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What are you saying in your pricing?

“Oh, here we go again…a recruiter bleating on about pricing!”…actually forget my profession for a moment and let me know what you think.

Having always worked in service led organisations pricing has always been close to my heart…because if it wasn’t you probably wouldn’t be delivering that service for long!

Whether the service provider is a sole trader, an SME or a plc, perception of value to your clients is critical…and when I say “value” I certainly don’t mean always being the cheapest.

From service led businesses to professional practices there is always a consideration to Competitive Pricing; this is setting the price of a product or service based on what the competition is charging. This pricing method is used more often by businesses selling similar products, since services can vary from business to business, while the attributes of a product remain similar.

One thing I have always been taught is to match your pricing strategy to your value proposition. Your price sends a strong message to your market – it needs to be consistent with the value you’re delivering…back to my industry for a second; this really makes me question whether even seasoned professionals in my sector really think about this, short term wins or long term goals?!

Now I don’t underestimate this, there are several contributory factors which we all must balance; does our pricing;

  • Reflect the value you provide versus your competitors
  • Match what the market will truly pay for your offering
  • Support your brand
  • Enable you to reach your revenue and market share goals
  • Maximise your profits

Are these factors that we all take in consideration when pricing for work in whatever sector or market we operate in…what priority should they take?

Recruiter or robot?

Meeting a hiring manager to discuss a role can often feel like an exercise in ticking boxes before going away and writing up a bland job description, lacking any flair or excitement. How often do recruiters simply go through the motions when taking a brief:

  • Reason for vacancy
  • Reporting lines
  • Key skills and qualifications
  • Salary & package

….and so on…

Getting under the skin

The real fun in recruiting for a client is when we have the chance to really get under the skin of a business, understand the culture of a department or an organisation, get to know the key players and really have some interesting insights to give candidates when canvassing them for certain roles.

This is the time to ask questions that go beyond the usual bland everyday things we would expect to ask. As recruiters, we have an obligation to challenge the hiring manager, getting them to really provide an insight into the role and the sort of person they are looking for.

Time to start asking challenging questions, such as:

  • Let’s take skills and relevant experience for granted….what are the personal traits someone needs in order to fit in to this organisation?
  • What is the biggest obstacle to succeeding in this role and has anyone come up short in the past…if so why?
  • What will the interview process involve and are you confident it will be broad and detailed enough to really assess each candidate fully prior to appointment?
  • What hiring pitfalls or mistakes have you made as a business in the past for similar roles?

My experience tells me that clients enjoy being challenged and asked to really look in detail at the hiring process, the wider candidate profile and their organisational set up in order to make the recruitment process as effective as possible.

A rushed process often means a poor hire, an unsettled candidate and a role that can quickly become vacant again.

No Agencies Please

These dreaded 3 words at the bottom of a job advert invariably mean that the company in question has little or no time for recruitment consultancies or worse still, has suffered at the hands of one of the ‘over promise…under achieve’ players in the market

Recruitment consultancy is about matching job seeking candidates with hiring clients. Simple really.

This is a competitive, sales-led environment with a focus on new business relationships, fee negotiation and the continued pressure to deliver results. So, corners are cut, service delivery is compromised and people are let down. Some clients then decide to by-pass recruiters altogether and attempt a direct hire.

Candidates have little or no loyalty to any one recruiter as their expectations are so low. All in all, not a pretty picture

So, guess what I did the other week…I saw an advert for a senior marketing role within an organisation with a strict hands off policy when it comes to the use of recruitment firms. This is a business that has traditionally avoided any long term relationships with recruiters, preferring when necessary to farm out roles that have proved difficult to fill through their own direct hiring methods.

I instinctively knew the right candidate for this position. Not only that but I knew he was only contracting and was therefore more than willing and very able to apply for a permanent role. What to do?

What’s in it for me?

Instead of attempting a blagging call into the client on the back of a strong CV, I called my candidate, told him about the role, where to find the advert online, told him everything I knew about the company and made it very clear that I would not be representing him for this position as the company was going to market directly.

He is now at 2nd stage interview for the role, meaning I will potentially lose a strong candidate from my network and of course there is no financial gain for my referral. So, what’s in it for me?

Firstly, the Head of HR at the company in question has emailed to thank me for the candidate referral and for being ‘refreshingly honest’

My candidate also has a whole new perspective on the candidate/recruiter relationship. He could be moving into a senior management role any day now and if one day he needs to recruit for his team, who is he likely to call first?






Defying Economic Uncertainty

We have now celebrated our first year in business after defying the ongoing political and economic uncertainty to put down strong roots in the North East recruitment sector.

Founded by Managing Director, Chris Stappard, the consultancy focuses on mid to senior management appointments across a number of sectors, including senior finance, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, and has rapidly grown its client base over the last 12 months.

