The head of a rapidly-expanding Midland marketing and communications agency is making the most of his cognitive psychology expertise to put the right team in place at the firm.

Since June Leamington-based Cognition PR has enjoyed buoyant trading and has taken on several new members of staff to cope.

The firm, which just celebrated its tenth birthday, added four new staff, with the latest Jennifer Ludford, appointed PR manager.

The firm’s managing partner Dr Peter Hughes has a background in cognitive psychology which he believes has helped build a stable, profitable company.

He said “Cognitive psychology looks at how people think, learn and store information. It helped me make wise recruitment choices and I believe that having the right team is what makes Cognition such a success.”

Dr Hughes explained how he applies his psychology training in the recruitment process.

“When I interview, I take professional skill as a given or as something that can be learnt,” he said.  “Instead, I’ll profile the candidate – without using psychometric tests – to help them to understand themselves and what they want.

“The effect is often dramatic and has led successful and unsuccessful candidates to understand their personal priorities and career choices in new ways.

“What I look for are candidates who are flexible in their behaviour and who can adapt quickly to any environment and the people they find in it.

“Typically, if a person uses phrases like “I should have”, “He makes me feel bad”, or “It’s their fault”, it shows inflexibility and they won’t be working at Cognition.

“I want people who have the confidence to see the situation as it is not as they think it ought to be – when they don’t deceive themselves, they won’t deceive their clients.

“These people will also have the clarity of thought to tell the client what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear.

“This can be risky but in my experience that level of directness is always appreciated and builds better relationships.

“In short: strong boundaries, tolerance of mistakes, intolerance of incompetence, a capacity to listen and a fearless approach to “telling it like it is” creates a confident and cohesive team who are actually good for each other and their clients.”

Recent recruit Ms Ludford brings with her nine years in journalism as well as two years of PR experience. She said: “I am delighted to have joined such a successful firm. With everything going on in the economy at the moment, it is refreshing to work for a company which is thriving.”

Cognition is a fully integrated marketing communications agency and covers branding, marketing, advertising, digital media, public relations and training in-house.

Its clients are mostly business-to-business and include Broadfern Energy Consulting, The Belfry and Kingfisher Windows.

Recent contract wins include the appointment by specialist fencing company Tornado Wire to carry out a thorough audit of its marketing activities and the deal with York-based online strategy and marketing company, Summit Media to handle its media relations activities.