As the UK eagerly awaits the next episode of the Apprentice (ok, I might be slightly exaggerating there!) I thought I’d be a bit different with my regular blog posts and outline my predictions for what recruitment PR lessons we can expect this week.
Don’t forget that communication is a two-way thing
I’m no fortune teller, but I can imagine at least one team will struggle with communication. Crucially, the project manager will fail to listen to other members of the team they perhaps don’t like as much and, as a result, won’t react to what will likely be critical information that costs them the win. I hate to use the word ‘ego’ in a PR recruitment blog, but I have too simply because that’s what I truly believe is hindering the success of the majority of the contestants on the show.
They’re all battling to be the bigger voice or show they are better than everyone else, forgetting that it’s in their best interests to work together at this stage (let’s not forget that the successful finalists will be relying on those they are happily stabbing in the back now to support their investment dreams).
The recruitment PR lesson here is not to get too big for your boots. Just because you’re an expert firm, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to what others are saying and respond accordingly. If, for example, your data suggests hiring trends are the polar opposite of the statistics being touted in the press by numerous high-profile research sources, it’s worthwhile checking your own stats before going public. The last thing you want is a journalist discovering that your ‘global survey of hiring managers’ was only completed by four people who happen to be some of your consultant’s mates.
No matter how good an idea is – always ask yourself if it’s right
This is a crucial recruitment PR lesson that is a common theme for Apprentice shows, both old and new. More often than not the teams come up with a number of quirky ideas, and as the creativity flows, everyone gets sucked in to a particular concept. But what then tends to happen is the groups follow this idea without taking a step back and assessing if the idea they’ve focused their attention on is right for their objectives and target audiences.
As a case in point, in last week’s episode, the losing team created two almost completely separate ad campaigns – one seemingly promoting a Finnish spa and another advertising Pride. The team that came up with the billboard idea whole-heartedly got behind the idea of promoting Pride, but their enthusiasm meant they went off track – the brief was to rebrand Finland, not the popular LGBTQ+ event.
In a similar vein, the other team were carried away by the focus on backpacking, but failed to really bring out the key attractions of the country – much of their adverts could, as the judges repeatedly pointed out, have been filmed anywhere.
The ideas were good, but they simply weren’t right for the brief, and I’m sure tonight’s episode will result in similar disappointment.
Recruitment PR lessons: learn from your mistakes
I’m not a betting woman, but I would put money on seeing tonight’s latest fired candidate being called out for failing to learn from their mistakes. Even more likely is that the losing team follows one of my predictions above. And this to me is the crucial PR recruitment lesson: learn from your mistakes – or what’s not working at least.
If you’re getting nowhere with your e-shots, rather than relentlessly pushing the same messages at a clearly disinterested audience, shake it up. Change the topics, share multimedia content and push out links to coverage, and monitor what is getting traction. Let this data guide future activity, regardless of your gut feelings. And if you have an opinion piece angle that’s not getting the interest you expected it to, go back to the drawing board. Admitting somethings not working is difficult, but if you’re not getting results from your recruitment agency PR, you need a different approach. Or a specialist agency.