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Agencies & People

Spicerhaart recruitment campaign goes awry following Facebook post

Promotional article published by local paper about working at company's HQ sparks furious online debate about pros and cons of working there.

Nigel Lewis

A recruitment announcement by Spicerhaart reported by a local newspaper on its Facebook page has prompted an unusually fierce public debate between former and current employees over the company’s culture.

The Colchester Gazette, which covers the Spicerhaart HQ, reported that the company is looking for 15 trainee customer service staff for its Haart and Chewton Rose brands.

Group Chief Executive Paul Smith told the paper that: “We see this is a fantastic opportunity to bring young people into the profession who are motivated, enthusiastic and hungry for success.”

But if the estate agency hoped the article might help promote its recruitment campaign, then senior staff may be disappointed.

Hours after the newspaper had posted the Spicerhaart article via its Facebook news stream, a deluge of former and current employees had dived in to both criticise and praise the company.

The wide range of views about Haart expressed within the 200+ comments on the post vary from current employees praising the company’s culture and support for staff, to unhappy former employees who left the company with negative views about their experiences there.

The post has turned out to be every property industry recruitment director’s nightmare, with dozens of former staff airing their less than flattering views about the agency.

These include several former agents who contacted The Negotiator last year to reveal their criticisms over being one of the 300 people made redundant by the company, and who say in the Facebook feed that they are now puzzled by Spicerhaarts’ latest recruitment drive.


A spokesperson for Spicerhaart said: “We are obviously disappointed to read a small number of negative comments on social media about working in our call centre as we have many people who tell us how much they love working here.

However, we know it’s not for everyone as it involves excellent inter-personal skills and communicating with the public, many of whom are concerned about their house move during the pandemic. The challenges have been felt more acutely as many of our team members have been working from home and not experiencing the team spirit and support that comes with working collaboratively in the same environment.

“Let’s keep this in context. There are very few businesses of our size that don’t have some disgruntled staff members and we know that people are more likely to use social media to air negative views not positive ones.

“We know there are many people who do want to work in our call centre – having had over 1,000 applicants in just three days for the roles we are advertising as we are expanding our team, plus we have received hundreds of applications for our vacancies on the Kickstart scheme.”

April 1, 2021

One comment

  1. Social platforms attract a negative perspective from people that have an axe to grind, yet they talk as if no choice existed – this we know. Quite why the reporting industry feels it appropriate to then spread negatively from a minority at a time when it should be celebrating a market that is growing and has many reasons to be cheerful is a reflection of how agents are viewed by its media partners. Who would have known 12 months ago how things might pan out? It could have been a lot worse I would have thought….

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