When you start the recruitment process, what you might expect to be a simple task can turn out to be far more complicated than you ever imagined.

At Solo Search, we guide you through the process from beginning to end. We’re always happy to have an initial chat over the phone to help you work out what you need, and whether we’re the right people for the job.

We’ve also put together a guide to some of the key options that you might want to consider when you’re deciding what you need.

Contingency recruitment

The recruitment industry’s equivalent of ‘no win, no fee’.  This was at one time very popular but recruitment agencies are moving away from this model now as it can often mean working for free, which isn’t sustainable.  Contingency recruitment is generally only used for roles that are easier to fill.

Interim recruitment

This is also known as fixed term contract or FTC. Quite often this is used for maternity cover, or when the client just needs someone in the role on a temporary basis until they recruit a permanent person.

Contract recruitment

This is used to find candidates to complete particular projects or for defined periods. We can either do this on a margin-only basis (where we pre-agree the day margin) or we pay the contractor directly at pre-agreed rate.

Retained recruitment

Under this arrangement, the client pays an initial fee to engage the recruiter’s services, a second amount when a shortlist of interview candidates is produced, and a final payment upon placement or when the candidate starts. It’s more appropriate for harder-to-fill roles where the client benefits from one recruiter committed to finding the right candidate.


Alongside these options, we offer a number of specialist services that may be suitable for some businesses:


Sometimes, our clients want to keep recruitment under wraps.  This might be because they have an under-performing incumbent in the role and want to replace them, or because they are changing the structure of a team and haven’t yet announced it.


Focusing on the health sector, this is a relatively new service which allows clients to access candidates with specific relevant sector skills at a favourable fee.


Not sure where you should be pitching the salary when you recruit? Give us the details and we can send you an impartial review of comparable roles so you know you won’t lose out to competitors – or over-pay compared to your rivals.


Want to know how your industry is performing in terms of recruitment, pay, vacancy rates and skill levels? We can send you tailored reports about the state of play, so you can make informed decisions about your own recruitment.

Our Client Charter - Our promise to you

We want you to experience a positive hiring journey with us and that’s why it’s important to us that the experience you receive from us is a positive one. 

The best recruitment partnerships are built on open regular and consistent communication.  We hope you think so too.

Candidate Spotlight

Candidate Spotlight is a new feature we are trialling initially with healthcare software companies, consultancies and NHS Trusts.

Instead of the traditional “we get the jobs, then we find the candidates”, Candidate Spotlight is the reverse of this. We already have the candidates, we just need to find them a job and a nice home to hang their hat.

Salary benchmarking

There are so many salary benchmarking tools on the market and you could end up trawling around for hours.  Why not let us do the hard work and find the information for you.  Get in touch today to keep your remuneration strategy competitive. For more information complete the form here to request a call back, or email us directly 

Tell us about you:

Tell us about the role you want to salary benchmark:

Industry reports

Request latest KMPG and REC Report on jobs market. 

May 2024 report evidences:
> Permanent placements fall again, but at slower rate
> Pay rates continue to rise markedly
> Worker availability increases to steeper degree

Free resources / downloads

Here are a couple of useful downloadable docs we prepared earlier.


Recruitment can sometimes be a bit of a bumpy ride.  We’ve encountered all sorts of situations and problems but here are the most common ones.

This could be for many reasons such as the salary being too low, a badly written job description or advert. Are you using an internal job title (that doesn’t mean anything to the outside world)? Bad Google or Glassdoor reviews could be another reason. Or perhaps you are just looking for a Unicorn and you need to relax the criteria. Either way, the answer to this is not to engage even more recruiters. If it is a particularly tricky role to fill, you may want to engage one recruiter either on an exclusive or retained basis.

Most good candidates will be in one or more recruitment processes for other opportunities so it may just be a simple case that they have a better offer on the table (whether it be a higher salary, a counteroffer from current employer or a location/logistical issue). For starters, review the salary you are offering. If you are working with a recruiter, they will be able to advise you.

Are they looking for perfection / ticks in all the boxes? Very rarely does the perfect candidate exist. It is then just a case of what the hiring manager(s) can live without and then consider someone’s ability to learn and provide some official training/mentoring/shadowing. Potentially offer a candidate a lower starting salary with a view to increasing it when they have passed probation.

This is a real bugbear of ours! This is usually because a candidate is not keeping track of applications and/or the recruiter not revealing where they are sending the candidate’s CV to (and the candidate then not asking). It could be that you are using too many recruiters? Either way, a recruiter should not be sending you any CVs without obtaining written consent from the candidate. Another reason could be that the candidate has applied directly but doesn’t realise it’s the same role.

First of all, you should refer to the T & Cs the recruiter sent to you prior to interviewing any candidate to check any rebate you are entitled to. Sometimes the recruiter will offer to re-recruit the role for free, so they don’t lose any revenue.

Check the representation clause in the recruiters T & Cs (assuming you have received them). If you have signed or agreed to the T & Cs via e-mail, you are bound by them and will have to pay the invoice if the candidate is within the representation period. If the candidate is outside the representation period, then you are off the hook!

It is usually 6 months, but some recruiters will stipulate 12. You can always negotiate this but do so before signing on the dotted line and definitely before interviewing anyone.

Basically, the higher the risk of not placing someone, the higher the fee. For example, if you are using a number of recruiters, the chances of any one recruiter placing someone is lower = higher %. Conversely, the higher the chances of recruiting someone, the lower the percentage. It is worth bearing in mind that if working on a contingency recruitment fee model, a recruiter is working for free up until they place someone. If you then end up offering an internal candidate, cancelling the role or putting the role on hold, the recruiter has done all that work for nothing! It is because of this that more and more recruiters are moving away from the contingency model as it’s not sustainable.

Top question is always around career progression. Unless, of course, the candidate has experienced enough career progression and this isn’t their main motivator. These days a more common question is around % of remote vs hybrid vs officed based working there is. They usually like to know who they will be working with, what an average day looks like and what projects they will be working on. They will also be interested to know what it’s like to work for your company and what the culture is.

Usually, they will not ask about salary but they may like to know about the benefits package and next steps and timescales in the recruitment process.

If you have a situation or problem that is not listed above, please just give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss on a confidential basis and provide one or two solutions.   

Quick Tips...

Partner up with a trusted recruiter who knows and understands your business and grab yourself some free PR! A good recruiter is well placed to promote your business and represent your company in a professional manner. Why not invite your recruiter in for a guided tour and meet the team and empower them to market your business in the right way.

Good candidates don’t hang around. Act quickly if you see a CV you like – ideally the same day – and book in for interview ASAP. Similarly, get offers out quickly and get the person started at the earliest opportunity. Take them off the market!

When a recruiter appears to be pushing you for decisions, we say it for good reason.

Communication is key! Treat candidates as you would customers and don’t fall foul of the CV “Black Hole”! Lack of feedback just gives out the wrong impression of your company and news travels fast. Take the opposite approach and, even if it’s a no, turn it into a positive experience for the candidate.

Candidates love a job description, especially an up to date one!! It’s always worthwhile tweaking any out of date or previously used versions. Always a good idea to provide details on remote vs hybrid vs office working and if you have ‘flexible working’ (ie come in earlier and leave later). You can request a template job description here if you don’t have one.

A benefits document will also go down well and also a ‘why work for us’ doc. Or if you have a careers section on your website, you can provide a link.

Even the small things such as parking information / instructions for the interviewees can all go towards contributing to a positive candidate experience.

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