Embrace optimism – not personnel as overheads

Willott Kingston Smith suggests that design groups shouldn’t staff up too quickly (News, DW 20 May). It has shown that the gross income per head is down and that profit margins have fallen.

Willott Kingston Smith suggests that design groups shouldn’t staff up too quickly (News, DW 20 May). It has shown that the gross income per head is down and that profit margins have fallen.

As an accountancy firm, does WKS understand the benefits associated with taking on new staff, or does it see people as a drain on overheads?

If design commands the lowest gross income of the five marketing sectors we should try to change this and not accept it. If we do more to change perceptions now, we’ll allow the industry to be devalued. Employing new people can grow profit, rather than being yet another overhead, as suggested.

For example, putting the right account team in place will allow account directors and client partners to manage the client relationship, this will lead to a true partnership with clients, helping to change perceptions, increase value and increase fees and profit margins. This still means finding the right people – it’s an investment and not a quick fix – but if there were a quick fix we’d all be doing it.

The return of optimism to the sector should be embraced, especially as it has been a long time coming for many. Then again I have a vested interest in recruitment, so maybe my opinion is biased.

Julian Roberts

Consultant

Price Jamieson

London W1D

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