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.