Candidate driven vs job driven roles – my experience | Network Marketing

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Candidate driven vs job driven roles – my experience

I’ve been involved in recruitment for a number years and have worked in both candidate and job driven markets.

This post aims to clear up the differences, similarities, pros and cons of each type of market, with a recruitment eye – my eye!

Candidate driven market in the digital marketing industry

Specialising in digital performance (PPC, SEO, programmatic, paid social, etc)

My first recruitment role was working the digital marketing industry across London agencies – it opened my eyes to a market where even the very junior candidates are a hot target by recruiters and rival agencies. I even heard of good digital marketers being compared to footballers, with a ‘bigger than the club’ mentality.

Pros of a candidate driven market:

o The candidate has choice – every media agency is likely to want to meet a good digital candidate. Even if there’s no specific role available, the company could create a role to fit them in!

o Repeat client business – if you can deliver consistently, clients will come to you

o As a recruiter, getting exclusivity and in first means everything – giving the recruiter the perfect product to sell to existing clients and open doors to potential ones

o Staying close to candidates – you have to befriend them, ensuring they’re happy with your level of service

o Referrals – there’s no better feeling than getting a golden candidate and for them to then refer you a colleague/friend of the same calibre

Cons of a candidate driven market:

o Candidate demands – they know that they’re in high demand and salary and benefit requests can go a little crazy

o Competition – true of every area of recruitment but it’s incredibly tough in a candidate driven market

o Unethical recruiters – desperate times call for desperate measures – some recruiters will happily spam a CV to roles without permission, in a bid to get there before anyone else. Candidates sometimes see recruiters as untrustworthy and forceful as a result

o Counter offers – every recruiter’s nightmare; clients so desperate to keep these candidates that they open a cheque book at them. 50+% of all people that accept a counter offer leave in the next 6 months, regardless!

Job driven market in the office professionals industry

Specialising in administration, office managers, telesales, field sales etc

This recruitment role was with more of a more corporate agency, working on junior roles. This time around it was the jobs that were in demand, with candidates being ten a penny

Pros of a job driven market:

o You can build a selection of good candidates instantly - via job board CVs and job applications

o Brief from a client - you can expect to send over 5 CVs in under an hour with a quick turn around of interviews

o Helping - candidates are generally very appreciative of the service that you’ve supplied

Negatives of a job driven market:

o Conveyor belt production line - with time being of the essence. It’s all about high volumes, meaning less time to provide a great level of service for the candidate

o Super sales focused – depending on what type of consultant you want to be this could be a positive. This market is all about speed – get in, make a sale and move on

o Calibre of candidates – some of these candidates are more likely not to attend their interviews, risking damage to your client relationships

o Access to candidates – clients will also have access, with a lot more direct applicants creating less of a need for recruiters, usually meaning low fee rates for recruiters

In a nutshell:

I have now been at Network Marketing for a number of months - back in a candidate driven market, recruiting across digital performance across the Yorkshire agency market. After experiencing both candidate and job driven markets, I have to admit I much prefer the candidate driven approach, really getting to know candidates and clients. Personally, I feel that I have developed into a more efficient recruiter!


From setting up Network Marketing in 1996 Jonathan has been a regular on the marketing scene across the North. Being heavily involved in recruitment at the outset he spends more time now meeting potential clients and helping grow the business for the team. Being split across the Leeds, Manchester and London offices gives him the opportunity to spread the gospel according to Network Marketing! And he's really not as old as this makes him sound...