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The Marketplace

The sales recruitment marketplace has been slowly emerging from its nadir two years ago. As a company we have seen it wax and wane over the past twenty years. The credit crunch recession certainly plumbed a depth which was unheard of in the last comparable downturn in the early nineties. It was almost a daily occurrence at the time to get calls from old colleagues and industry friends dropping all pretence and asking what the hell do we do now. As we know, many have dropped out or gone to the wall. Over the past year we have seen life and hope gradually returning to the forest, or certainly our part of it.

The banks crashing and going to hell in a hand cart phase made client contact an opportunity in many cases to share gallows humour and comradely support as expansionist recruitment was a wild and certifiable unlikelihood. There emerged a reservoir of highly capable sales staff who were out of work through no fault of their own and often forced to take significantly reduced packages. Perfect matches were often outgunned by sublimely suitable candidates. Thames Valley employers enjoyed for the first time a truly client driven marketplace. Many capitalised on this transient advantage to upgrade their teams. As is the case when enjoying newly found powers, only some acted to make the most of this passing window of opportunity. In the last days of summer last year this glut of talent evaporated and the premium on sales talent started to rise again back to reasonable levels. 


Scott Cofton Associates

It is heartening to see such an increase in vacancies,
old friends getting back in touch letting us know that they have made it through. Equally, it is great to see new forces and new ideas emerging as the start of market renewal makes itself known. Certainly, it is the clients who add real value and who provide essential products and services who are powering back with enhanced strength. What we are seeing, I hope, is the start of real productivity making itself known. There has been much talk latterly of cuts and budgets for growth. The reality is that when they are given the space and incentive any recovery, export driven or otherwise, will be made to happen by sales people like you. This is not a time for order takers or customer service folk with delusions about their capabilities. These are essential roles but this is a time when companies will forge their future possibilities on the back of real trail blazing sales flair and tenacity.


One of the pleasures of the past two years has been seeing old veterans rediscovering forgotten skills and disciplines. It is a real joy to see new talent growing up knowing only the tough challenges of this bear market. They will have grown up in the school of hard knocks and tough surprises. As things pick up, they will find that their skill levels and attitude will bring them fantastic rewards. Only a fool would talk of green shoots and there is no doubt that there is still more poison to pass through the economic system before things can move forward in a way that anyone can notice. Even if it is just the end of the beginning, the sales recruitment market is adjusting to the realities of a new decade and is reflecting that real talent is needed more than ever. We are seeing hope and investment.

The nation is not going to be hanging out bunting any time soon but in our market the fear of moving, hiring and expending is starting to dissipate. There are better jobs and profits to be had; let’s hope it stays that way.


Scott Cofton Associates

Scott Cofton Associates Ltd

Scott Cofton Associates Ltd: Davidson House, Forbury Square, Reading RG1 3EU - Tel: 01189 393935 or 08705 133312 - Email: scottcofton@eclipse.co.uk