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Ad-free future: do all NPD professionals need to be headhunted?

Ad-free future: do all NPD professionals need to be headhunted?

19 March 2015

Did your parents ever give you the old ‘don’t sit back and wait for opportunities to come knocking at your door – you’ve got to go out there and find them,’ speech? Pretty great life advice, we reckon. Could it apply to NPD recruitment, too?

Advertising roles online has only ever accounted for a small percentage of our successful placements, but over the last couple of years the Harper Anderton team’s been noticing a dwindling response to jobs ads, and we think there are two key reasons.

More contractors, fewer permanent candidates

Firstly, the tricky economic climate has pushed a lot of professionals down the contract route; as we mentioned back in January, there are currently more interim managers in the workplace than ever, with a UK industry worth £1.5billion. Given the increase in contract work, it’s no surprise that experienced professionals looking for full-time, permanent roles are becoming a rare breed.

Go out there and find them

Secondly, it seems that, as the market shrinks and fewer top quality candidates are on the hunt for new jobs, the best people are being headhunted. Now that’s not to say the applicants we do see on a daily basis aren’t terrific; they are. But the response, specifically at the middle management level, just isn’t as high as it used to be, and we’re finding more and more success in tracking, monitoring and engaging with high calibre professionals over a sustained period of time, instead of waiting for them to come to us when we have a specific role to fill. Of course, it helps that we know the sector inside out and spend hours every day on the phone to NPD professionals. Building strong relationships with candidates is at the heart of what we do, so we always know who to call when a position comes along.

What do you think is the reason?

Have you seen a decline in ad responses, or are you an NPD professional who secures roles in other ways? Tell us what you think is responsible for the application downturn.



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