Form is temporary, class is permanent

It is traditional at this time of the year to reflect upon the previous twelve months. I shall not be disappointing, but rather than listing chronologically the events, it is more appropriate that I take an overall view and try to gain both closure and experience from it.

2013 was the year of the liar, the bully and the cheat. It was the year in which clients wasted hours and hours of everyone’s time before not making decisions which would have been for the good of their business, and the year in which senior candidates thought it acceptable to cancel board level interviews at half an hour’s notice. It was the year when candidates turned jobs down the day before they were due to start and the year where candidates threatened legal action when told that their CVs were a work of fiction.

It was the year when clients hammered fees down and then refused to pay. It was the year when clients lied to your face and slagged you off behind your back. It was the year of the impossible to fill job.

And yet, despite all of this, we have emerged at the other end, bloodied but not broken. We have learnt vaulable lessons about what is expected from us as professionals and learnt to cherish the loyalty and positivity of a large number of our clients.  We have always striven to be different, to offer a level and quality of service that is increasingly uncommon in this era of word search and LinkedIn recruitment.  And we have always been honest with our candidates, even if the truth is occasionally unpalatable.

The easy road is to accept that our way is the harder path, give in to the market trend and be like everyone else.  However, I am not like that, and have not spent the majority of my adult life being honest and treating people fairly and equally, just to chuck it all away now because people’s expectations have been driven so low by the overall perception of the sector in which I have chosen to work.  One year of setbacks and hard knocks does not make it a bad business model; far from it, the positive comments and respect in which we are held by the people who matter serve to confirm that our way is the right way, the way which we will continue to follow.

So to those clients and candidates who appreciated our service, approach and even advice in 2013, Happy New Year to you and may 2014 bring you everything you wish for.  And to those clients and candidates who saw the need in 2013 to bully us and lie to us, Happy New Year to you too, and may 2014 bring you everything you wish for.

Because the next time you need us, we will still be here, and we will still be offering the same levels of service, honesty and value for money that we always have.

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