Blog
logo

WHY SOME REFERENCES ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.

Quite recently I decided to get our sitting room floor sanded and stained. I was looking around for a suitable company when our neighbour made a recommendation.

However, I was given the warning: “Make sure you get Kevin.  He’s really good.  But whatever you do, don’t get Nigel. Our friends had a bad experience with him”

I phoned up the flooring company and was told that they couldn’t guarantee who might do the job.  So I eventually had to say that I wouldn’t want Nigel.

I was rather surprised by their response:  “Oh that Nigel!” said the Office Manager, “he was hopeless.  I know he was my uncle and I shouldn’t say it but we got rid of him in the end.  He was absolutely useless.”

I thought this was hilarious. The world of recruitment in general is so politically correct that no one would dare give such a frank reference.

That is good news for all the candidates looking for a job in advertising but bad news for employers who want to get the best talent.

Most companies play safe with a reference and offer very little comment about a candidate’s ability in their job.

As a result most of the other candidates you are up against for a role will have the same anodyne references as you.

From an employer’s perspective this means that all the other candidates in the mix are either as good or as bad as you - depending on how you look at it.

So how do you give yourself a competitive edge in a crowded market?

You need to come up with a brilliant reference that carries real weight; that is honest without fear of any repercussions.  You also need to get a reference that your peers may not have.

You need to get a reference from your Clients.

A Client reference is a powerful weapon since it is generally recognised that a Client will only stand as a referee if they feel you are truly exceptional at your job.

You can use this to your advantage in an interview by stating that you can get a Client reference.

The interviewer will be impressed. After all, who else is better placed to state how good you are at delivering a service to the Client than the Client themselves?

None of the “Nigels” will have a client reference in their back pocket.

Latest Jobs

  • Account Director, Creative Agency, Central London, £45k - £55k: Chew over a creative conundrum!   The Agency for the ... Read More
    Senior Account Manager, Independent Creative Agency, London, £34k - £40k: Are motivated to go the extra mile for a great ... Read More
    Account Manager, Creative Agency, Soho London, £26k - £28k: Got creative baked into your DNA? This agency wants to ... Read More
  • Account Manager, Creative Agency, London, Soho £28k - £35k: Do you fancy jetting off to Cannes to collect a ... Read More
    Account Manager, Creative Agency, London, Soho £28k - £34k: Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the bumpy ride   What’s ... Read More
    Account Manager, Creative Agency, Central London, £30k - £32k: Trapped behind the iron bars of process; longing for creative ... Read More

Testimonials

Y&R Advertising North America
“I have had the pleasure of working with Spectrum 360 for many years. The combination of discreet professionalism and real passion that they put into each search makes them a great team to work with. I have found that they always bring one or two interesting …
Y&R Advertising North America
“Having worked with Spectrum 360 for the last 8 years, I am always assured by the high calibre of CV’s I receive and the vetting process that is done before I even get to meet the candidates.  All the people I have recruited from Spectrum 360 have gone on to…
DLKW Lowe
Ogilvy logo
“I have found working with Spectrum 360 to be a delight. Catherine is hugely responsive, understands both the needs and character of our business, and always puts forward high quality candidates. I have also found her POV on candidates very accurate and very …
Ogilvy
AMV BBDO logo
“AMV BBDO has worked with Spectrum 360 over many years to help find some of the best Account Management talent in the business. Spectrum 360 understands our culture and values and therefore the people who will flourish in their careers here, ensuring high qua…
AMV BBDO
Havas Worldwide London
“I’ve worked with Spectrum 360 for a number of years now.  I have found them to be both pro-active and to have a good understanding of our specific requirements.  This has led to some excellent candidates being passed our way, many of whom we have hired.  …
Havas Worldwide London
“We’ve been working with Spectrum 360 for over fifteen years. Not only are they very dedicated and a pleasure to work with, but they understand what our organisation is about, and consistently put forward high quality candidates from surprising and innovative…
Publicis
adam&eveDDB logo
“Catherine and her team at Spectrum 360 continue to put quality ahead of quantity when it comes to finding the right candidates for our briefs”. Paul Billingsley – Deputy Head of Account Management
adam&eveDDB