I recently contributed to a great initiative launched by Alex Moyle and Louise Triance called the A-Z of Recruiting success. You can see all the contributors on Alex’s blog but my particular letter was H for Hero Content. For me Hero Content really is a recruitment marketing dream because it gives you so much more to work with than one piece of content. Content driven recruitment marketing We all know that original content that adds value and addresses a particular pain point of your audience is likely to get more engagement than any other. But for busy recruitment marketers or for owner managers that don’t have the luxury of an in-house recruitment marketing team, this can be difficult to achieve on a regular basis. This is where hero content really comes into its own.
I’m delighted to have been invited to contribute to The Recruitment Network’s new initiative #RecruitmentMeansDiversity which has been designed to shine a spotlight on how the recruitment sector attracts, retains and treats its talent. We are already working closely with The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative to help to break down the barriers faced by the millions of disabled people who are entering or progressing through the job market and having recently received a highly commended award by ENEI for a diversity and inclusion campaign, it’s an issue close to my heart.
PR absolutely can and absolutely should be measured. Know what your objectives are. You need to have something to measure against – and so you need context. Do you need more candidates or clients – and where? In a particular sector or geography. Do you need more people to work for you? Do you want to raise you profile as a thought leader? Don’t just share the same message across all channels, think about what you are looking to achieve and the best way to do this using each channel.
I have had the honour of being on the judging panel for this year’s APSCo Awards for Excellence and one of my categories was CSR Initiative of the Year. It was a really tough category because, while to the outside world recruiters may often have the reputation of being sharper than a Stanley knife, I was genuinely overcome at the generosity of spirit displayed by all of the contenders – and there were a lot!
In my (far too many) years in recruitment, I have read hundreds of press releases written by recruitment firms – and nine times out of ten they are about what the firm does – not what it knows! Journalists don’t care about what you do – they are interested in what you know. So, what do you know? The people agenda – that’s what! You know about whether pay is going up or going down and why. You know about skill shortages – and what’s driving them. You know about talent pools and where to find them. You know about global comparisons, diversity in the workplace, the future of work, and employability. In short – you know a hell of a lot! And people are interested! If you look at the annual PwC survey of CEOs that comes out every year, it will tell you one of the major things that keep business leaders awake at night is the attraction and retention of great talent. And who knows about that – you do! Recruiters are in a fantastic position to be able to talk about and comment on the issue around the people agenda.
As recruiters you have undoubtedly all utilised social media tools to help build and engage with your current and potential client and candidate communities - but how many of you have thought of it as a key element of your reputation management? Let’s take the example of a disgruntled or extremely happy client – if they communicate their experience to others over a coffee then the spread of that message will be quite slow. But with social media those messages can be amplified on an exponential level. If you doing nothing else with social media you should at least be using it to listen because as well as being an amplifier, it is also an enabler. If you can hear what those people are saying about you over their coffee – then you can do something about it!
The recent story of Richard Ross falling off the Sunday Times Rich List because he gave away 25% of his wealth to good causes should be a lesson to us all. Giving makes you feel good and while many will say that he could well afford his philanthropy, everyone has the ability to give something of value - even if it is just a good deed. At BlueSky, we like to feel good - and we like our staff to be able to feel good which is why we have decided to undertake a certain amount of pro bono work. There are two projects underway at the moment: The Give Something Back Competition Our business education practice has just launched a really innovative competition for any business school student - or group of students. The idea is that they pitch an imaginative, but robust project designed to improve the lives of disadvantaged people anywhere around the globe. It could be a social enterprise, an educational programme or a humanitarian undertaking. The winner will get 1.5 days of practical PR & media relations support from us per month for six months. And this isn't just a pie in the sky idea. Having worked with business schools the world over, one thing we have learned is that their students often come up with some of the most interesting and innovative ideas to help others in society. From the MBA student who set up a fashion business to help struggling communities in the wake of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, through to the Masters in Management student working to reduce snake bite deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa, we’ve had the privilege of working with a number of exciting projects. We know there are hundreds of great social projects being initiated every year – but that many will get very little attention outside of their immediate communities. We hope to change that and look forward to helping a worthy project get as much press as possible.