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Brand Survey

Brand Survey

When we decided to revamp our website in early 2010 we thought it would be a good idea to ask our people what they thought Sacco Mann stood for and what made us different. We asked everyone to answer a few questions, we collated the answers and examined them, to try and distil the essence of what we're about and what makes us unique.

The results were both interesting and valuable, and whilst it was not what we initially intended, we thought it was worth making this available for anyone to see, as it provides a useful, honest and unedited* view of how we see ourselves. For clients, candidates and indeed consultants, who might be thinking of joining us, it may provide useful insight.

- John Sacco

* The only changes are the omission of client names denoted by ****

Question 1. What do you think are the core values of Sacco Mann and / or what do you think Sacco Mann stands for?

(1) Honest, accurate career consultancy and advice - we are not just a recruitment agency. Stability, consistency, assurance = standards of excellence.
(2) Core values as I see them, are good quality, consistent service from consultants who know what they are talking about. Honesty and integrity when dealing with both clients and candidates.
(3) Efficiency, Professionalism, Going the Extra Mile, Integrity, Adaptability; experienced individuals working within a close-knit team, listening to the needs of both individuals and teams and taking a consultative approach to provide a bespoke solution to those needs.
(4) I think the Core Values are honesty, integrity and respect for our candidates and clients (professionality). I think Sacco Mann stands for - "good business".  I see us as the John Lewis of the recruitment world.
(5) Quality of service, talented consultants, with excellent market knowledge.  Ethical approach.
(6) We provide an honest and quality service and strive to deliver a service which is in the best interests of our clients and candidates.
(7) Quality, Integrity, Ethical, Proactive, Caring, Ambitious.
(8) Quality recruitment - only sending out CVs which we KNOW will be of interest.
Consistency - for our clients and candidates to be contacted WHEN we said we would.
Long standing relationships - we are not here to make one placement with a client and disappear, we are here to have long lasting and well developed relationships with our clients in order for us to best serve their needs and to find them candidates which suit their ethos. This in turn, is extended to our candidates as we can tell them more about our clients.
To offer 'that much more' than our competitors - by way of all of the above.
(9) Quality Service; Confidentiality; Professional Service; Honest; Ethical.
(10) Integrity, Professionalism, Exceeding Expectations, Responsibility.
(11) Trust, Honesty, Integrity, Openness.
(12) Honesty, Integrity, Quality of Service, Long term relationships.

Question 2. Should these be the core values?

(1) Yes.
(2) Yes, from speaking to candidates, clients and competitors in the market, Sacco Mann stands out for not being the sharks in the market and understanding clients' & candidates' needs.
(3) Yes, in that they make us money, they help us to build and maintain productive, long-standing relationships with clients and candidates, whilst ensuring we remain clear of the somewhat muddied reputation some recruitment agencies have and we sleep well at night!
(4) I think so.
(5) Yes, I think quality of service is exceptionally important and I think it is something we are all proud of.
(6) I do believe these should continue to be our core values.
(7) Yes.
(8) Yes! Although many firms claim to offer the same; therefore I think the testimonials need to go hand in hand with the above to support our claims.
(9) No Answer.
(10) Yes. Personally I would include Listening. "Sacco Mann Listening not just Talking!"
(11) Yes, I think it shows we are not about the quick buck.
(12) Yes.

Question 3. Are we at all different to our competition & if so how?

