The PR industry will reap bigger rewards when both sides of the hiring process take more risks

I could easily devote this column each week to the dramas involving senior-level shuffles in firms and corporations.

I could easily devote this column each week to the dramas involving senior-level shuffles in firms and corporations.

The quality of certain organizations - and individuals - are tested with equal measure on the ears of PRWeek's editorial staff.

On the agency side, it is increasingly clear, as the names and titles spin from brand to brand, that the industry is small and in danger of getting smaller.

It is caught up in a continuous search for known quantities, individuals who can hit the ground billing, and maybe bring a few old clients along while they're at it.

Left unchecked, the pool of established agency talent will be exhausted by its own churn and the profession will begin to resemble some kind of outmoded boys club, where all roads in a career must lead to a vaunted brand in order to mean anything.

In the corporate ranks, the fashion is to report to the CEO, which is no bad thing in itself. But there are real, potentially interesting and influential jobs out there that are left vacant for lack of a solid line to the C-suite.

Underscoring all of this is the eternal search for the guarantee that you've made the right move in picking a person or a job. That's not so surprising for an industry that depends on its people and where its contribution can be difficult to quantify. But on both sides of the equation - hiring or being hired - some risk will often inform greater rewards.

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