This would have to be one of the most frequent questions I am asked!
I was talking to a senior manager who shared the following experience.
"Two months ago our Sales Manager resigned for personal reasons. Initially we did some networking of our own to see if we could find someone by "word-of-mouth". It took about 2 weeks to discover that we didn't know anyone who was currently available or, more to the point interested enough to apply.
Our hierarchy doesn't like paying Agency fees – so we decided to do it ourselves.
It took another 2 weeks for us to finally get the ad written and put in the right papers. By this time our Sales Manager had cleared his desk and left and then the "fun" really began. My background is Accountancy – I understand the importance of Sales BUT – I am not a sales person. In our company the Sales Manager has Key Account responsibilities and because I am the Senior Manager this responsibility became mine along with all my other reporting duties.
Meanwhile another 2 weeks went by and the applications from our ads were mounting. There were over 50 written applications for the Sales Manager's role – I know because I went through every one of them. It was an eye opener going through those resumes. We had applicants who had no relevant industry experience and they were over half the applicants! It took another 2 weeks to sort out 10 applicants who looked good enough to interview.
By this time I was getting behind in my reports and the business was beginning to suffer and we still had no Sales Manager. Fortunately we have 2 Senior Sales Exec's in our team who were able to pick up some of the slack but the pressure on them to achieve their own sales budgets was beginning to show.
Of the 10 applicants we interviewed 3 looked great on paper but were a disappointment in interview. Another applicant had sloppy personal presentation and another 4 just were not a good "fit" for our culture. – They lacked the drive we were looking for. The remaining 2 candidates seemed to have all of the attributes we were looking for.
We completed reference checking on the candidate we particularly liked – and the checks were good. We then offered the candidate the role – to be told that she was waiting to hear back from another role she had applied for and would let us know in a week's time. At the end of that week the candidate informed us that she had decided to accept the other role. We went back to our second choice and completed verbal reference checking and discovered areas of concern, which prevented us from making an offer.
So here we are 2 months later – still no Sales Manager – back at Square One – and all the sales staff and myself under pressure and our key clients not being properly looked after. I don't suppose you have anyone on your books – do you Annette??"
I'm pleased to tell you that we were able to help and the Sales Manager subsequently appointed. Good people are always hard to find
The value of using an established recruitment Agency (and paying their fees) is that there are many occasions where significant losses in productivity / profitability can be eliminated by being able to quickly identify a suitable replacement for the employee who has just left. The cost of a placement fee to an Agency pales in comparison to the cost to the business in terms of lost revenues and productivity when you are a person down.
We look forward to being of continued service to you all