Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

PR Strategies to Boost Recruiting and Hiring

The X Best PR Strategies for Recruiting and Hiring

Many people see PR as a form of marketing that’s designed to increase brand visibility for the explicit purpose of attracting more customers. But PR is much more complicated and useful than that; the right PR strategies can also help you boost recruiting and hiring efforts.

What are the best PR strategies for this approach, and how do you get the most value out of your investment?

PR for Recruiting and Hiring

Most people know that PR is a useful strategy for brand promotion and growth, but it’s also highly effective for recruiting and hiring. In many cases, your PR efforts will help you in all of these categories simultaneously.

That's primarily because PR is all about improving your visibility and reputation, which can help you both in terms of marketing and in terms of attracting new candidates to work for your brand. If you establish your business as a thought leader in your industry, distinguish it from your competitors, and show off what makes it so uniquely appealing, customers and prospective employees alike are going to be much more likely to engage with it.

PR Strategies and Approaches for Recruiting and Hiring

These are some of the top strategies and approaches when using PR for recruiting and hiring.

·       Clearly define your brand (and keep it consistent). Before you start drafting your first press release or reaching out to publication outlets that might sponsor your content, it's important to take a step back and clearly define your brand. What does your brand represent? What are your core values? What is your mission and what is your vision? What tone of voice does your brand have and what kind of personality do you want it to emanate? These questions may seem silly or inconsequential when you're mostly interested in boosting your company’s bottom line, but it's important to have a consistent and coherent brand identity at the heart of all your PR and marketing strategies. Eventually, you'll be reaching people and promoting your brand multiple times and in a variety of channels; if your messaging is ever off or deviates from your core values, it's going to detract from the impact of that messaging.

·       Know who you’re targeting. Next, you need to buckle down and do some heavy market research. You need to know exactly who you're targeting and why you're targeting them, and you need to understand them well enough that you can effectively reach them and persuade them. For example, are you looking for college educated, relatively young people who are ambitious and self-motivated? If so, you'll need to utilize a different strategy than if you're trying to target older folks with more practical experience in a specific field. If your PR efforts are too broad or too generalized, you'll sacrifice the relevance of your messaging, and you won't see the results you want.

·       Highlight spokespeople and representatives. Highlight spokespeople and representatives from within your company. Preferably, you should choose people who are distinguished in their roles and impressive to outsiders. Have them create content and reach out as ambassadors for your brand, so prospective employees can see what it's like to be successful within your organization. Include a mix of different people to highlight different departments and different types of successful people.

·       Craft a narrative. Our brains are wired to find stories and narratives naturally compelling. Accordingly, you should use stories and narratives in your PR approach. What does a career look like in your organization, from beginning to middle to end? How did the president or CEO of your company work their way to the top? What does a day in the life of a successful employee in your organization look like? Whatever you want to communicate, try to do it in narrative form.

·       Earn awards – and promote them. Ambitious, driven people want to work for organizations that are already at or near the top of their field. Because of this, one of the best strategies for appealing to those applicants is to earn awards and promote them. Try to earn industry recognition, then use press releases and supportive materials to showcase them.

·       Generate cross-channel visibility. In today's market, you're not going to make much of an impact unless you have a truly omnichannel approach. That means you need to feature your brand in a variety of channels to reach more people more consistently.

·       Show off accomplishments with press releases. Whenever your brand accomplishes something, whether it's developing a new product, introducing an industry innovation, or reaching an interesting milestone, write and distribute a press release about it. Individual press releases can temporarily boost your brand visibility, but in sequence, can help you cement your reputation.

·       Do good. Make sure your business contributes good things to the world. Today's employees often want to work for businesses that are sustainable and ethically responsible. Donating money, organizing volunteer efforts, and contributing to communities can help make your organization shine.

·       Experiment and improve. Finally, be willing to experiment and improve. Even if your market research is exhaustive, it may be hard to tell what types of messages and PR strategies will best appeal to your most strategically valuable targets.

Getting the Maximum ROI

You should also consider the ROI of your PR efforts. In other words, you should estimate how much value you're getting, compared to what you invest. The higher your ROI is, the more effective your PR efforts are, generally.

These are some easy ways you can boost your PR ROI:

·       Hire PR experts. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Hire a team of experts to help you, from planning to execution. Depending on your current assets and goals, that could mean building an in-house team, hiring an agency, or even working with freelancers.

·       Choose quality over quantity. No matter what, you should prioritize quality over quantity. Writing and syndicating a larger volume of press releases isn’t going to help your brand unless those press releases are objectively newsworthy and interesting to read.

·       Be selective in your channel choices. Omnichannel PR strategies are better than their narrower counterparts, but you should still exercise some discernment in your channel choices. Not all channels will offer an equal return in value to your brand.

·       Commit to continued refinement. Even the best-funded and best-planned campaigns sometimes fall short initially. Keep a continued commitment to refinement and improvement if you want to boost results.

PR serves many useful functions, from promoting brand visibility to driving reputational growth. But when properly harnessed for recruiting and hiring, it's hard for any other approach to beat.