Since the start of this year, we have been doing some research. Extensive research amongst candidates to find out what you think of your career, your future and how the industry serves you.
And there have been some interesting findings. Compared to three years ago, for instance, you appear to be feeling less in control of your work, and to have less influence over your company and its profitability. There is a sense amongst a large number of you that the job has become significantly harder and less pleasurable.
And to be fair, none of this has come as a surprise. Just as we expected you to feel much less loyal to your employer, and much more prepared to move to a rival to improve your salary or career prospects.
But what did surprise us was just how much you had begun to loathe certain sections of the recruitment industry. And how badly a large number of you felt that you had been advised.
I use the word "advised" with some caution. Because it is clear that most of you feel that there is no advice coming from many companies, just a not too smart sales pitch and some considerable arm twisting to get you to attend a wholly inappropriate interview. And you are fed up with it.
And you have every right to be.
For over 36 years we have run this agency on a very small, localised basis to ensure personal service, consistency of advice and strong control. We take a very ethical stance deliberately, and have always avoided the temptation to take a short-term fee at the expense of a candidate or a client making the wrong choice.
And I am delighted to say that according to you, you feel that generally we have the service right, and you can trust our advice. (But as we were asking the questions, you would say that, wouldn't you).
Which is not to say that we delight everybody or make no mistakes. Recruitment is too uncertain an art for anyone to be right the whole time. And we do not set out to keep everyone happy - there are always people who have an unrealistic view of their own value in the marketplace. They are nearly always the same people who get upset when somebody else points out the unpalatable truth. But if you want honest advice, then don't get too upset if it doesn't coincide with your opinion.
Until now, however, my opinion had been that to expand would be to risk losing control of the very qualities that have ensured our continued success in an increasingly competitive market. I looked at franchising, but then looked at our own industry and decided that if it wasn't a model that worked well for dealers, it wouldn't work for me.
But I knew we could not stand still, and I too listened to some advice. And then I recruited the right people.
So, in order to improve substantially our capacity, and our ability to get closer to candidates and clients, we are opening two new offices in Northampton and York. Having been in business for over 35 years, the opening of these 2 offices and the related increase in the number of consultants is the most significant expansion the business has undertaken in its long history.
And we have appointed Regional Directors to each, David Ford in Northampton and Zig Curtis in York. Both individuals have many years experience in the industry, stretching from the retail sector, through support services to fleet management and leasing.
They will use this experience in assisting clients based in the Midlands and the North, while I will have to content myself with focusing on overall strategy and the London and Southern activities.
As I said in our Press Release “I have been looking for many years to expand the geographical spread of the business without resorting the franchising. The arrival of David and Zig with their support staff and experience base allows us to serve all motor industry requirements, whether geographically or functionally based. I am delighted with this development.”
Contact numbers are:
Southern: 020 8392 1818
Midlands: 01604 622268
North: 01904 758057
The business still operates all candidate management/access through: www.mtselect.co.uk