What do PR candidates want to know?

Beyond a website and a job spec, what do PR candidates really need to know about their potential future employer when considering a new role? We find that the more detail we have about a PR agency, the better able we are to do our jobs as PR recruiters in matching up the right person to the right place. Job satisfaction for candidates depends on more than cool clients or a shorter daily commute (although those two are of course up there!)

Often, really knowing a PR agency and feeling aligned with how they do things and their approach to PR is, what we find, results in both happy candidates and happy clients, months and even years beyond an initial introduction.

Information such as day to day working structure, how many people are in each team, how work is divided up, who the key clients are, what the top recent achievements have been and growth plans for the future is all highly useful for us to have on hand to be able share with job seekers.

It is for this reason that we try to meet with all new clients ahead of us sharing CVs with them or tying to set up interviews – meeting face to face allows us to ask detailed questions and get a feel for an agency which simply can’t be achieved through looking at an “about us” page. We aim to get to the core of who an agency really is and what they’re about!

This means we are more likely to send clients the “right” kind of candidate to consider. When we are more clued up on who exactly they’re looking for, we understand what prior experience a role requires and what kind of person would be able to fulfil that role, and go on to contribute positively to the company for years to come.

From a candidate perspective, us having this information means we are able to answer their initial questions and share a real insight as to why we think the role would personally be a good fit for them. Sifting through specs and job adverts can feel repetitive so it is this kind of detail which sheds real light on an agency and allows candidates to go in to interviews feeling confident that it’s the right opportunity for them, having been able to prepare well for their initial meeting with their potential future employer.

Understandably we find it more challenging to work on a job brief for an agency we’ve not really had a proper conversation with. If we have no real understanding of what and who they are, the type of work they do, what the culture is like and the type of people who work well in the environment, then not only is it trickier to send CVs for candidates who actually fit the brief, but it’s a lot more difficult for us to even get candidates on board for the role! At the end of the day, a core part of our job is about being able to give potential candidates a thorough insight into a job opportunity – if we can only tell them that the agency specialises in food and drink PR and is based near Soho, then that’s really not a lot for them to go on.

When we are able to have these insightful conversations as a first step in introducing our clients, the process is naturally smoother for all involved and means that we can genuinely match the roles we’re working on with the best candidates for the job.

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