obviously!) but also, more importantly, who match your culture. It’s rare that things go wrong, but a longer guarantee gives you peace of mind.

Who will I be dealing with?
One or two experienced consultants will work with you all the way through. This is to ensure that you can talk to someone you know and who will have the relevant information at their fingertips with the minimum delay. All our consultants have more than ten years’ experience each, and are more than equipped to help you through the process.

Why should we use you?
In essence, our knowledge is deep within our specified sectors and we know what we’re talking about. We’ve been doing it for 25 years and we don’t have a high turnover of staff, so even if you only recruit once every year, you’ll probably be speaking to the same person. We don’t blag because there is no point in doing so, and we will be honest with you. We’ll provide you a detailed insight into a candidate’s skill set and expertise, and we’ll know if they are right or wrong for your business.

What help and advice do you offer clients and candidates?
What comes around goes around. We advise both sides on what we think will best serve them, based on our experience. We never put pressure on anyone to get another fee because it will return to bite you on the backside. We are dealing with people’s businesses and lives – it’s not something to mess around with.

Have you met all your candidates?
We endeavour to meet all candidates face-to-face – we believe it is an essential part of the process. The only exception to this rule is if a candidate lives outside the region or is unable to make a face-to-face meeting due to work commitments. We will, however, check their identity, qualifications and recent work experience, in line with REC professional standards and government legislation.

Recruitment is a dark industry and, for people who don’t work in it, it can be hard to fathom what actually goes on behind the scenes. We hope the above has given you some insight into our background and ethics.