An account director takes control of specific client relationships through the management of key personnel, budgets, cost analysis, purchasing and customer service.
Depending on the role, an account director can also be the person responsible for devising department and company budgets, as well as executing them. Account directors are expected to have exceptional financial planning skills, and most of the major recruitment agencies and employers will usually insist that candidates have a relevant business degree.
Applicants must have a demonstrable track record of managing large budgets, meeting the individual needs of clients, delivering financial objectives and retaining clients by exceeding expectations. You can normally find all this out if you have used a Sales recruitment agency to hire them. Excellent communication skills, the ability to influence others and an in-depth knowledge of the specific market sector are all essential attributes as well.
Account directors are required to manage the priorities of the business whilst keeping clients happy, so negotiating and reasoning are integral to the role. The position usually means supervising the performance of several members of staff who may have very different skill-sets, so candidates need the ability to lead by example and manage performance when required.
Project management experience and networking skills will put candidates in a strong position during the selection process. Employment as an account director is relatively difficult to come by in the UK, as roles in major companies in the banking, pharmaceutical, IT and manufacturing sectors are coveted. However, exceptional candidates with good degrees in finance or business - and a long history of delivering results in similar roles - can expect to receive a salary of anything between £30,000 and £100,000.