(1) Yes. We're not always about the bottom line and we sometimes deliver news that the client / candidate doesn't want to hear.
(2) I think Sacco Mann has better relationships with many clients in the market, which is partly through having long serving members of staff who have worked with the same clients for a number of years, but also because we listen to clients and try to understand their needs and offer them a solution rather than just shove a candidate in to make a fee. A client even said that to me directly!
(3) A lot of our competitors - yes. We're not and never will be a CV shop BUT we undoubtedly miss out on some of the volume "lucky" fees by taking a less broad brush approach.
(4) Yes, I don't believe any of our competitors actually work to the above values.  In my experience, they may try to work to these values but will, at the end of the day, do what they need to do to ease the pressure put upon them to generate revenue at the levels they need to.
(5) Yes I think we are.  I think we are better than our competitors in a number of ways, but I don't think we necessarily promote that enough; perhaps there are ways to get the message across to both clients and candidates that we are good at what we do and that is why they should come to us.
I think our consultants are better than the majority of our competitors.  I know that is very subjective thing to say, but I think both clients and candidates acknowledge that we know what we are talking about, we are honest and upfront in our approach and we work harder than most to achieve results for our clients.
(6) I think we do go that extra step to understanding our clients' needs.
(7) We care; we go the extra mile, take longer to understand candidates' motivations and take a long term view on things (applies to clients too)…Not just chucking CVs out, we are more consultative, we place high importance on building relationships and being credible.
(8) The high retention of staff at SM means that our clients are able to form relationships with the consultants. Certainly from client visits I have had, the feedback that we are one of the only firms who says what we are going to do, and when we are going to do it. A 'no-nonsense' approach where we understand our clients' and candidates' needs, they understand us, with the end result being a positive one with no crossed wires at any stage.
NO CV SENT WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT (hey that rhymes!) Without exception, our IP competitors send out candidate CVs without prior consent at some point. By pointing out that we do not under any circumstance do this, it makes the candidate trust us. And by acknowledging this with clients we also earn their appreciation.
(9) Take time to talk and understand the candidate, what they are looking for and what is important to them.
Can be trusted to act in a professional manner and candidates can be confident we will act discretely.
Good working relationships with clients, long standing relationships.
(10) In some aspects yes. I spoke to ***** (a recruitment consultant) yesterday from *** (a competitor) and she was impressed with Sacco Mann. She feels we are distinguishable from the competitors. I'm not as sure clients and candidates are as aware. We could do with highlighting the following:
•Who else solely covers legal recruitment in the North? This must be a key selling point.
•What other business heads / owners are still recruiting day in, day out within the Northern legal marketplace? I'd suggest not many. Sacco Mann should make more of this selling point.
•The 100% guarantee period is a fantastic, unique selling point.
I don't want to sound critical of anyone here but I think people can sound a bit too obsessed with the competition. It is of great use to know about your competition of course. The more you know, the more you can point to the benefits of dealing with Sacco Mann.
(11) Less pushy, better knowledge, not about the quick fee.  Look for a long term win / win.
(12) Yes, I know a lot of our competitors will use these values as their own, but I believe Sacco Mann actually lives and breathes them as a company rather than just saying so for show!!

Question 4. Do you think if we were to randomly sample 100 clients and candidates who had dealt with us at some point that they would have
the same answer? And if not why?

(1) I think my clients would be mostly very positive.
(2) Yes, I believe we would get the same answer. I think that even the people we don't place we offer a good service to.
(3) Not necessarily - I think the strength of our reputation, image and brand lies in the extent to which people have experienced and used our service, so their response will vary according to how often and how recently they've had dealings with us, and how much experience they've had of recruitment agents generally in order to give some comparison.
(4) Mostly, yes I do, but on occasion, consultants (who feel under pressure themselves and or indeed are under pressure) may encourage a move away from these key values to benefit themselves.
(5) I think clients would agree more than candidates.  I don't think we currently have the resources to offer a top notch service to all of the candidates who are live on the database.  Because we 'own' clients I think the service they receive can differ due to different consultants' style / ability.  I think it is important to keep the bar high when we recruit consultants to ensure clients receive a consistent level of service.
(6) Not necessarily, due to the fact that we deliver a particular style of service and if the client will not allow us to provide it (ie ***** (client) or *** (client) clients), it is very difficult to show them our best side.
(7) No - everyone will have had different experiences - depends on area of law / market conditions / geography.
(8) Yes I honestly think they would. Due to the fact that we are consistent, we offer quality rather than volume recruitment, the testimonials speak for themselves.
(9) Positive and complimentary about Sacco Mann.
(10) From what I have ascertained Sacco Mann's reputation is a good one with both candidates and clients. They might not directly refer to the things above but if they thought about it, I imagine they view Sacco Mann as a trusted and respectable recruitment partner.
I like the idea of working on a way of asking our clients and candidates more about what they think of us. Get them to suggest themselves how Sacco Mann could distinguish themselves more from their competitors.
(11) I think they would all think we spent more time with them than other agents.
(12) I think they would to an extent, but I don't think it's actually portrayed externally as much as it could be.

Question 5. If you were to ask your top ten clients what they thought of Sacco Mann and if we were in any way different from the competition what would they say

