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Entrepreneurs Panel

Richard O'Sullivan
Jennie Johnson
Tony Caldeira
Steve Purdham
Laura Tenison
Brian Hay
David Pollock
Michael Oliver
Julie Meyer
Charlie Mullins
Debbie Pierce
Jeremy Roberts

To hire or not to hire?

Debbie Pierce

The former market stall worker founded the Bury Black Pudding Company on the web in May 2002 on a budget of £1,000. The firm completed its move to a major production facility in 2005 and now churns out more than 20 tonnes of black pudding a week to cater for demand over the internet, at its longstanding stall in Bury Market and from its distributors including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Iceland and Londis.


I need to hire some more sales staff. I have a new operations director who wants to let a recruitment agency do all of the work but I’ve always done the hiring in the past. I quite like doing my Alan Sugar impression. What shall I do?


The first thing I would look at is what’s your track record like with the staff you have hired?

If you’ve recruited some good people and don’t have a high turnover of staff then that helps your case; if your track record isn’t good then you may have to consider giving the agency route a try.

I would ask their reasons for wanting to change to a recruitment agency and why it would benefit the company. Are they doing it because your time is more valuable doing something else within the business which takes priority?

I would also ask a long-standing colleague to answer you honestly if they think you hiring the staff has worked well or whether the company would benefit from trying an agency.

Obviously you can’t keep doing it just because you like interviewing: it has to be right for the company too.

There are cost implications when using agency but it’s cost effective if the time you are taking to do that job is seriously affecting the business in other areas.

It really does depend on their reasons for wanting to change but if you can prove that you have a good track record and you have back-up from other colleagues who also think that you doing it is better for the company then I would put your case forward and try to keep it within your role.

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