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18 SeptemberBy Rob Forsyth

For many Directors in media, September marks that time of year when we start to plan ahead and budget for next year. Often businesses run their financial years from January through to December and so coming into Q4, it’s both a time of reflection on this year’s performance and an opportunity to plan the strategy for 2020.

So how’s this year been? Everyone will take a look at the numbers; turnover, gross profit, net profit, but many go deeper and look at the external factors such as market demand, social behaviours, political factors (who can ignore Brexit right now) and then they’ll equally look at the internal factors such as management processes, workflow efficiencies, and resources, of which your biggest asset, of course, is your people!

Media businesses want growth. Ideally double-digit growth and budget meetings with the board twist and turn on how to achieve this. Often the end result will require sign-off to increase headcount and take on some new superstars for 2020, who will no doubt drive performance and make it a better year than this one! Cool. But hold on…

Whether your strategy is to drop the bottom 20% of staff and replace with new or invest this year’s profits into hiring additional staff to grow, please take EXTRA time to map out how you are going to recruit and select the right people. Why?

I’ve seen this a lot over the years. Directors walk out of the budget meeting and get on the phone to HR / recruitment agencies / reach out to their network and start the process of recruiting. And for the purposes of this article, I’m making the assumption that everyone is crystal clear about what they need and what they are looking for, but in reality that is not the case, but that’s for another day. ;-) So assuming you know exactly what you are looking for and the recruitment strategy is well underway…


You start receiving CV’s, some good, some not so. You start interviewing, he’s not right, she’s not right, he was disappointing, she didn’t turn up. Bugger! You’re now 1 month in and still no hire? Halloween comes and goes. Fireworks night. Still no hire and it starts to become painful – your boss now applies some pressure 'You need to crack on and get someone in ASAP!’ Classic. And as time goes on, you concede that you are not going to find that ‘perfect’ candidate and what happens next you drift into that costly and time consuming cul-de-sac – you panic hire!

Arrgghhh, it pains me to write it, but it’s true. I’ve seen it. Come mid-November people are taking on any Tom, Dick and Harry just to use up their recruitment budget and get someone in the seat before the new year.

Cut to next scene, it’s pancake day (that’s 25th February next year by the way, not that I’m counting the days or anything…) and guess what, the new guy just isn’t working out, you have a torrid and stressful time exiting him from your team and you’re back to square one, having to re-hire. This will take up more of your valuable time, the moral on your team drops, the impact on your employer brand worsens as you become known as a ‘revolving door’ and your clients feel in limbo while they wait for another Account Manager.

That scenario sounds bad, but it gets worse, there is a real cost associated too. It’s proven that the cost of a bad hire to your business is 3 times that person’s salary. Let’s think about that for a minute – if you take someone on at £40K and they don’t work out within 12 months, then that will cost your business £120K! Don’t believe me? Click here to work it out for yourself



So, this year before you press fire on the same recruitment strategy that you’ve always done, please consider not only your recruitment process, but also your selection process in order to avoid those time consuming and costly cul-de-sacs.

The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to dramatically increase your chances of hiring the right person within a specific timeframe. This is what we do at NinetyThoousandHours we help save our clients time and money by hiring the right person first time.

Whether you engage me to help with your hiring or not, I’m very happy to take some time to advise on your recruitment and selection strategy, so why not book in a FREE 30-minute consultation with me here



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