(1) I think they'd agree with the points raised above in most cases.
(2) Head of Legal at *** (client) said I would always be top of his list to call when he needed someone as, rather than just send a bunch of CVs, I try to meet their criteria as much as is possible. In the locum team I think the lack of candidates we have who get sacked or don't work out, demonstrates that we get the key things for our clients right. Many clients are put off locums because of previous bad experiences and it is incredibly rare that we ever facilitate those bad experiences.
(3) I hope they'd say what I've said above! Alot of our testimonials do - but I suspect it may depend on how recently they've had dealings with me / us.
(4) I think they would say we are different due to our values - ie we tend to listen, care, send the right people rather than volume and offer a professional service.  But they may say that whilst that is nice, it doesn't necessarily meet their recruitment needs - as to a certain extent, the market is still candidate led.
Some geographical areas (which are better serviced by a volume approach) and / or which we do not contact often enough, may not have heard of us as much as our competitors who have a more volume approach and / or more consultants who are targeted to call people for the sake of calling them! We are taking steps to fix this.
(5) They would say we know what we are talking about, we provide a good service, we are honest in our approach, we care about what we do and are committed to doing it well.
(6) I think the majority would say we are different as we go that extra step to really understanding their needs.
(7) We act like more of a consultancy, some would say we have better candidates, though not all, ethical (I hope), knowledgeable, more selective. We ask questions to elicit the best info - and meet with them!! More confident - intelligent.
(8) We are personable. We make the effort to visit our clients. We offer more than just a recruitment service (salary advice / market trends / general discussions). We understand and appreciate their needs (WE LISTEN!).
(9) No Answer.
(10) Not particularly applicable to me. Much the same as above though, I'd imagine.
(11) Little hard to say at the moment!
(12) I think the response would be positive, I also believe that they would appreciate that we are not a pushy agency.

Question 6. If you were to ask your top clients why they used Sacco Mann what would they say?

(1) As above.
(2) Because we do a good job, and if we honestly do not have anyone that fits the bill, we will tell them and be honest as to why we are struggling, rather than force an inappropriate fit on them. We work with them rather than for them.
(3) We take time to listen and understand their business, we send appropriate CVs rather than bombarding them with rubbish or spec CVs; we advise on matters other than just recruitment, but we're not pushy; we're efficient, communicative and we have integrity; we'll go the extra mile and if we can't come up with a solution to the initial instruction, we'll respectfully suggest alternatives.
(4) I would hope & think they would say it was because of me and because of my synergy with the values of this business.
(5) They understand what we are looking for and are committed to delivering.  If they can't supply, they are honest and let me know.  Commitment to quality.
(6) Long term relationships in place.
(7) Because we have good candidates, understand the firm and what they are wanting to achieve, add value, because they trust what we say & "like" dealing with us.
(8) Good reputation, Word of mouth, Recommendation, A professional yet friendly / non 'pushy' approach, Tailor-made recruitment to their needs, Cutting down their time by finding the people we know they will like.
(9) Have the best candidates. Honest. Professional. Candidates fully prepared for interview and are fully aware of the role and the business.
(10) Regional coverage, professional, respected, trusted, previous good experience and because of John Sacco & Rachael Mann.
(11) As above.
(12) Long term relationships and keep delivering what I need.

Question 7. If you asked a candidate who has re-registered with us, why they re-registered with us and what they thought of our core values, what might they say?

(1) At the moment, I think there is little candidate loyalty as in a lot of cases they just want / need a job and are talking to anyone who potentially offers them options. I do however feel we have a pretty fine reputation in the marketplace and (to my knowledge), we rarely end up fighting or receiving bad press. This is on account of some of the points raised above regarding our standards of excellence and the procedure and etiquette of our practice.
(2) They re-register because they have faith that we will do a good job on their behalf; I hope they think our core values are listening to their motivators (or needs) and trying to prioritise these when searching for a job for them - be it money, location, caseload etc. so integrity and honesty being our core values.
(3) That we impressed them more than other agents they registered with last time, that we listened to what they were trying to achieve rather than trying to fit them into our own agenda by suggesting jobs that were clearly inappropriate; that we thought outside the box and suggested appropriate alternatives that they may not have thought of; that we kept in touch and communicated with them regularly.
(4) I think some would say it was because of our CVs but I also think a large majority register with us because of the jobs we handle - not sure they would know what our core values are but I hope they would feel they were being given good advice and the opportunity to make their own process and to be treated with honesty and respect.
(5) Referred candidates may say that quality of service is a core value, but I think candidates who find us through the website etc may not know what our core values are or why we feel we are different from our competitors.
(6) No Answer.
(7) Because we are proactive, we care, we work as a team - we want to get the best result for them and not for ourselves.
(8) Honesty. Doing what we say we are going to do. Giving updates! Recommendation - people have had good experiences with us.
(9) Quality and professional service; Honest.
(10) I don't imagine it would be directly at the forefront of their mind at the time.
I'd imagine the point of the "values" is to help us guide our business strategies, our behaviour, and our relationships with clients and candidates.
(11) Honesty, Openness.
(12) I imagine they will have registered with Sacco Mann mainly via two ways. 1. Saw a job on the internet and sent in CV. 2. They were recommended by a friend who had previous experience of Sacco Mann.
Core values would be looking out for the candidates' interests, not just chasing their next fee.

