When appointing a Senior candidate who says they can bring clients, what do you see?
Pound signs, or someone who would have no hesitation in eventually stealing from you…?
When we recruit Senior level candidates, the brief tends to include a pre-requisite that an individual must be well connected and a proven track record in work winning – which is fine. But then, there are those firms who ask for a business plan. They want to appoint a candidate, but only if there is a very strong possibility that they can bring work, or clients with them, and that financially, “it stacks up”.
What would you prefer? Would you appoint a senior partner who can bring clients from their previous employer, or would you recruit someone with the skills, network, and determination to develop business independently? This is a complex and often debated topic in the business world, and different organisations may have different perspectives on it.
Here are some points to consider:
The Pros of Hiring a Senior Individual with a Client Base:
- Immediate revenue: A senior partner with a client base can bring in revenue from day one.
- Established relationships: They may have strong connections with clients that can lead to long-term business relationships.
- Credibility: Their track record may enhance the firm's credibility in the eyes of clients and competitors.
The Cons of Hiring a Senior Partner with a Client Base:
- Risk of client loss: Clients might follow the partner to their new firm but could also decide to stay with the old firm.
- Cultural fit: Integrating a new partner with a different client base can be challenging for the existing team.
- Dependence on one individual: Relying heavily on one partner for revenue can be risky for the firm's stability.
The Benefits of Recruiting Someone with Independent Business Development Skills:
- Diversification: A partner who can build their client base from scratch can help diversify the firm's revenue sources.
- Team cohesion: Such partners may have an easier time fitting into the firm's culture and working collaboratively with colleagues.
- Long-term growth: Over time, these partners may bring in clients that are loyal to the firm, reducing dependence on any single individual.
Challenges in Developing Business Independently:
- Time and effort: Building a client base from scratch can be time-consuming and require a significant investment of effort.
- Competition: In competitive industries, attracting new clients can be tough.
- Uncertainty: There's no guarantee of success when developing business independently.
- Some firms may choose a mix of both approaches, hiring some senior partners with established client bases and others who can develop business independently.
- It's essential to assess the specific needs and goals for your firm and make decisions that align with your strategic objectives and values.