Recruitment PR Tips from the Apprentice

If you’ve been following my recent blogs, you might have guessed that my opinion of the Apprentice isn’t great. There’s a wealth of flaws in the process itself that I find frustrating – what value is it to a potential business partner to see if someone can design a rollercoaster when the product they’re seeking investment for is a beauty cream, for example. BUT, the show does give me plenty of recruitment PR tips to talk about. So, as much as my family are probably fed up with me shouting at the TV on a Wednesday night, I’ll keep watching and keep writing. Here’s my thoughts from last night’s car (or rollercoaster) crash.

Why you need to listen

I mentioned this in an earlier blog but it’s definitely a recurring theme for the show: communication is a two-way thing and needs to be treated as such. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of believing you know best, but if your audiences are telling you something different, you need to acknowledge it. The same can be said of your consultants. If a member of your team is flagging an issue that means you may need to rethink your messaging – give them the chance to explain their view and seriously consider it.

If we take the losing team last night, Tommy and Lottie certainly clashed, with the latter’s rather brash approach to ‘collaboration’ resulting in ideas from the rest of the team being pushed aside with little consideration – including the poster design which arguably was the final nail in the coffin for the team’s success. Had she simply given Thomas the chance to voice his views and actually listened, they might have been in with a chance to win.

You don’t need to do it all at once

I like rollercoasters, so I was really looking forward to this latest episode. However, a 15-loop ride that has the fastest acceleration just sounds like too much to me. If they’d just chosen the one USP, then I’d definitely be interested. In comparison, the winning team took one theme and made that work (sort of) – rather than over complicating the idea.

The same can be said for recruitment PR. Trying to do too much in one go can confuse your activity and potentially limit the impact of your messaging. Sometimes simplicity really is best. And by honing your attention on one specific theme or audience at a time, you really can ensure your giving this activity the time and investment needed to ensure you note the best possible return on investment.

Ultimate recruitment PR tip: have a voice

What really let Iasha down in last night’s episode was her inability to express her opinions and be vocal – and this is something that recruitment firms really need to be conscious of. We often have conversations with agencies that want to remain quiet in fear of ‘giving away’ too much information to competitors. In truth, if another agency is operating in the same field as you, it’s likely that they will know much of what you have to share anyway. So the question, then, is do you want them talking about their expertise to your current and potential clients and candidates? I’d be worried if the answer is yes!

It is a saturated market at the moment, but staying quiet and reserved won’t help get your brand noticed. Now I’m not suggesting you need to ensure your name is in every national paper, sector magazine, online blog or specialist podcast. Spreading your brand too thin won’t help you secure your position as a thought leader. Instead, the right content targeted at the right places will ensure you set yourself up for the best competitive success.

While I might not agree that the processes in the Apprentice are the best when it comes to identifying a potential business partner (could you tell? 😊), it does provide a wealth of recruitment PR tips.

What lessons do you think we can all learn from the Apprentice? I’d love to hear your views too! Comment below.

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Author: Vickie Collinge

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