Question 8. If you asked an Advertising response (before we act for them) why they applied to us, do you think our brand would have had any bearing on their decision? If so what?

(1) Not sure whether we've had enough coverage in The Lawyer to be able to tell, however our brand is familiar and regular in the LSG. I know we are looking at how we advertise as more people use the Web, however I think continued presence in the LSG should remain. As a publication, I don't think it has a massive amount of credibility to lawyers in the commercial / corporate fields, however it's still a place all lawyers go to when looking for a new role. Regular presence in it preaches stability, consistency, assurance - again all key Sacco Mann attributes.
(2) I think applications on TL / LSG are a combination of prominence on the websites / LSG and the kind of roles that we are offering as well as our branding and reputation within the market. I think branding is more important for advertising in LSG / other publications than on the internet which I think is more a matter of how high up the listings we come.
(3) I've had comments in the past that candidates have liked our ads, but more often it's the job they've responded to, or the regularity of our appearance in the LSG / CIPA. That said we've had candidates recently who've contacted us via Linked In who've commented that they like the look of my profile (!) as well as the company's website.
(4) Not really at the moment because I think apart from the logo and the familiarity with the logo, we do not have a brand presence, as such.  Also I believe that most candidates that come in through the LSG come in off jobs and if they come in off TL (so long as we have large volumes often in the searches - so we look like we are in the same ball park as our key online competitors e.g. ***), the same. Northern focus and longevity of brand may help but I do think in this market, it is job driven.
(5) On some candidates yes and on some no.  I think there are many candidates who have heard of Sacco Mann and therefore respond to a well known name, but whether they know that we stand out from our competitors in terms of quality of service I'm not sure.  I think recommended candidates have a very good image of Sacco Mann.
(6) I think the brand does have an impact on people applying to a certain degree, i.e. a recognised name.
(7) No to be honest - they seem to have no idea what / who they are applying for / to half the time.
(8) N/A!
(9) No Answer.
(10) Same as previous question.
(11) Yes, established firm.
(12) Very little initially, unless they had previous direct dealings / experience with Sacco Mann.

Question 9. If you asked a candidate registered with a number of agents, at the end of the process, (someone who we have placed or at least got to interview stage with) what would they say about our service / actions? Is this in any way different from our competitors?

(1) No Answer.
(2) We have a couple of candidates who are multi-registered who have said they wished they had registered with us earlier - as we really assisted them in looking for a role. I think that whilst we are assertive and professional we never stray into the aggressive and try to get our candidates to take a role that doesn't really suit them for whatever reason; which is another reason we don't suffer from candidates falling out. That, I think, is a crucial element to the way we work.
(3) Our levels of communication are often commented on as being better than other companies, along with the number of options / interviews we've come up with - i.e. even if we've not placed them, they've felt that we've really worked hard for them. This compares with a lot of comments about CVs going into a black hole with competitors. Also we've often had comments back that feedback has been more comprehensive through us from interviews and applications generally.
(4) Yes I would think they would say that we did less for them then the other agents they had registered with before us (because we would not be able to market that candidate very much), but that we were nice and that we treated them with respect.
(5) I think they would be very happy with our service and in some ways I think it would differ to our competitors.  Many of our competitors are pushy when it comes to offer stage, whereas I think we manage the offer process far better than many of our competitors. I think we have the right balance of assertiveness and supportive advice to enable the candidate to feel like they have made their own decision.
(6) No Answer.
(7) Yes different - more informative, there for them throughout and at all stages of the process, have contacts / ways in with the main clients that others don't, obvious we care and are looking to get the best result for them, respected and respect the job that we do / part we play, more creative.
(8) Yes, very different, due to the fact that we provide an honest and tailored service to their needs. We listen to what they're looking for and take that on board rather than telling them about jobs they won't be interested in.
We provide updates rather than just going quiet. Even if there is no great response or nothing to report, we keep in touch.
(9) Kept them updated and honest throughout the whole process. Professional Service. Ethical.
(10) I'd imagine they'd see very little difference on the whole. It would be a good post sales question to ask every client and candidate though. It'd help with the "we are listening" idea.
Do we offer tips on CVs, cover letters, interviewing skills, networking etc? Will these be included somewhere on the new site?
(11) We don't really try to sell to them, we present them the info and advise them impartially.
(12) Less pushy and more consultative, working for their best interests! This would not be the case for some other agencies.

Question 10. How would you define Sacco Mann as a business?

