Choosing the right partner

Step 2 Longlist

In headhunting the best longlists are not too long, otherwise it is difficult to choose a really strong shortlist. At the end of the day you are usually only going to choose one winner, so a longlist should only include suitably qualified agencies otherwise you may waste your own and others’ time in the process. We are aware of instances where over 20 firms have been invited to pitch for a single Brussels project which is plainly ridiculous. A more reasonable longlist might be 6 to 10 firms which requires some preliminary vetting.

Any of the BestinBrussels public affairs and law firms are worth considering for your longlist, however, they all have different relative strengths and areas of specialism. Hence, you should find out which firms have a reputation for working with clients facing issues similar to your own. This information is available on in the Sectors and A to Z firms’ section, their own websites and through consulting the EU Transparency Register.

You should reach out to similar organisations for advice on firms that they have worked with. Be aware that some firms may work with your direct competitors, and so there may be a need to mitigate conflicts of interests, or omit certain consultancies on this basis. Also:

  • Call or email a number of consultancies and request a written or verbal presentation of company credentials, to include case studies of work similar to the objectives you have.
  • Follow up with some consultancies if you require any further information or if you need to clarify anything with regard to their credentials.
    Based on your enquiries, refine your search to a shortlist of between 3 to 5 agencies that you feel are best positioned to fulfil your needs.
  • Ensure you cross-reference the experience and expertise of the shortlisted consultancies against your own requirements.
  • Having compiled a shortlist of consultancies that might suit, brief them on your business and objectives and ask them to respond in writing how they would approach the task, the team who would work with you and what costs would be – both fees and third party costs.