by Richard Bloom, Purple Consultancy.
The past 18 months or so have seen the creative industries recover from the recent recession at an astonishingly fast pace, at least from our point of view as recruiters it has. It is still very much a candidate-driven market and agencies are therefore finding that they are often in tough competition with other agencies for the best candidates.
The good news for candidates then is that they are usually in a strong position but many candidates are nervous about, or inexperienced in negotiating. We always advise our candidates to approach their job hunt with a good knowledge of their value in the current market.
Obviously having a good relationship with a recruitment consultant can help with this as we have a broad base of information at our finger tips. Equally we can advise potential employers on salary levels and candidate availability to prepare them for any potential negotiations they might embark on. We've identified over the past year a trend for agencies increasing salaries to retain a valued member of staff once they become aware that that person is considering an alternative job offer. This can be unexpected from the employee's point of view as they are more than likely to have already decided that leaving is the only option.
Once a higher salary is offered by their existing employer they then have a dilemma on their hands. We are very much preparing our candidates for these negotiations as it seems almost inevitable in the current market. It will boil down to the reasons the employee has for wanting to leave in the first place. Agency culture can play a big part in this. Certain agencies seem to have an appeal above and beyond how much money they are offering. They are usually relatively small, highly creative and less run by process than by the instinct of the staff, many of whom would fit the description of 'Generation Y'.
Moving from an established and perhaps more corporate agency to a more nimble, more 'current' agency can be worth a drop in salary for some candidates - hopefully these smaller agencies don't take too much advantage of this edge they have and are still prepared to pay market rates. The best candidates are without doubt in charge of the market at the moment and for every good one there are often 3 or 4 jobs for them to choose from allowing room for negotiation.
However, be warned it never creates a great impression to a potential employer if you kick-start a bidding war so be bold and confident but don't be greedy. We also say to agencies at the moment that they might have to prepare themselves for this process and expect their interviewees to feel more confident and bullish in their demands than perhaps they have in previous years.
ABOUT PURPLE CONSULTANCY
Started in 2000 and located in London’s Business Design Centre, our years of experience mean we understand how to match the perfect candidate with the perfect client across advertising, design, integrated and digital.