(1) As above. We've been in the business for a number of years, are established and have a lot of years' recruitment consultancy expertise within us. We don't simply rely on recruiting ex - lawyers like some, recruitment is about the people and understanding people and what they want. I think we perhaps listen a bit more rather than just tick boxes. We're an independent and specialist Legal and IP Recruitment Consultancy, trying to work in partnership and because we're not a plc, we can often offer a more bespoke and tailored service.
(2) I'll come back to you on this one - everything I've tried to write sounds rubbish so going to come back to it.
(3) We're an experienced, close-knit team of consultants who pride ourselves on delivering a service that matches the standards of the professions we deal with - and the professionals within them. Because we're owned and managed by fee-earning consultants who set those standards, we can and do adopt a more adaptable, personable approach to each and every person we do business with.
(4) Fun, stable, traditional and caring.
(5) Medium sized recruitment company with an enviable reputation in the market.  Good quality consultants and quality of service at the core of what we do.
(6) An established consultancy who deliver a transparent and bespoke quality service.
(7) Progressive, Commercial, Ambitious.
(8) No Answer.
(9) Trusted in our industry. Both candidates and clients would speak highly of us. Ethical.
(10) A respected and trusted recruitment partner dealing predominately with clients and candidates in the North of England.
(11) The leading regional specialist Legal and IP recruitment consultancy.  With one of the largest and most experienced teams in the region focusing on Private Practice, In house, Trade Mark & Patents & Temporary recruitment solutions.
(12) Bespoke Boutique Legal and IP Agency with strong moral values and an ethical business approach.

Question 11. Do you have any views on what our brand (i.e. the message we want to send to the market about who we are) should be?

(1) "We're listening".........Think someone's done this? Think the "blog" idea was good where we actually ask our candidates and clients what they are looking for from us and seeing how realistic they are and how we can possibly service them.
(2) It is so difficult to capture the essence of Sacco Mann in a visual form! I think the key thing is that we offer a service above the rest of the market. Long standing relationships with clients allow us to fully understand job specs and ensure that we are not just a CV sending service. We offer quality over quantity!
(3) I've not had as much chance to think about this as I'd like but I wonder about rather than waiting for people to experience our service to appreciate how well we compare to others, we could be harder hitting: i.e. be more up front about some of the negatives we hear about others, and how we set ourselves apart from that.
(4) I think the brand should be a reflection of the agreed values of the business - based on everyone's opinion - and should culminate in a strong value message of a forward thinking and successful recruitment business who aim to make a difference to people and their businesses in a market where not many of our competitors genuinely seem to care.
I think our brand should be about "Good Business Always" - aims to deal honestly with customers, securing their loyalty and trust by providing outstanding service".  I also think that this brand should be driven through consistently with all aspects of our marketing i.e. online and paper.
Sorry if I have not worded above very succinctly - hope it comes across as I wish it to and please do let me know if you would like me to explain anything further.
(5) From a locum perspective I would like our brand to be recognised as a national player, we are no longer new to this market and we service clients across the country; it would therefore be great if we could be recognised as having a national presence.
For Sacco Mann as a company I would like the Brand to be associated with the things I have mentioned above.  Quality of Service, Excellent market knowledge and ethical / professional approach.
(6) No Answer.
(7) Continue as it is & tighten up on core values / make it more obvious what we stand for / how fab we are.
(8) An honest and quality recruitment consultancy who value the needs of both of our clients and candidates, which is shown by our testimonials to date. We are here to form long lasting relationships with our clients and to gain a strong rapport with our candidates - yielding recommendations and further strong candidates from them for us to help.
At the end of the day, we listen to what should be done and get the job done with efficiency, yet maintaining high quality.
(9) Work Ethically. Professional. Have quality jobs and candidates. Honest. Confidentiality assured.
(10) The value and the brand must be clearly interlinked. Integrity, Professionalism, Exceeding Expectations, Responsibility and Listening.
Ensure the brand is represented in marketing material always as "you / customer orientated" rather than "me / business orientated."
More effort should be made to communicate the values and brand continually and consistently to clients and candidates.
(11) That we do the right thing for them long term.  We enable them to develop in the direction they want to go.  We advise them the best way to get to where they want to go.
(12) I think this brand (see previous answer) needs to be portrayed externally as often as possible, it is a very difficult thing to do and relies on word of mouth and testimonials more so than just shouting about it. But if we can get a reputation as being not only the best, but also as an agency with a "proven genuine" high moral business code then that is a real USP as I think agencies really struggle to differentiate themselves from one another  in any way!
(13) The only thing I can comment on is candidates. One of the reasons I think candidates re-register with us again is for the excellent service they have had in the past, the continued service they get and the fact that we do genuinely care and want to help them again,  AND make them feel they are just not a name on a database

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