Chris, who has 10 years’ experience in banking, set up the Newcastle-based firm after spotting a gap in the market for relationship-driven management recruitment which offers a more personalised approach working closely with clients.

Despite the economic and political travails that have been unleashed by June’s Brexit vote, Chris said that the business is going from ‘strength to strength’ and that the business is ‘expanding rapidly’.

He said: “We are seeing positives in businesses right across the region regardless of sector or size. The political and economic uncertainty isn’t necessarily stopping our clients investing within their workforce and pushing ahead with business.

“Against this backdrop, we are still seeing increased activity amongst exporters and equally within household names in the North East across sectors such as manufacturing, FMCG, pharmaceutical and professional services.”

One such client is specialist pharmaceutical firm Shield Therapeutics, which has bases in both London and Newcastle, who have turned to Edward Reed for all of their northern recruitment since January.

Angela Hildreth, Finance Director at the firm, commented that the recruitment consultancy’s relationship-driven approach means Chris takes his time to ‘understand the roles, the company and its culture’ despite the broad range of sectors that the firm deals with.

She added: “The roles recruited have varied from scientific to financial and in general have been very niche in their nature. Chris’ bespoke approach of listening, understanding and questioning have really added value and contributed to successful placements.”

Now, after manoeuvring through the economic headwinds, Edward Reed is hoping to expand its client list as it looks to further entrench itself in the region’s recruitment sector.

“We look forward to taking the business forward into its second year and working with new and existing clients as Edward Reed Recruitment continues to grow,” added Chris.

What defines a dream job?

How would you define the dream job?

Perhaps it’s a job you still want to do, even if your numbers came up on the lottery!

For others it is the chance to turn your hobby into a career that provides a good standard of living

Perhaps it is simply having a job that truly utilises all your skills and offers you the challenge you crave

Or is it simply a case of working in the right cultural environment, with the right team and the hours that suit your lifestyle?

Think about it…do you have the job of your dreams?

Inward Investment into Edward Reed Recruitment

A North East recruitment firm has attracted new investment from private funders to help the business reach its full potential.

Newcastle-based Edward Reed Recruitment has welcomed SquareOneLaw founding partner, Alan Fletcher and financial director and entrepreneur, Colin Wilson into the business to join Edward Reed’s managing director, Chris Stappard and director, Ian Lewis as shareholders.

Founded in 2015, Edward Reed is an independent firm which specialises in mid to senior level management recruitment across the finance, HR, operations, sales and marketing and IT sectors.

Having enjoyed early success making high-profile placements for well-established North East businesses such as Fentimans, the firm’s directors are ready to take the business to the next level.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for Edward Reed,” Chris said.

“From our inception back in 2015 to now, we have grown the business organically and established our position within the North East’s recruitment sector but now we are ready to really up our game.

“The investment Edward Reed has acquired from its new shareholders will enable us to build our brand further and hopefully expand into new markets.

“Both Alan and Colin are extremely well-connected within the region’s business community. With them on board, we hope to grow our networks further and firmly cement Edward Reed as the go-to management recruitment firm in the North.”

To further reinforce the business’ plan for expansion, Edward Reed has recently moved into a new office space within Newcastle’s trendy Campus North complex and is looking to grow its team imminently, creating five new roles within the business.

“We’re not holding back!” Chris added.

“Bringing new talent into Edward Reed is a key priority for us and is something which is firmly on our agenda for the foreseeable.

“Growing our headcount will enable us to better service the growth of the business and ensure its success into the future.”

New shareholder, Alan Fletcher, added:

“I’m delighted to have joined the team at Edward Reed Recruitment.

“I was hugely impressed by Chris and Ian’s vision for the business and their tenacity to see it reach its full potential.

“Through rolling investment, we hope to grow the Edward Reed brand exponentially over the next 12-18 months.  I’m excited to see what the future holds for this up and coming business.”

Edward Reed prides itself on its personal, flexible approach to recruitment, where staff take the time to understand clients’ and candidates’ needs in order to make perfect placements.

Edward Reed Recruitment’s merger with Laurus Executive Search

Edward Reed Recruitment and Laurus Executive Search have successfully merged during the summer resulting in Edward Reed now offering a full search and selection service from mid-management through to Director and Non Executive level positions.

Edward Reed, which specialises in mid- to senior-level management placements across a variety of industry sectors, will seek to solidify and expand its market position after receiving private investment earlier this year.

Ian Lewis, director at Laurus Executive Search, will bring more than three decades of recruitment experience to a new full-time role as director at Edward Reed. He has been a shareholder at Edward Reed since its inception.

Lewis said: “By merging Laurus and Edward Reed together, Edward Reed can now provide a fully inclusive management and executive board level recruitment solution for businesses.

“We have approached this merger with the philosophy that two plus two equals five, there is strength in numbers and by pooling our resources, we are in a better position to drive the business forward and expand our services into new areas.”

