Sean and I sit down for our one on one first thing Thursday morning. I’m usually there wide-eyed and bushy tailed, pencil sharpened ready to tell him about the wows and woes of running an agency rec to rec desk. He’ll arrive 5 minutes late, skateboard in hand, blasting the latest urban music chugging down the last drop of his ‘Manic Melon’ Monster energy drink. Once he’s done showing me the fresh pack of obscene playing cards he’s picked up, we get on with our meeting. The dynamic isn’t that far removed from that restaurant scene in the seminal film Heat. Pacino and De Niro on opposite sides of the thin blue line, much like Sean’s roots being internal/HR and myself, Agency. Pacino quips “You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do” which is pretty much the tone of our chats. At the end of every other meeting, I often conclude with “shit, the blog!” that’s when we start yarning about the week’s news from entertainment to politics; although recently those topics are one and the same. We talk about the changing attitudes of clients and candidate’s unwillingness to play ball. This week however we were left with crumpled up paper strewn around the meeting room floor. Sean pitches something and I savagely shut it down with an apathetic “meh” it’s a subtly power move as I slyly make a mental note to blog about it in a couple of weeks. I come away from our chat without a topic.
The fear creeps in. Am I really going to be the reason the blog misses a beat!? Rain or shine the blog has delivered every Friday since April 2010. If J Rice was the Half-Blood Prince the Whiteboard would be a Horcrux. Writing the blog sans topic is a laborious prospect, starring down the barrel of that particular quandary inspires thirst so in a move completely outside the norm to us here at Rice, me and the bigyin head to the pub. While I was waiting for ol mate to deliver my libation tout suite the vacant lot over the road caught my eye. It was the site of a Better Burger for the better part of 5 years at least. Vultures BBQ bacon burger sh*ts on BB but their chips are pretty good to be fair. I wasn’t mourning the loss of BB as they’ve now taken up residence under the Generator, the site of next week’s Pow Wow (Shameless plug) It was the number of different leasing agencies they were using. It was then when the penny dropped, not unlike an apple on Newton’s head I’d been inspired! Metaphorically leaping out of the bath in my Eureka moment Sean joins me at the table just in time to add some Wozniak context to my Jobs-like genius.
As you can tell from the cover photo; four agencies are combining in an effort to shift this bit of prime real estate. But, is it prime? If a client briefs four recruitment agencies on a role they might believe that it hedges their bets, it gives the role a better chance of landing a suitable placement. I can understand the reasoning but it is very much the view of an outsider. You’ve got eight, count ’em; EIGHT consultants that have that property in their WIP. We know as recruiters that if we get a role exclusively we work that role hard; the client has partnered with you and there isn’t the risk of getting pipped at the finish line by a mystery consultant. If I’m Justin Lowe or Jill Downie walking down Vulcan Ln and I see seven other names on a building I’ve been briefed on I’m focusing my attention elsewhere. Secondly, if we think about the property like a job that’s being presented to a prospective candidate it’s not a good look. Imagine getting the same call four times about a job/property? Does your perception of said prospect change? Of course it does! Is this place built on an ancient Indian burial site or something?? Same with a job, if you’ve got eight consultants hitting the phone, as per your request, the word is getting out sure but at what cost?
People love exclusivity. From a buying perspective, you know that this opportunity you’ve been presented hasn’t been passed about like a dutchie leaving you with a soggy roach at the furthest left of the drum circle. From the selling perspective, you can give your whole arse for someone who has entrusted you with their pride and joy. I’ve no doubt it’ll eventually get leased, to be honest, I’d be tempted to get JR to have a word so that we could potentially have beers delivered through the front window. Unfortunately, I don’t think clients/property owners will see this side of the curtain for what it is. Hopefully, it doesn’t stay vacant for too long but really, I just pray it isn’t replaced with yet another poke bowl joint with food that’s hardly mouth-watering with prices that are just as eye-watering.