How to attract outstanding PR talent, 5 tips for recruitment success

In line with the significant drop in unemployment and increased consumer confidence I’ve noted a steady growth this year in public relations vacancies posted on our jobsite SourceThatJob. Finally companies are looking to exSourceThatJob, the media jobsitepand and grow their businesses which can only be a good thing for the industry as a whole.

However, with these increased opportunities comes increased competition – no longer can you trot out a job description and expect flurries of applicants without working for it. Those actively seeking work may spend many hours trawling through hundreds of adverts, many indistinguishable from the next.

Paul Cockerton, Operations MD at Dynamo PR notes just this of his recent experience of recruitment:

“We’re a relatively young agency – launched in 2011- and growing fast. Although PR is a competitive industry to find work in, we’re finding that the best candidates are asking what we can do for them and we try to reflect that in our adverts. We want people who are innovative, full of initiative, with great contacts and sound communication skills, so we have to stand out from the crowd as much as they do. When we construct a recruitment advert we approach it as we would for a client – injecting personality and humour but also telling the audience (our future colleagues) exactly what they need to know and why they’d want to give us a call to find out more.”

Based on analysis of the best performing jobs and feedback from our customers here are some tips for composing an effective advert:

1.        Introductions – be creative with the advert title. If it’s too general it could easily be missed

2.        Personality – give your advert a distinctive voice and flavour to show off your company’s unique offering

3.        Make them laugh – humour used appropriately will engage creative applicants

4.        Positivity – a forward-thinking and motivating tone is the difference between a job and a career and inspires dedication

5.        Demonstrate opportunities – high quality candidates are more likely to respond to a role where there is room to develop, grow and flourish

It’s easy to see how adverts that are jam-packed with skills, duties and responsibilities, often written in a negative tone fail to attract the cream of the crop.

Ultimately the more engaging the advert, the better the quality of applications you will receive, saving you time and money in your recruitment process.  Think outside the box and you will soon reap the rewards.

Have I missed anything? What do you think makes a great job advert? Comment and share your recruitment and job search experiences.


  • Alan Keelan says:

    Excellent and well-presented advice, applicable just as much to the world of media research, in which I work, as it is to PR. I’m now going to re-evaluate my own recruitment materials!

  • Clive Parish says:

    Personality and humour are key here, I agree. Interestingly, however, you don’t mention salary. Do you include it or not? I assume this is one area that a serious offer goes a long way to securing the right talent.

    • Gemma says:

      Thanks for your comments Clive. You make a great point I certainly think salary has a role to play in this highly competitive job market. Including it can show your serious in your offer but there is also a case for not stating it too. It is a topic we may well explore further in a future post.

  • Kittelson and Carpo Consulting says:

    These are very useful tips. Thank you for posting this.

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