Agency side PRs and marketers are scarce. We know this. But clients don’t seek my help when searching for the future gems of their agency just to be told they are super hard to find. They want solutions. Sadly my candidate cloning machine that duplicates idyllic PR agency candidates is still a work in progress. So in the meantime, how do I deliver? I’ve learnt to push my clients’ boundaries.

Every client has an idea of what they want. They can be pretty sure of what they need. My question is this. You think that is what you want because it's what you already have. But how do you know that you don’t want or in fact need what you are yet to experience? 

When recruiting we all love a candidate that perfectly fits the brief and ticks every box. But sometimes, time, resource and the team’s sanity just doesn’t allow us to hold out for this preferable scenario. 

Enter…The Curve Ball Candidate. I love finding a killer curve ball. A candidate that on paper I know my clients wouldn’t give a second glance. The candidate that only ticks half the boxes. Yet, the candidate that brings with them a heap of other boxes that would add significant value to your business. The candidate that brings experience to your agency that will offer an additional expertise to your clients that they don’t already have access to. The candidate that I ask you to trust me on, that turns out to be the best risk you ever took.

Conventional candidates are becoming scarcer because skillsets are evolving. Candidates' expertise is becoming broader and the lines that distinguish candidates from one division to another are becoming blurred. The market is changing and agencies need to move with it. Broadening the skillset within your team, not matching a candidate to a brief, but matching a brief to a fabulous candidate, is how the agencies of today will continue to grow. 

My questions to the clients and candidates respectively who are reading is, which agency do you want to be and which agency do you want to be a part of? The one that stays rigidly within the constraints of a brief sheet and who will inevitably remain in the safety of the green and blue runs? Or an agency who buys into the age of the curve ball candidate and is unafraid of venturing off-piste and flying over the reds and blacks? 

There is no better time to embrace the curveball.

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