As a leading graduate PR staffing agency, we know the qualities to look for in candidates to hire top PR talent.
By screening all our candidates at least twice, we’ll confidently provide you with an outstanding shortlist of candidates who possess the right skills, experience, and personality to thrive in your role.
Our Communications Recruiters share their top factors to be aware of when hiring PR talent:
Candidates have a solid understanding of the role and industry
Having years of experience in graduate recruitment, we know it’s vital candidates have a solid understanding and awareness of what a role they’re applying to involves.
Many graduates often mistake and over-glamorise what PR jobs involve, which can lead to many leaving in the first months.
Our PR recruitment process ensures candidates are aware of what the role entails, from the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, to the wider scope of the role.
Look for relevant industry experience
I would suggest to a communications recruitment agency to look for candidates who have experience in PR already. An internship or a 2-week work experience in an agency will give someone an insight into life in an actual PR office.
They should advise the candidate to research thoroughly what PR is.
There is a misconception that PR is just increasing marketing and advertising. But, in reality, it is more to do with increasing the reputation and awareness of a company.
Find candidates who can handle pressure and a fast-paced environment
The world of PR can be tough and intense, so it’s important to find candidates who are driven, cope well with criticism, and are quick learners.
Candidates who have a creative flair and excellent writing abilities are important. But you also need to find candidates who have the right personality to be able to survive this industry.
No matter the seniority of your PR role, all PR staff will be frequently liaising with a variety of people, like the press and clients. It’s vital that you look for new communications and PR hires who can easily build rapport, are not fazed by answering the phone, and turn the interview into more of a conversation.
Excellent time-management skills
The world of PR is very fast-moving, so it’s crucial for candidates to have the ability to manage multiple projects at once, work to tight deadlines, and stay calm under pressure.
Our top PR recruitment tip is to ask questions such as “how do you handle stress”, and “can you give me an example of when you’ve previously worked to a tight deadline and how you managed it?”. This will help highlight if candidates possess this ability.
Whether you’re a PR agency or looking to hire a candidate in-house, it’s crucial that you have standout and innovative campaigns for your clients.
To help achieve this, it’s key to look for candidates who are creative thinkers, keep up-to-date with current trends, and aren’t afraid to put forward new suggestions.
PR Managers must have the ability to think on their feet.
It’s now very rare to meet journalists and media buyers face-to-face, so quick strategic thinking will help you get across a client’s brand, make a pitch, run events, and successfully execute campaigns.
Strong writing skills
From press releases to presentations and emailing clients, writing is an essential part of working in PR and it’s important to find a candidate who can write for a variety of audiences.
Asking candidates to complete a writing task as part of the recruitment process is an excellent way to see candidates abilities. So, whether you’re hiring PR Account Executives or recruiting Account Managers, don’t neglect their writing abilities!