WHEN we seek a particular service, we look for a specialist. For eye surgery, we would find a doctor who is an optical expert, rather than a general practitioner. For a patent issue, we would find a lawyer who specialises in intellectual property, rather than general legal counsel. Why should recruitment be any different?

If you are looking to hire a communications manager, would you go to a recruitment firm that handles roles across all disciplines and industries including communications? Or would you go to a recruitment firm that specialises purely in placing communications executives?

When my business partner Colette and I co-founded our recruitment business, we knew the market required a specialist public relations (PR) and communications recruiter rather than yet another general recruitment company.

Our backgrounds were in PR and communications, coupled with 10 years’ recruiting experience in these industries, so it made sense to utilise our knowledge of the industry and to efficiently place professionals in the right companies and roles.

Here are five reasons why job seekers and employers should consider working with a niche recruitment firm:




It is consultative

As the people working in the firm understand the industry and live and breathe it, they have a deep knowledge of it. This means they are able to provide insights into current trends and offer advice to both clients and candidates to help find the best fit for their needs.




It builds relationships with the right people

A specialist firm knows “who’s who” in the market and has long-term relationships with high-quality clients and candidates, always keeping abreast with their business and career plans. This means recruiting managers can direct their clients to the best candidates, and their candidates to the best employers.




It focuses on depth rather than breadth

When a niche firm partners with its clients, it is interested in fully understanding their business and culture.

There is no need to waste time explaining to the firm’s professionals what the roles mean and what candidates would have the right skills as they already have a strong understanding of the industry requirements. They just make sure the fit is right.




It asks the right questions

With its specialist knowledge, a niche firm will interview candidates effectively and dig deeper into their previous roles and experience.

This helps it to shortlist candidates who are really right for the job, so that clients find the right person quickly.




It understands chemistry

Even if a candidate looks right on paper, if his personality and chemistry clash with the company’s culture, it will never be a good fit. Niche recruiters who have long-standing relationships with their clients understand their cultures and introduce the right personalities as well as skill sets.


Article by Emma Dale, co-founder and managing director (Asia) at Prospect, a global recruitment business for the PR & corporate communications industry with offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore.