Using PR to attract and engage with candidates is a tactic that many recruitment agencies and in-house hiring teams are implementing, but it’s not as simple as just pushing out marketing messages. In fact, there are some common candidate attraction mistakes made:
When you speak to someone on the phone or in a face-to-face environment, you would think it very strange if they simply talked at you, rather than actively engaged with you. Indeed, it’s highly unlikely that you would simply stand in front of a candidate and reel off key information about you, the company and what you think about them, without actually getting to know more about the person. The same can be said of your PR activity on and offline. Blogs and social media use is all about engagement, so make sure you’re sharing your interesting opinions and encouraging people to also provide their views. In doing this, you create more of a rapport with candidates.
Following on from the above point, ignoring comments and questions on social media channels, blogs or in response to articles will only serve to drive away potential candidates. Even if you disagree with a comment, a response should be made. Of course, it’s vital that you avoid a heated confrontation and instead focus on having a professional debate.
While you may want to shout out from the rooftops that you’ve increased profits significantly in the last year or have been so successful that you are investing in a new office, is this really what candidates want to hear? Consider this from a consumer point of view and ask what’s in it for them? Any messages you want to reach candidates should contain something they find useful, not just corporate jargon and success gloating.
While seeing your name in the FT certainly sounds great, when it comes to getting in front of the right candidates, you have to ask yourself if this is the right avenue or if there are better options? While the readership of HR Director magazine, for example, won’t be as large as that of the FT, if you recruit senior HR professionals, it’s certainly a more valuable target.
It’s quite natural to engage with potential candidates as and when the need arises, but given the growing competition for top talent and greater expectations from applicants themselves, this approach is becoming less feasible. Instead, individuals are increasingly favouring recruitment agencies and brands who they have regularly heard from. That’s not to say just sending regular mailers to candidates will significantly improve attraction levels. Instead, people tend to favour a name that they have seen in the public domain consistently on a topic that is relevant to them – whether this be through a weekly blog or comments in industry relevant publication.
PR can be hugely valuable when improving candidate attraction and engagement, but it needs to be managed correctly. Contact the team today to find out how we can help you.
Author: Vickie Collinge