How to Overcome Recruitment Challenges in Digital Marketing

Are you struggling to recruit in this competitive environment? Keep reading for tips on how to overcome the most common challenges.

10 Jan 2023

Recruitment challenges

The current hiring landscape is challenging, with employers having to contend with shifting candidate demands and talent shortages. According to the ONS, 41% of businesses across all industries are struggling to fill vacancies, so the digital and marketing industries are certainly not alone in this challenge. So, how can you recruit digital and marketing talent in this competitive environment? Keep reading for tips on how to overcome the most common recruitment challenges.

Recruitment challenges

The most common hiring challenges you’ll encounter in today’s landscape are:

Talent shortages

According to the 2022 WFA Global Media Talent report, the marketing industry is facing its ‘worst-ever’ talent crisis. Demand for talent is rocketing, but there are shortages across the board. Areas such as data, analytics, and eCommerce are experiencing the most scarcity.

Why is there a talent shortage you might be wondering? Well, while the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly damaged the talent pool, the WFA report suggests that this is not in fact the key driver. Instead, training and talent management is highlighted as the main trigger. Inadequate hiring and retention strategies contribute towards the issue, as well as a lack of support for professional and personal development. Specifically in our industry, skilled individuals are being ‘pinched’ by tech companies and other industries where they can find a greater purpose. Talented individuals are being lured away by the offer of a more fulfilling career path and attractive remuneration.

Candidate-driven market

Talent shortages across the industry have resulted in a candidate-driven market where open vacancies outstrip the number of applicants. With so many roles available to a single candidate at any one time, options are plentiful. As a result, your candidates will likely receive multiple job offers – which only adds to the competition.

Higher salary expectations

In recent years, salaries have soared and the imbalance between salary expectations and capability has grown. This is most prevalent at the mid-weight level. During the ‘tech pinch’, candidates were offered vast salaries to work at tech companies and start-ups/scale-ups. Packages seemed too good to be true. As we move into the recession, excessively inflated salaries appear to be stabilising. But for now, candidate salary expectations remain high.

Demand for ‘soft’ benefits

You might think that an outstanding salary would be enough to attract top talent, but you’d be mistaken. Soft benefits such as company culture and working hours are increasingly important to candidates when assessing a role. Benefits to improve working life are expected, so candidates are on the lookout for features like flexible working, condensed working hours, and clear progression opportunities. As we enter the recession, we predict an even greater focus on company values and benefits.


In today’s competitive job market, you can no longer rely on traditional recruitment strategies, such as internal promotion, to secure the most capable individuals. Approaches to recruitment must now be more creative than ever and strongly focus on candidate experience.

Create appealing job posts

To attract capable candidates, job posts should be engaging and well-written. They should be created in an easily digestible format and must provide a concise overview of the role. To increase your chances of finding the right candidate, you should be clear about the requirements of the role.

Top tip

Avoid copying and pasting information directly from the job description as this can create information overload. Job descriptions should be kept as an internal document and job posts should advertise the role externally.

Consider remote or hybrid

Embracing remote or hybrid working can widen your talent pool and increase your chances of finding the right person. Especially since interest in remote and hybrid jobs is at an all-time high, according to Google Trends:

Recruitment challenges

Google Trends for Remote Working

Highlight company values and benefits

Salary is no longer the main event, as you know. To attract the very best candidates, you must promote what the role offers beyond the salary. For example:

Financial benefits

Do you offer free parking or an incredible pension? This could be the icing on the cake for your ideal candidate, so make sure you communicate this in your job post.

Values and ethics

Does your company strive to make a positive social impact through community initiatives? Or perhaps sustainability is at the heart of your brand. Let candidates know.


Culture plays a significant part in candidate attraction. To stand out, you must sell the features that make your team and company culture great.

Work-life benefits

Do you offer flexible working, shortened working hours, or clear progression opportunities? Show prospective employees that your care about their personal and professional development.

Consider passive recruitment

Passive recruitment involves looking for people who are not actively seeking a new role but could be open to a change. This approach brings its own challenges and will only work for you if you’ve got a strong employer brand, but it can widen the talent pool and can generate a new network of skilled potential employees.

Streamline your recruitment process

Speed is key when it comes to hiring in the current job market. Your ideal candidate could slip right through your fingers if you’ve got a slow and inefficient process. Applicants are more likely to drop out of the process if it takes too long or can even get snapped up by another company in the meantime. This is particularly challenging for more technical roles which require multiple interview rounds and competency tests. Our recommendations are:

Review your hiring stages

It’s important to strike a careful balance here. You need to be thorough to ensure you hire the right person, but anything too arduous could deter top professionals. Are all the stages required? If not, perhaps you could reduce or remove them.

Consider a recruitment administration system

Countless systems are available to improve recruitment efficiency. For example, Trello helps you to manage your recruiting pipeline and get better visibility of your whole hiring process.

Make quick decisions

Shortlisting decisions and final hiring decisions must be speedy to stop your ideal candidate from dropping out of the process. Plus, quick decisions can save valuable resources such as staff time.

Prioritise candidate experience

When it comes to candidate experience, communication is essential. A poor experience can leave candidates with a negative view of your brand, so don’t waste their time (or yours). You should manage expectations clearly so that all candidates are aware of the full process, including when they can expect to hear from you and what stage comes next. Feedback is also a must and should be handled sensitively, whether it’s good news or bad news.

Need help solving your recruitment challenges?

Finding top talent is more critical than ever in today’s competitive job market. Our recruiters have in-depth knowledge of the marketing industry so can guide you through the process to overcome your recruitment challenges. To find the very best candidate for your team, contact us today.

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

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