Rockliffe unveils own recruitment business

Former Burson-Marsteller joint London practice head Richard Rockliffe has laun­ched a healthcare comms rec­ruitment agency, Che­m­­istry Search & Selection.

The move will see him challenging established marcoms recruiters for business and comes at a time when health PR practitioners are finding it increasingly tough to fill senior vacancies.

Chemistry opened for business on 1 January. Rockliffe resigned from B-M – where he ran the health practice alongside Amie Malkin – last autumn (PRWeek, 8 Sep 2006) after three years with the WPP agency. He previously worked for Adelphi Communications.

He said: ‘I am not aware of anyone else from a senior agency position who has moved from health PR into recruitment for a number of years.’

Rockliffe hopes to work with PR and med ed agencies, plus pharma firms’ in-house comms teams. He has no plans to work with healthcare advertising or market research companies.

He explained: ‘I have no great aspirations to become a huge recruitment consultancy – I just want to keep
the service tailored and personal.’

Established companies that Chemistry will be challenging for business include Surrey-based Skill­frame Executive, Isling­­­ton’s Media Contacts, central London-based Hanson Search, and Camden Town-based Fresh Connect.

Chemistry is based in the North-West London suburb of Pinner, where Rockliffe lives. He said he would travel to meet candidates ‘wherever is convenient for them’.

The Healthcare Communications Association ann­ual Benchmarking Survey each year shows that recruitment, particularly for senior staff, is a major headache for healthcare agencies.

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