Successful recruitment for a maternity cover

Successful recruitment for maternity cover

Forward planning is the key to successfully recruiting for a period of maternity cover. It’s important to ensure the right marketer is recruited, both for the business and existing marketing team, as well as the employee heading off on maternity leave.

Maternity cover recruitment typical involves hiring a candidate with a specific start date in mind, often to ensure a seamless handover and smooth transition. This can add an element of urgency to the recruitment process, requiring the recruitment or HR team, or hiring manager, to consider and utilise all available resources.

If this is your first experience of supporting an employee heading off on maternity leave, it’s important to understand all the legal requirements. ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ( is a great starting point for further information.

Here are some useful pointers to successfully recruiting for a maternity cover contract.

Identify skills and experience needed during the cover period

Once you are aware that an employee will be heading off on maternity leave, sit down and discuss expected time away from the business, as well as their thoughts on the skills and experience needed for a successful period of cover. If the length of maternity leave is expected to be short, or there are no major events or product launches in that period it may be decided that the same level of experience as the current employee isn’t needed. If however, there is a large team to manage with large-scale marketing projects in the pipeline, it would be wise to consider more experienced marketers.

Outline of role and responsibilities

Once in agreement, ask the employee to write a job description so everyone is clear on the skills and experience required during the recruitment process. With a detailed job description, you are then in a position to share details of the role to start attracting and interviewing potential candidates.

Internal candidate

Prior to going to market, if the person going on maternity leave is part of a larger team, have you considered internal candidates? If a suitable marketing skill set can’t be found in the existing team, or the employee is a stand-alone marketer, then it’s time to consider how to attract talent from the open market.

Utilising a specialist marketing recruitment agency

Given the time constraints of recruiting for a contract position, and the speed at which interim marketers come and go from the market, it’s important to consider whether a marketing recruitment agency might be best placed to secure a marketing professional with immediate availability or a short notice period.

The candidate pool for maternity cover roles can be smaller than when looking for a permanent employee, and most marketeers won’t leave a full-time perm position to take a short contract.

Chances are you need to tap into a talent pool of marketers who regular contract and are happy doing so and specialist recruitment agencies are a great place to start.

Not only will the recruitment agency have candidates seeking contract roles, but they’ll do all of the search, screening and shortlisting so you don’t have to! Your time is freed up and you only need to review a selection of marketing candidates that want a contract, have the skills you need and can start at the agreed date.

Welcoming your maternity cover

Once you have successfully hired for the maternity cover contract, keep in regular contact with that individual until they start. Candidates with immediate availability can be lured away to other opportunities if there is a prolonged period of time between accepting an offer and day one of their new role. Try and take a flexible approach to the start date to secure your chosen candidate, ask your recruitment agency contact to keep in touch and invite them in for any social events that might help build rapport and buy-in before they join you.

Are you hiring for a period of maternity cover?

If you need to hire a marketing, digital or communications professional for an interim position, reach out and speak to Kindred Recruitment, a specialist marketing recruitment agency, about how we can help.

Upload your brief here, or call 020 3488 1855.







About the author

Katie Jackson, founder of Kindred RecruitmentKatie Jackson is the founder of Kindred Recruitment and has worked in fast-paced B2B marketing teams and within the sales and marketing recruitment industry for almost a decade.

Her goal is simple – to connect the brightest marketing talent with brilliant businesses in London and beyond.

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