How to evaluate a marketing recruitment agency: 

The recruitment industry in the UK is a booming industry and has been for a number of years. 

With low barriers to entry, there are always new entrants. Here at The Hidden Market, we have compiled a guide on how to evaluate a Marketing Recruitment Agency to help you in what to look for and what to watch out for.


    Photo of people in a room representing an agency - How to evaluate a marketing recruitment agency

    How to evaluate a marketing recruitment agency: 

    How to evaluate a marketing recruitment agency: 

    Marketing Recruitment in London and across the UK is a very varied and complex industry. This is because marketing is now one of the fastest growing industries.  Due to rapid digital transformation, there is a rising demand for both conventional and new specialist marketing positions that are evolving fast. Apart from creative roles, marketing departments will be full of analytical roles with performance marketing. MarTech, programmatic and automation are becoming dominant needs in marketing. With AI, bots, VR and AR, this trend will certainly continue.
    When marketing matters now more than ever, for every business, where do you look for the best marketing recruitment support?
    Marketing trends are significantly impacting the shape and dynamics of marketing teams. A high demand for specialist roles is making marketing teams to become more complex and varied. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the marketing recruitment sector is hugely fragmented and it is hard to understand which marketing recruitment agency would be the best solution for you.
    Which marketing recruitment company?
    Your decision of which marketing recruitment agency to choose will depend on many different factors such as your experience level, how specialist you are, location and sector expertise. However, we thought of several important questions which can help you to decide who can be the best marketing recruiter for you.

    Specialist or generalist?

    Should you choose a generalist or specialist marketing recruitment agency?
    Different roles will of course require different solutions. Generalist and specialist recruiters will offer you different audiences. Specialist marketing recruitment agencies are more likely to know where to find niche communities of talent as they are more focused in specific sectors and skillsets. You can also benefit from getting expert advice. Large, generalist recruitment companies have a broader focus and work on a wide variety of positions, recruiting for a wide range of job functions, industry sectors and locations, potentially offering more opportunities. Understanding the core market of the recruitment firm will definitely help you in your search.

    Agency or client-side?

    Some recruiters are focused on client-side and some on agency-side which are fundamentally different business models. If you are agency-side and don’t want to change, then it is highly recommended to identify and connect with the leading recruiters in the agency market. If you are client-side (or agency-side but looking to change to client-side) then look for the recruiters who are specialists in this market. It is worth spending time on the company websites to better understand their clients and their core network as most of the credible companies will show information about the clients they work with.

    Temporary, permanent or both?

    Many marketing recruitment agencies will do temporary and permanent roles. However, to some extent, it is common that marketing recruiters will choose one over another for many different reasons and therefore they can be quite different business models. If a marketing recruitment agency is specialised in one area, their skill sets and network will not necessarily be applicable to the other. It is highly recommended to do some research and find out which types of roles they specialize for.

    Are they too specialist?

    There are recruiters who are highly specialised in almost every marketing area. Whether your focus is PR, brand, UX, eCRM, MarTech, strategy, product or insight, you can almost certainly find the recruiter who specializes in that area. Just make sure that they aren’t too specialist and have some skill set in other areas too as this could result in limited opportunities being offered.
    How many consultants?
    Majority of new recruitment companies that are established every year consist of only one consultant while less than 1% of recruitment firms have more than 10 people.
    If you haven’t dealt with them before, it is good to check how many people are in the business as larger businesses with a reasonable number of consultants will have broader impact and client relationships.

    What industries do they excel in?

    Some of the best marketing recruitment agencies in London operate in one or two specific sectors. For example, some marketing recruiter agencies purely specialise in financial or professional services and would be hopeless at FMCG or Retail. Also, there are marketing recruitment agencies who work across different industries in one sector. For example, a legal recruitment firm who specialize in HR, IT, marketing and finance roles in the legal sector. This may be ideal if you are a marketer in the legal sector and want to stay in the legal area, but less so if you wish to broaden your horizons.

    Team turnover? 

    It is important to think about who you are dealing with. How long have they been in the market, as in who and what do they know. Do they have a team of skilled and dedicated consultants?

    These are our top tips for working with a marketing recruitment agency

    • Do thoroughly research of their website to understand all the roles they are advertising for       
    • Ask about the number of consultants they have and their level of experience
    • Identify the regions they cover
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for credentials and recent appointments
    • Select few agencies that you can trust and build a meaningful relationship with them
    • Look at their core network. Specialist marketing recruiters will typically have a much deeper knowledge of marketing
    • Make sure they have a deep knowledge of the clients they work with. 
    • Check if their expertise is aligned with your future career path and aspirations
    • Insist on meeting the selected marketing recruiter in person
    • Get information about their location and make sure they have an established and credible office
    • Ensure they will be able to offer a wide variety of opportunities across different sectors and to identify transferable skills
    • Look up for their company name and Google reviews. LinkedIn endorsements are helpful but they can be often requested and scripted
    • Check people’s reviews on Glassdoor
    • Your goal should be to establish a long and meaningful partnership with the best marketing recruitment agency. Check for personal recommendations and referrals within your network and work with a selected few recruitment agencies that you can trust.

    More resources on Marketing Recruitment Agencies from The Hidden Market

    Want to find marketing recruitment agencies in London? Check out our "marketing recruitment agency blog".

    How we work at The Hidden Market: 

    We're specialists in commercial careers: think digital, marketing, sales, and product. We place professional candidates in a range of specialisms in professional marketing jobs in a variety of industries. 

    With professionals, essentially we are a strong recruitment partner for you, taking the time to truly understand what might interest you and to match you to roles on your skills. If you would like to find the best marketing roles then you can sign up here

    With brands essentially we’re an extension of your brand, connecting it to more passive talent. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you drive engagement with candidates and attract the best talent then get in touch with us - or you can register a company account here