Recruitment – it’s not as easy as you think

8th April 2020
Debbie Sutton
Chief of Staff

Recruitment – it’s not as easy as you think

Finding, enticing and landing good people is hard, and so it should be – if they are good, they are being well looked after by their current employer and are unlikely to be openly on the job market.

Attracting the best in the market needs time, effort and investment. With the growth of in-house talent acquisition teams, RPO organisations and the outsourcing of volume recruitment campaigns – speed/time to hire has become the benchmark of the recruitment industry. Why? Because it is an easy metric delivered through systems, data and AI. However, it is totally the wrong measure for a successful leadership/executive recruitment campaign and misses the point whilst also damaging the experience.

Speed to hire doesn’t support the hiring of individuals who will fit culturally, it doesn’t address issues of diversity or inclusivity, allow for future needs and capabilities to be properly assessed, team dynamics considered, nor due diligence to be completed properly.

The assessment of human capability and the future potential of a new hire needs to be taken a lot more seriously than it often is. This isn’t a process that should be systemised purely for the benefit of saving cost. If it is a strategic or niche appointment, then it needs tenacity to uncover the right skills, patience to cover the ground and stealth to reach out and engage with the unsuspected target.  A professional approach with relentless yet gentle persuasion and influence is required to ensure the best person for the role is going to stay in the process.

‘Proper’ recruitment that covers all the above doesn’t and shouldn’t come cheap, yet many organisations don’t appreciate why we charge for a ‘search’. Don’t ask us to negotiate our fees away if you want the absolute best service, the best candidate and the best long-term hire for your organisation.

Please see a few testimonials that we have received from client organisations that will evidence just why we are best-in-class at finding your next hire:

“We decided to appoint Berwick Partners because I had previously had a positive experience as a candidate. Berwick’s approach is very structured, you listen to our needs and understand our cultural fit, then communicate well during and after the process. David hit 100% of the milestones and provided excellent service levels.  He is very experienced and understands when it might be necessary to adapt the process. Candidate briefs are well written, and I like that you sell the company and then the reward package. The quality and diversity of shortlists have been first class and you also provide options that challenge our thinking. I have dealt with Berwick Partners for five years and all the people I have been involved with, from researchers to support staff and consultants, have been consistently competent, driven, articulate, good listeners and happy to go the extra mile”.

Jerome Faissat, Managing Director PIL Membranes.

“Recruiting charity trustees isn’t easy, especially when you’re trying to spread the net wide and follow a fair and effective process. With the help of Berwick Partners, we were able to do this successfully. Their service felt assured, personable, professional and very accommodating. They took the time to truly understand what we were after. Berwick gave regular updates and enabled us to interview a strong list of candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and with a variety of relevant skill sets. Most of the candidates were new names to us, which was refreshing. All the candidates fed back positively on the process too. As a national firm, the service felt local, and was excellent from start to finish. I’m looking forward to working with Berwick Partners in the future.”

Peter Hartland, Chief Executive, St Luke’s Hospice Sheffield

“This was the first time that we used Berwick Partners; and you impressed throughout the process.  They reacted quickly spending significant time with me and other key stakeholders to properly understand our requirements.  They helped us draft a clear and compelling briefing note to attract and inform potential candidates and produced a good shortlist for client interview together with their own independent assessment of each candidate.  The team were always accessible and ran a very thorough and efficient process.  The result was an excellent new addition to our team.  I would highly recommend Bewick Partners and hope to work with them again in the future.”

Darren Bryant, CFO, Card Factory

“We were aware of Sandra’s excellent reputation in the Charity Sector but were still hugely impressed with the way she supported us. She took time to understand both our needs and our ethos, ran a thorough and professional campaign and took away the anxiety and burden. We ended up with a very strong CEO shortlist and were able to appoint within three months of our initial contact with Sandra. Thoroughly recommended.

Jon Stanley, Trustee, the Great Hospital

“Aemilia has helped us place a number of senior positions within The Priory Group including Hospital Directors and a Managing Director all of whom have been great hires. We have, at times, been a very challenging client particularly in respect of tight timescales but Aemilia has risen to the challenge and most recently ensured we could appoint four hires within an exceptionally short timescale. Aemilia knows our business very well and is well tuned into the types of leaders we are looking for.”

Karen Price, HRD Priory Healthcare

Berwick Partners has supported the creation and the development of Be First, appointing the Chairman, Lord Kerslake, the Board and multiple members of our team. We value their expertise within the Property, Construction and Regeneration sector, and their knowledge of the type of Local Authority owned company that we are, and the blend of commercial skills and political nous we require.  Their track record, depth of networks, reach, and the fact that they work with both the commercial and public sectors is of great value to us. They recognise we are a new and relatively unique organisation thus our requirements are quite often very specific, and that we require a degree of flexibility and ongoing support.”

Iain Ferguson, Commercial Director, Be First Regeneration Co