Phone: 020 7183 0255
or 01884 664025



One of the most corrosive effects on any company's success and longevity is an inability to retain good quality people. Many businesses genuinely struggle to keep hold of talented individuals once they have been recruited and embedded them within the organisation.

As a recruitment organisation, we are in a somewhat unique position at the “cutting edge” of dealing with people leaving organisations on a day-to-day basis. A common misconception is that, as a headhunting/search company, we somehow have mystical powers to “spirit” people away from blissfully happy jobs. The reality is completely different. On average, over 60% of individuals we pro-actively approach will rebuff our advances, as they are happy with their present situation. Unless there is an underlying issue there, we are unable to persuade that person to talk about moving.

The #1 biggest issue that causes staff to become unsettled and leave is communication. The most common reasons for good staff wanting to leave companies are issues such as “I feel undervalued”, “no career progression”, “worried about the companys’ future” & “someone’s been promoted above me”.

The nub of every single one of these issues is communication, or the lack of it in most cases!

It is human nature to want to know what is going on, good or bad. In most situations, not knowing anything is worse than knowing something bad is happening, as the mind is free to wildly speculate if there is no information.

So – the advice is very much to communicate to your people as much as possible, both on a macro (company) and micro (personal) level. The best employers are consistently very good at communicating to their people, helping them formulate individual career and goal plans and working with them to achieve their personal career objectives. It’s great for individual performance, makes people happy and optimises the overall performance of the business.

It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it significantly increases staff retention levels.
On a macro level, the vast majority of people want visibility as to the company's overall strategy and goals. Anyone working as part of a team will perform better and will give that extra 10% if they are clear in their understanding of the teams overall goal.

This stuff is simple, but is surprisingly rarely implemented effectively. We regularly hear stories of individuals being overlooked for promotion, so then want to move on. What’s much rarer, but is relatively easy to facilitate, is the situation where the individual accepts the decision because it is efficiently communicated with the true reasons and justifications being discussed. They may not like it, but if it’s justified and communicated then they will at least understand the decision and resentment is minimised.

To discuss this or other recruitment related issues please call Rupert on 020 7183 0255
Telephone interviews are becoming more and more common. For most people they can seem daunting but often, in the long run, they can actually help.

It is extremely rare that you will be offered a position based solely on a telephone interview; usually they are a chance for an interviewer to get a brief overview of your skills and abilities before decided whether to arrange a face to face meeting.

Often, if you can get through a telephone interview you will feel a lot more confident going into a face to face interview as you will have already spoken to the person you will be meeting and will have a better understanding of the role you are applying for.

Below are some tips on how to succeed at your next telephone interview:
Always make sure you are in a quiet place on your own where you won’t be distracted.
Ensure that you will get a strong phone signal for the whole length of the conversation.
Have a copy of your CV in front of you, together with a pad and a pen in case you need to take notes. If you have a job description for the role it is also good to have that at hand.
Try not to talk too fast; be clear and concise with every answer. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat any questions you didn’t hear or understand.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer. Start typing your update here
we know the best talent is very much in demand and the 'balance of power' is drifting back in favour of the candidate.

However many employers, especially CEOs and directors, are still of the belief that it is only a matter of hanging up a vacancy sign and a queue of good applicants will appear.

Not so. Indeed, quality candidates are being well looked after by their current employers and in many cases, being wooed by more than one prospective company if they are considering a move.

So what are the 3 most common reasons that your employment offer will be refused? I conducted a snap survey and here are the top 3 issues that lead to rejection:

1. The interview process taking too long. (This was by far the biggest issue). Whilst candidates expect to have to work hard for the best jobs, protracted selection procedures are a big turn-off. People read in to this that the organisation is slow to make all decisions and they also feel under-valued.

2. Too much grilling and not enough selling. As I say above, people have no problem answering difficult questions or tough interviews but they will make their decision on the basis of the opportunity, quality of the team and very importantly growth prospects. Interviewing should involve buying and selling.

3. Poor handling of the actual offer process. This often includes trying to secure the candidate at lower than the indicated range. It can be a terrible waste of time and money having got through a recruitment campaign and then needing to start again perhaps for the sake of only a few thousand pounds.

To discuss this article or your recruitment needs please call Rupert on 020 7183 0255


There is an old adage in the business world that applies to the hiring process more than you may think. You may know it better as “time kills all deals.” Whether we like to admit it or not, a sense of urgency is an integral part of two sides coming together for mutual benefit. In this case, that means you securing top talent for your organization.

Competition for talent has heated up. If you are not creating urgency within your recruiting process you are creating talent vulnerability. Below are some tips on how to create urgency within your hiring process to help secure your next hire.

• Keep the interview process efficient and timely. Sure, it can be hectic when you have other deadlines to meet. However, making the time to conduct multiple interviews in a relatively short time period can help keep the candidate engaged and attracted to your group. If significant time passes between meetings, they may start to think you have lost interest and in turn they start to lose interest.

• Be decisive in your selection. This applies to who to interview, who to bring back to meet again, and to whom an offer is made. From time to time, we all wonder in the back of our minds if there is something better out there. This is not the time to let that thought get in the way. If you wait around to see one or two more candidates, your lead candidate may be gone by the time you’re ready to pull the trigger.

• Beware the search for the legendary “Purple Squirrel”! You know, the perfect candidate that may not actually exist but is so tempting to land. In the meantime, don’t pass up on that great, “real life” candidate as you continue hunting for this mythical beast.
Reference checking when done correctly can be very powerful. Most employers check references, but the important factor is how the reference check is performed.

