In the PR world we’re used to working with a range of disciplines and departments. In fact, in the BlueSky PR offices alone we can find ourselves collaborating with the directors of a small regional recruitment agency, talent representatives from a global RPO or even an academic from an international business school.
However, there is one discipline that I would say many PR professionals have less contact with than they perhaps should: HR. The reason for this is simply that there is little recognition of the benefit of PR for human resources. Too often it is seen as an initiative that is driven by the in-house marketing or comms team, or the CEO in order to align external communications with wider business objectives. But, if we consider some of the key challenges facing many HR professionals today, collaboration with PR teams is arguably a beneficial approach.
As economic confidence drives an increase in hiring activity, many talent management and hiring teams are facing increased competition for not only new candidates, but also existing employees. In order to meet this challenge head on, many are utilising the company employee value proposition (EVP) to attract and retain individuals. But, what good is a strong EVP if it is not being talked about through the right channels and reaching the target audience? This is where PR and comms comes in to play.
Indeed, one of our clients, global RPO and talent management firm Cielo, commented just this week that HR professionals need to collaborate more with PR and marketing teams in order to win the talent war.
As Sue Brooks, Cielo’s Chief Innovation Officer explained:
“HR professionals are great at the people management element expected of the function, but communication in this digital world is perhaps out of the comfort zone of many such individuals. However, given that a PR or marketing team will have the expert skills to create compelling communications strategies that truly engage with the target audience, HR must collaborate more with these teams.”
“Human resources professionals have a lot on their shoulders at the moment – particularly given the growing competition for staff and the ever-changing needs of talent. But it can’t be overlooked that these experts don’t need to manage all people related issues on their own. Utilising the likes of communications experts will only aid the success of a corporate EVP.”
So what does this mean for PR in 2015? I would personally say that there will be a rise in the number of talent management and hiring teams collaborating with PR’s, whether through existing internal resources or external agencies, in order to triumph in the war for talent.