Chris Stappard, managing director at Edward Reed Recruitment, added: “This is a really exciting time for Edward Reed.

“As a company, Edward Reed looks completely different now to how it did six months ago. Key investment and the subsequent merger with Laurus Executive Search, has opened a wealth of opportunities for us to recruit some of the most senior positions in the North East market and even expand our reach beyond the region.”

North East recruitment firm appoints senior role at Age UK Northumberland

Edward Reed, which specialises in mid to senior management level recruitment for the finance, HR, operations, sales and marketing and IT sectors was appointed by Age UK Northumberland to support the charity through the search and selection process of finding its new chief executive officer.

Chief Executive Officer recruitment
Age UK Northumberland Chief Executive with Edward Reed Recruitment

Age UK Northumberland is the regional branch of the national not-for-profit organisation, Age UK, which is well-known for its work with older people over the age of 50.

Fending off competition from a number of other well-established Newcastle-based recruitment firms to win the primary role on the account, Edward Reed was seen to be the best fit for Age UK Northumberland after they were recommended to the charity’s chair of the board of trustees, Andrew Marsh.

Andrew said:

“Edward Reed was referred to us through a member of the board who had worked with the company previously. Having worked within the not-for-profit sector before, Edward Reed had a strong pre-existing network of contacts and a sound understanding of our target audience.

“Edward Reed’s flexible approach to the recruitment process allowed them to structure themselves around Age UK Northumberland’s timelines without compromising on their quality of service, which was a huge benefit to us.”

The successful candidate appointed to the chief executive role is Helen Mills. With a long history of working in the healthcare sector in various senior management roles, Helen was identified as the ideal candidate for the job following a rigorous interview process, supported by Edward Reed.

Helen said:

“I have always loved working alongside older people. I come from a really close-knit family and spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up, who I deeply admired and respected.

“On hearing about the vacancy at Age UK Northumberland, I actually approached Edward Reed directly to enquire about the role. After speaking with the team there in more detail, I submitted my CV and was subsequently put forward for an interview.

“Throughout the recruitment process, I felt completely supported by Edward Reed. Chris kept me engaged and updated at each stage of the process and I was delighted when he called to offer me the job. I would recommend Edward Reed to anyone.”

Managing director at Edward Reed, Chris Stappard, said:

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Age UK Northumberland on the appointment of their new CEO. Helen is a great fit for the role and we wish her lots of success in the future.”

To find out more about Edward Reed, visit: www.edwardreed.co.uk.

CBI looks to the future with North East entrepreneur

An enterprising business leader from Newcastle has been invited to join a prestigious newly formed committee designed to give a stronger voice to a new generation of business leaders.

Chris Stappard, managing director at Edward Reed Recruitment has been appointed to the CBI’s 35 under 35 committee. Brand new for 2016, the committee has been designed to bring together current and future leaders from a cross-section of industries across the UK, to help create a more diverse representation of business and provide a platform for future leaders. Chris explained:

“In the aftermath of the EU Referendum earlier this year, the CBI recognised that there was a huge difference in opinion between the older and younger generations, and realised that the perspectives of today’s young professionals were not necessarily being represented within the organisation.

“The CBI wanted to tap into this resource, to understand the impact that national economic issues have on businesses from a fresh perspective, and so, the 35 under 35 committee was founded; to give a voice to a new generation of business people who are better connected with the views of young people within society.”


Going forward, the 35 under 35 committee will be included in the consultation process for all of the CBI’s parliamentary affairs, and will be invited to comment on the effects that national political, social and economic issues have on regional businesses.

Chris received the invitation from the CBI to apply to the committee in early August, and found out just a few weeks later that his application had been successful.

Chris will attend quarterly meetings over the course of his two-year term on the committee, where he will be sitting alongside senior representatives from large PLC’s and blue chip organisations from across the UK.

“It’s a great honour to be a part of the 35 under 35 committee,” Chris said.

“To have been invited to represent not only Edward Reed, but the region’s recruitment industry as a whole on a national scale is a real privilege. It’s a fantastic opportunity to really contribute and make a difference to business policy, but at the same time, it’s also a great opportunity to raise the profile of Edward Reed.”

Regional head of CBI, Sarah Glendinning said:

“Chris’ work with Edward Reed as well as his membership of the CBI ensures he is in regular contact with business leaders across the region, making him an ideal candidate for the 35 under 35 committee as well as providing him with a platform to represent the views of our latest generation of business leaders.”

Founded in 2015, Edward Reed is an independent recruitment firm which specialises in mid to senior level management recruitment across the finance, HR, operations, sales and marketing and IT sectors.

The firm prides itself on its personal, flexible approach to recruitment, where staff take the time to understand candidates’ needs in order to make perfect placements.