Most reference checking is more of a box checking exercise than what it really should be, which is validating that the candidate really did what they told you in the interview. That should be the focus of a reference check.

Good reference checking starts with good interviewing. Train your people to ask for examples in the interview. Probe deeply into those examples to get time frames, budget, size, issues they overcame, problems they solved, why they did X instead of Y and so on.

Then, instead of asking the standard box checking questions everyone asks, change the reference check. Ask the reference, “During the interview, Tom indicated he did X, can you tell me more about what his role was and some of the more difficult issues he had to overcome?”

Does the reference’s story validate what the candidate told you, or is it something different? Was the candidate accurate, or did they embellish? When references are done properly they can provide a wealth of valuable information.


If you've ever employed an overachiever, you will know that they need special attention so that you can take advantage of what they have to offer. Constant communication works best, but be inspirational, not commandeering.

Overachievers don't like to be told what to do. Managers get the best results from them if they involve them in decisions and planning as much as possible. If there's a problem with their work, rather than telling them how to fix it, ask them what they think the solution should be.

Praise them for a job well done, tap into their creativity and be sincere. Remove obstacles and help pave the way to success. While overachievers may demand more, their output often goes much higher than that of other employees.

To discuss this or other recruitment related issues please call Rupert on 020 7183 0255

The rule of thumb among recruiters is that 70 to 80 percent of people who accept counteroffers either leave or are let go within a year.

So, you've accepted an offer to work for a new company and it's time to quit your current job. Shouldn't be too difficult.

You do all the right things: give notice, offer to help in the transition, finish projects, say thanks for the opportunity. But instead of just shaking your hand and wishing you good luck, your boss hits you with a counteroffer – one that includes more money, more holidays, and better benefits.

While a counteroffer can be flattering, chances are your boss has ulterior motives. Employee resignations can hurt a manager's record. Or, maybe, he or she wants to keep you on long enough to find a replacement. Perhaps it’s their motive because it's cheaper to pay you a bit more than it is to recruit, hire, and train a new employee.

In some instances, accepting a counteroffer may be a good move. But before you say yes, consider these reasons why you should decline.

1. You had to quit to get a raise. Suddenly you became more valuable after you give notice? It should make you wonder why you weren't valuable enough to deserve a raise before–when you were coming into the office every day and dutifully attending to your job duties.

2. Things won't change. The frustration, the stifling feelings, and the dissatisfaction that led you to seek new job opportunities will remain, and it's unlikely that the bump in pay will make those things any more bearable. Whatever turned you off about your job prior to the new offer will continue to be irksome after you accept it.

3. You may be shunned. When you give notice, you are, in effect, dumping your boss. As in many types of relationships, the rebuffed party begins to bargain: Give me another chance. Things will get better. I can change! No one, after all, wants to be the dumpee. But once your boss' anxiety is eased and you've agreed to the counteroffer, new emotions will set in: resentment, suspicion, distrust. You will likely spend your remaining time at the company on the fringes–excised from the inner circle for your show of disloyalty (and coworkers may resent the raise and how you got it).

4. Job security will diminish. Your boss fought to keep you from quitting, sure. But when it comes time to lay off some people, it's a safe bet that you'll be somewhere toward the top of the list. Remember: Your boss wanted you to stay for his benefit, not yours. If he has the opportunity to get rid of you on his terms– now that you've revealed a willingness to be a turncoat–he’s likely going to take it.

5. You're going to leave anyway. Four out of five employees who accept counteroffers end up leaving the company within nine months.

6. You've already accepted an offer. And what about the new job offer you already accepted? By virtue of hiring you, that employer already has demonstrated a belief that you are valuable–and you haven't even had your first day yet. Your current employer, on the other hand, has begrudgingly offered you more money to get you to stay to suit his purposes. Also, leading on prospective employer–attending interviews, negotiating, accepting an offer, allowing the them to think the job has been filled–is a bad career strategy in general.

It is always the same when someone resigns - they walk into the room, smiling sheepishly and close the door behind them. The next few minutes are key. The manager dealing with the resignation needs to be armed with these 10 important questions:
  1. Where are you going next?
  2. Why are you resigning?
  3. Have you already signed a contract with a new employer?
  4. When have you agreed to start?
  5. Who else inside and outside the organisation knows about your plans to leave?
  6. Is anyone else planning to leave?
  7. What handover will be required?
  8. Who do you recommend should step into your shoes?
  9. Have you got in your possession confidential information belonging to the organisation and, if so, where is it stored?
  10. Are you intending to abide by your confidentiality and post-termination restrictions?
If these questions are not asked, the manager is blind-sided and loses a valuable opportunity to probe the employee. It is far less effective to leave these questions to an exit interview, which is usually very perfunctory.

To discuss this or other recruitment related issues please call Rupert on 020 7183 0255

  1. Initiative - Can you give me an example of where you’ve demonstrated high initiative in your last position – going above and beyond the call of duty?
  2. Flawless Execution - Could you share with me a task or assignment where you had to overcome significant obstacles and hurdles?
  3. Leadership - Could you illustrate your leadership by telling us about an example – where you either were part of the team or led the team? What did you do specifically to help the team achieve their goals or results?
  4. Success Factors - One of our most critical success factors for this role is X. What have you done that is most similar, comparable, like that expectation?
  5. Adaptability - How would achieving this success factor in our environment differ from attempting to achieve it in your previous company?