The notion of recruitment is simple. You start with a role that needs to be filled; find a handful of suitable candidates who you interview, and eventually narrow it down to the one who fits best for the job. So why do some companies in the hospitality sector still struggle to find the right talent to strengthen their business? Is it because they aren’t exploiting the full potential a recruitment consultant can deliver?

Engaging with a reputable recruitment consultant can ensure efficient recruitment practices which, of course, drives team growth, but they can also deliver better quality and more engaged new hires which has a positive impact on business performance. A study conducted by the Hay Group concludes that firms with an increased employee engagement score can not only boost revenue levels by over 4 times, compared to those who score poorly, but also deliver improved customer satisfaction.

Below, we have identified some fundamental aspects of the process which we believe will help hiring managers get the best out of working with recruitment consultants, when looking to fill those important marketing vacancies. As you all know, marketing is not necessarily just a qualifications-led discipline, there are so many tangible and intangible variables that will determine whether a candidate is a suitable fit for your business or not.


  • You need to be clear on what key aspects of marketing drive your business and what strategies you are looking to focus on in the future, before you brief a consultant
  • Share as much detail as you can about the important features of the role as this will increase the chances of finding the best candidate – for example do they need specific marketing experience such as SEO, content, brand, partnerships etc.
  • Try to provide detailed feedback for each candidate you interview, as this will not only be meaningful to the candidate, but will also help crystalise your motivations with the recruiter as the search evolves, and benefit your employer brand
  • Keep the channels of dialogue as open and clear as possible and ensure the key decision makers are in alignment behind the scenes – it may not be the most senior marketing head who has the final sign off on the role


  • The client/consultant relationship should be one of equality where you are both working together in partnership to achieve the same goal
  • Longevity is the true value of this relationship, and the strength of your collaboration increases with its familiarity, allowing your consultant genuine insight of your business
  • View a consultant as an extension of your team and your ambassador in the marketplace, so ensure they have a clear understanding of what is important to the business in terms of your culture and values. The stronger your employer brand, the easier it will be to attract and secure the best talent


  • Momentum is everything in recruitment so once you are engaged in the search for a candidate, try to avoid delaying the process unnecessarily as procrastination often leads to good candidates being snapped up elsewhere
  • On the flip side, don’t be afraid to re-evaluate the process and be prepared to take a few steps back if you are not seeing the level of marketing expertise you are looking for
  • Recruitment is time consuming so ensure that you are maximising on your opportunity cost by allowing your consultant the required level of autonomy to execute the search so that you can focus on the important aspects of your own role
  • The pool for great marketing candidates, especially in hospitality, is always very competitive, so if you feel you have found “The One”, even if it is early in the process, try to resist the temptation to wait and benchmark against others, as you might lose your catch


  • Take advantage of the specialist knowledge an experienced recruitment consultant can bring to the equation, their understanding of the talent pool in your marketplace, as well as helpful market insight
  • An experienced recruiter can also advise on writing the job profile to ensure that your role appeals to either as wide a target audience as possible or a more specialised group who will have the ability to bring the technical marketing expertise you are looking for
  • Due to their strong candidate networks, most consultants will be able to act as a talent generator too


  • Working with a consultant, who is not bound by the same company cultural bias as you, can encourage you to debias your approach and consider a wider target candidate pool
  • Being exposed to a more varied candidate pool can help give you the opportunity to increase diversity into your team – a 2015 report by McKinsey suggests that diverse businesses deliver up to 35% better results than non-diverse businesses

Due to the current challenges we are all facing, especially in the hospitality industry, and with our sector suddenly flooded with jobseekers, businesses need to be exploiting the support a trusted recruitment consultant can offer. Whether it be helping with basic CV screening or finding the right fit in a candidate saturated market, marketers must appreciate, now more than ever, how important it is to get their hiring strategy right.

Mark Hulton is the co-founder of HBD Partners, a specialist recruitment consultancy operating in the Hospitality, Leisure and Travel sectors and across a range of disciplines including Marketing, PR and Sales.