How does PR fit into your recruitment strategy?

As recruiting becomes ever more competitive, more organisations are asking us how we can help them to attract quality candidates. There are a number of reasons why employers could be facing increasing recruitment challenges, and these include cultural diversity, the UK economy, social and technological advances.

Recruiting over the past 10-20 years has changed and evolved. Placing an advert in a local paper or on a job board, receiving application forms and CVs, and then holding interviews would have been the norm, not so much now. I found and was appointed to my role at Conteur through LinkedIn – not an application form or closing date in sight! It was refreshing.

Brands are now recognising that, in this competitive workplace market, they have to be cleverer, they have to stand out from the crowd, they have to make people WANT to work for them.

It’s now not unusual to see organisations using PR stunts to recruit talent. AXA used an online game to create a buzz amongst graduates. They wanted to reach tech-savvy millennials and the game provided the opportunity to win grand prizes including an all-expenses-paid world trip, two internships and a place on an AXA volunteering project. Pretty impressive.

A creative agency, BJL, identified the Rose Creative Awards as an event that would be full of their target candidates. They set up a free Wi-Fi service on the night, which sent visitors to a landing page, advertising the fact they were hiring. An innovative idea, which quickly gained huge social media attention.

Of course, there are other ways to get the attention of your potential candidates. Social media is one of them. LinkedIn is a business and employment-orientated site and is mainly used for networking, employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs. Used in the right way it can be a powerful recruitment tool.

Facebook provides a number of options, including targeted advertising campaigns and a job posting experience whereby applicants benefit from the ease of the process and employers can engage online at any point.

With the increase in popularity of social recruiting, it’s no surprise that Snapchat and Instagram are also being used very creatively. With the ability to tell a story using images and videos, accompanied by various effects and stickers, comes a multitude of opportunity for brands to showcase their work and employment openings.

Aside from the stunts and social tools that can be used, let’s not all forget about the basics. An informative website that showcases your organisation for being passionate about its sector, and a recruitment section telling people why they should work for you, should never be neglected. An objective PR strategy that shapes content and communicates key messages to the right people will ensure your brand is positively seen in the public eye. A positive workplace culture will say a lot about a company and make all the difference. What your employees say about you and how they act is important, especially for potential candidates that are considering a career with you.

I’d like to leave you with a quote I found from Kevin P. Ryan, an American Internet entrepreneur. I appreciate the quote because it emphasises that sometimes the recruitment process can be a mundane procedure, something that we feel we have to go through to fill a gap. When in fact, if we turn it on its head, perhaps it should be an on-going process where we are always looking for talent and continually promoting employment opportunities.

“I heavily overinvest in recruiting. I have an understanding with certain search firms that if you find someone great, don’t wait until there’s a job opening – send them to me.”

Kevin P. Ryan

This Must Be The Place - Neon Sign

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