Having had our fill of living in the centre of the UK, my family and I are currently packing up our house as we prepare to relocate to the coast, at the end of next week, which has been challenging to say the least in the middle of a global pandemic.

During this move, it's been apparent exactly how seismic the current changes in the estate agent industry are. At the start of the process, we met with the "traditional players"; the well established operators who like to glide into your kitchen with an arsenal of glossy pamphlets and sales figures to overwhelm you with and proceed to justify their proposed fee of several thousand pounds with tales of how they "leverage their unrivaled databases" and "proactively market" your "sensational opportunity". Yawn. 

It was also noticeable how these businesses went out of their way to share horror stories of the "new kids on the block"; the cheap internet based operators who charge a flat fee or, in the case of the company we ultimately went with, no fee at all. The fact that agents so actively disparaged these showed us they were worried by them taking market share and how times were changing in this space for these traditional companies, often accused of making huge fees for doing not very much. 

For those of you interested, having last year very quickly sold a derelict property I had renovated through one of these new flat fee companies, we were happy to use them again and did indeed sell our house in less than a week, so I'd strongly suggest you do the same and ignore the tales of woe from others. 

So why am I sharing all of this, you might wonder?

Well, it hit me recently how the executive search industry is following a very similar trend. 

During my years as an internal Recruitment Manager, covering executive hiring for the company in question, we often relied on the traditional big names in the executive search field. Whilst I should point that out several people did very solid work for us, I also recall meeting with lots of pin-striped apprentice candidate types who waxed lyrical about their unique capabilities, feverishly took job briefs with their expensive "Mont Blanc" pens, charged retained fees of up to 35% of salary and ultimately failed to fill vacancies. 

Since I joined Peoplescout's UK business at the start of the year, I've honestly been bowled over at the effectiveness and the simplicity of their (executive) search function. Much like the newer estate agencies, they may not have the same reputational  presence in the traditional executive search market. However, I have witnessed first hand how they have delivered an outstanding service to my clients time and time again at a fraction of the cost of the better known alternatives. 

The team is managed by a person who has over three decades of experience within the field and is as well placed to deliver as anyone, which shows in the results my own clients have had on six occasions so far this year.  Much like the estate agency market, clients will surely begin to realise that with the changes in technology over the last decade, there are much more efficient ways of delivering the same results in a more lean and cost effective manner. 

As a slight aside, attached is an interesting article about the evolution of the search industry in light of the current pandemic-related challenges which also highlights the benefits of how an organisation with both RPO and executive search capabilities is perfectly positioned to help clients right now. 

So next time you have a senior level appointment to make, I'd strongly recommend you question whether you really need to pay a 30+% fee . Instead, get in touch with our team and I think you'd be very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the service and the results our search team delivers, week in week out for clients across all sectors. It has been extremely eye-opening for me personally.