3 minute read

Recruiter Q&As

For some recruitment businesses, the decision to undertake PR can be a hard one. Recruitment is hugely results driven and ROI is easily measurable. PR is different, and it can take some time to see results. With this in mind, we thought we’d feature a Q&As with recruiters who use PR, and why they do so.

Ann Swain – Chief Executive of APSCo

Why do you use PR?

We are a very busy trade association and consequently have a lot of interesting things that we feel we need to communicate out to the wider world.  APSCo is also a brand that our members are proud to be associated with and so it is important that we are seen to be participating in, and in many cases leading, the conversations around issues affecting the professional recruitment sector.  That on-going recognition of our brand is important to us – and important to our members.

How do you measure ROI?

Obviously we look at the number of relevant pieces of coverage we get in support of our various campaigns but also we look at the penetration of our brand within the different vertical sectors within which we operate.  We are lucky in so far as we have a large number of member events and so will often get instant feedback from members who have seen our press coverage and comment on it – that in itself is a good measure of the success of our PR campaigns.

What would your advice be to anyone looking to introduce PR into their business?

I’d recommend using a firm that not only understands your marketplace and sector but which also understands you, your culture and how you work because the synergy and chemistry is really important.  They also need to convince you that they can act quickly. Consider what questions they ask – that gives a good indication of how interested they are in your business – and crucially ask for a demonstration of proactivity.

David Leyshon, MD of specialist technical and engineering recruiter, CBSbutler

Why do you use PR?

We use PR as a key element to achieving our ultimate business goals: namely to promote the company as an employer of choice, build the brand amongst target communities and, in all cases, to create positive messages for the market place.

How do you measure ROI?

ROI within PR can be somewhat qualitative. While loose financial returns can be applied to media insertions, we largely base it around feedback from stakeholders. And in the case of candidates, the number of applicants who refer to key PR events, such as awards.

What advice would you give to recruitment businesses considering PR?

Be clear about your priorities and business objectives, define your strategy and agree a set of expectations via measurable service levels e.g. the number of media articles per quarter. Once you’ve decided on your goals, hold regular reviews to discuss performance and fine tune the approach and tactics used. Be prepared to enter into a two-way partnership; the quality of work delivered by PR professionals is highly dependent on the material your team offers up – they cannot perform miracles!

Graeme Read, Group Managing Director at Antal International, a global recruitment company with 110 offices in 35 countries worldwide

Why do you use PR?

We use PR to help get our name in front of clients as market leaders and thought leaders on a range of topics from hiring outlook, salary surveys to general trends in sectors and geographic areas. It is about promoting ourselves intelligently using the massive intellectual property our people have access to. We are specialists in international markets and we use that to educate clients, and as the basis for PR and marketing activities.

How do you measure ROI?

It is hard to see a direct link so our people are always asking new clients where they heard of us to get a fair understanding of what influenced their decision to contact Antal. Of course, measuring coverage in press, web and other media is important - but measuring if it makes your phone ring or measuring how clients see you is the best way to gain an appreciation of the ROI.

What would your advice be to anyone looking to introduce PR to their business?

There's so many firms who claim to be "unique" or "best at" one thing or another so avoid using those terms. Instead find out why you are the best at or what makes you unique and focus on the ‘what’ and ‘why’ rather than making a statement that is overused in our industry. If you are looking for external PR assistance then I would use specialists who understand your industry and who can see the value of your ‘take’ on a market trend, and who has the ability to help you formulate it and shape it to your clients and the media that serve your niche.

Simon Lythgoe – Head of Marketing at Ochre House

Why do you use PR?

The nature of our work means we are naturally a very content orientated company, which we use to position ourselves as thought leaders and to get our brand in front of industry spokespeople.  We use PR as one of our primary channels to disseminate this material and expand our proposition in order to support networking events, think tanks and to build our business development tools.

How do you measure ROI?

On a basic level we measure our PR in social media interactions, increases in web traffic and the number of blog reads. However, what is key for us is our share of the market voice on leading industry topics. As such we monitor and analyse our coverage – and that of our competitors – to ensure we are leading the debate.

What would your advice be to anyone looking to introduce PR into their business?

My first comment would perhaps be to ask why they aren’t doing it already! I would, however, advise anyone looking to implement PR to ensure they have a co-ordinated approach which sees everyone working towards an agreed strategy. Using an agency is also valuable as it gives you access to channels you previously wouldn’t have been able to reach.



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