Huntsworth hiring freeze

Lord Chadlington has urged PR agencies across Huntsworth to cut back on recruitment.

Cutting back: Lord Chadlington
Cutting back: Lord Chadlington

The group chief executive’s comments will set alarm bells ringing, coming days after a similar directive issued by WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell.

Chadlington told PRWeek: ‘You have to be very responsible at this time when hiring people. I have said to everyone across the company that this will be a very difficult two years and we have to be careful to employ people in the right circumstances. If you want to call this a hiring freeze, then call it a hiring freeze.’

Huntsworth’s PR agencies include Grayling, Trimedia and The Red Consultancy.

Chadlington warned the PR industry as far back as January this year that it needed to act immediately if it was to weather this year’s recession (PRWeek, 18 January, 2008).

He advised agencies that cutting costs should have been a top priority. ‘You can always cut far deeper than you think is possible,’ he said in January. ‘Profits matter but cash matters so much more. Costs and cash are the key issues in recession days.’

Earlier this year Chadlington also said agency MDs should face layoffs early rather than trying to delay the inevitable.

Last week, it emerged that Sorrell had issued an internal email across WPP ordering any job offers made but not accepted be withdrawn immediately.

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