The Secret Marketer has a bone to pick with recruitment firms

As the icy chill continues to depress my journey to and from work, the recruitment freeze that has hamstrung our growth for the past few years is finally showing signs of thawing.

I have official clearance to at last expand the brand team and I plan to fill my boots. However, it is important to understand that this hiring blitz will only restore the size of my team to pre-credit crunch levels, so I can not yet be accused of seasonal over-indulgence.

The team definitely deserves some additional hands on deck. They have done a sterling job this past 12 months, but I am genuinely worried that one or two of them are seriously tired. As a manager, you can’t ask more than a team who go the extra mile, but I am very aware that our recent workload is unsustainable. If there is one thing that this recession has done, it is to make people work harder. Combine this with the 24/7 nature of modern day communications and it makes it very difficult to escape the pressure cooker.

There has certainly been no room for passengers and I suspect many of us in marketing realise that we can no longer take job security for granted.

“Many of us in marketing realise that we can no longer take job security for granted”

In light of all this I really want to get the recruitment choices right and make good use of the precious extra headcount that is now available. It would be a disaster to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by rushing to put bums on seats who don’t fit in with the rest of the team.

I have enlisted the help of a well-known marketing recruitment firm to help with the search. This is meant to take a lot of donkey work out of the process because they allegedly sort the wheat from the chaff and produce a shortlist of appropriately filtered talent for interview.

Well, that’s the plan. But having just completed the first round of interviews, I am seriously disappointed with the quality of some of their recommendations.

Reading the consultant’s appraisals for each candidate, you could be mistaken that each and every one of them was destined for superstar status. Sadly that is a long way from the truth. I guess it’s a bit like buying a house. Estate agents, ooops I mean recruitment agents, are incentivised to move stock. I can live with this dynamic, though elaborate turd polishing tends to be rather a waste of valuable time for all concerned

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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