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How to Overcome Recruitment Challenges in 2019

For Hire Sign

The art of successful recruitment is a multi-pronged approach requiring flexibility all the way through. 

It is truly a candidate-driven market with the skills shortage in the UK is causing companies to spend £6.3 billion on temporary workers, higher salaries and further training.

With candidates so reluctant to change roles, how can you overcome recruitment challenges in 2019?

This article will explore the typical recruitment challenges employers may face when either working with a recruitment agency or when recruiting independently.


1) Be focused on your recruitment goals and objectives

An effective recruitment strategy is not just about the deadline for onboarding your new starter – it is also about recognising the deadlines your candidates have. 

It makes no sense to stick to an inflexible interview schedule. When clients recruit over several months and then finally decide on a candidate they should anticipate other offers to be on the table.  After such a delay, your candidate can be left feeling lukewarm about a company that is slow to react with positivity. 

So when you meet someone you think ticks the boxes, make them an offer and avoid over-deliberating.  No decision is not the safest decision – when you have no one in the role businesses can start to struggle under the pressure.

If after a good number of months your recruitment is still ineffective, it is a clear signal that something is not working so step back, reassess and form a new plan.


2)  Don’t tick all the boxes – Your ideal candidates shouldn’t meet every hiring criteria

Good recruiters realise that in order to keep talent engaged and happy there needs to be a learning curve for new hires. 

If you offer the role to someone who literally meets all the criteria and is reassured they can do the job from day one, you risk losing them quickly. 

Ask yourself: “How long would you stay in a new role that was almost exactly the same as your previous role?”

While it may seem riskier offering a role to a candidate that needs more guidance at first, you will more likely end up with a motivated candidate who will stay in a job for longer and have more drive and energy to succeed.


3) Ensure you have an effective recruitment communication strategy

Whether you are partnering with an employment agency or recruiting solo, keep all the relevant parties updated and informed about your new hire needs, hiring progress, structural changes to the business, etc.

Some of our clients who have worked with us for over 10 years are periodically updating us on anything that is relevant to the end goal.

These close-knit relationships have made us an excellent extension of our client’s HR department, which makes the whole recruitment process more efficient.


4) Widen your recruitment net and deepen your talent pool

Think of all the possible sources where you might find your ideal candidate, and also consider offering internal staff a referral scheme to generate new hires.

On the positive side, referrals can be a cost-effective way to find the right people, whereas, on the downside, they can also generate volumes of candidates who are not the right fit. Consequently, you’ll require an effective management system to track all applicants.

As your staff know the culture and goals of the organisation, you may find they are highly successful in recommending the right people.


5) Use an internal recruitment process to promote candidates from within  

Discussing Promotion

It can be very costly to recruit with the average cost to employers of replacing a single member of staff at more than £30,000, according to analysis from Oxford Economics

The greatest expense, more than £25,000, comes from a loss of productivity caused by the 28 weeks on average it takes for a new hire to learn the roles.

Of course, there is no algorithm to decide which employee gets promoted and which don’t (Google already tried that) so this is purely down to knowing your team and understanding the new role.

With the right training and staff development program, you could promote existing staff and boost motivation all round.


6) Really understand and know the market you’re recruiting for

One of the benefits of partnering with an agency is the knowledge share.  We advise our clients on salary benchmarking, HR issues, psychometric testing, reference checking, and contracts so when going alone you need to make sure you recruit correctly.

Compare other similar roles and the salary/benefits packages they offer and make sure your role stands out with a competitive salary. Ask yourself whether you think you can achieve all the things that you want for the salary early on in the process. 

If you spend months searching, reviewing CVs and interviewing, only to find out that you are not offering an attractive salary, it can be hugely frustrating for all involved and a big drain on resources to go back to square one or lower your requirements.


7) Take expert recruitment advice

Recruitment can be a huge drain on time (revenue) and so using a specialist agency such as Spotlight will help make the process much more efficient and goal orientated.

According to LinkedIn, 70% of today’s workforce is passive, made up of employees who aren’t intentionally searching. 

As the leading Marketing recruiter, our team is made up of Ex-Marketers who can correctly identify and engage with the right people.  Recruiting without the help of an agency can make it extremely hard when relying purely on advertising and not on direct search – the right agency can attract candidates in a unique way.


8) Make the right job offer to your candidate

When offering a candidate the role, do take into account several factors including their;

. Current salary 
. Interview process elsewhere (if you have that information to hand)
. Market worth


. Exactly how motivated you want them to feel

If you offer them the same package as they are already on, be prepared to lose them because discussions from that point can be and often are difficult. 

We find many of the offers candidates receive via Spotlight result in a discussion on salary, so don’t take it personally if the first offer is rejected. 

Goalposts can move for the candidate as their interviews progress and open and honest dialogue between both parties can be the start of a positive relationship.

It helps to also know exactly where else they are interviewing, for what salary and what stage they are at, so you have all the info at your fingertips to get the offer accepted.


NICOLA MONGON is the MD of Spotlight Recruitment, the leading marketing recruitment agency in the UK since 2008. Read our 5* Google reviews from candidates and clients to find out more. We are members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation who ensure member compliance for high professional standards. If you would like to discuss recruitment, you can reach Spotlight on 020 3008 4254 or