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FINDING THE RIGHT FIT: QUESTIONS TO ASK A PR & COMMS RECRUITER BEFORE PARTNERING WITH THEM

The good, bad, and the PR & comms recruiters: why “How much?” isn’t enough (… the same applies to working with any niche recruiter)

You’ve braved the Google jungle, unearthed a handful of PR & comms recruiters (all claiming “leading expert” status, naturally), and then fired off emails requesting those coveted ToBs. So what questions should you ask a PR and comms recruiter?

Next stop: a price tag chat that might just sway your decision. But hold on! Have you truly grilled them about their experience, industry knowledge, or even diversity efforts?

Remember, this recruiter will represent your brand to the world, not to mention potential hires. First impressions matter! So, when navigating the PR & comms recruitment landscape, asking the right questions is crucial. This ensures they’re the perfect fit for your needs, delivering the service you deserve.

Forget “How Much?” and “Send ToBs” – Here’s what questions should you ask a PR and comms recruiter:

Experience and Specialisation:

  • PR Expertise: So can you prove your track record in recruiting for PR & comms, social media, digital and marketing roles? We need a sector-specific agency, not a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Specialisation: Do you focus on specific PR & comms verticals or play the field? Healthcare and Engineering are galaxies apart, and a Beauty PR might blink twice in CleanTech.
  • Our World: Have you ventured into our sector before? What do you know about our business? The deeper their business understanding, the better they represent you to candidates.

Understanding Your Needs:

  • Client Whispering: How do you decipher our specific needs beyond the job description?
  • Similar Success Stories: Can you showcase a placement mirroring our company or role? Let’s see their PR magic in action.

Recruitment Process

  • Retained, Exclusive or Contingent? Do you have any different ways of working:

Spill the beans on your process!

  • Candidate Safari: How do you hunt those elusive PR gems? Market-mapping, targeted outreach, job ad or just LinkedIn roulette and waiting?
  • Who does the work: Do you do all the research and outreach yourself or do you use it as a training exercise for juniors? Do you use any overseas outsourcing services in the process?
  • Quality Control: How do you ensure candidates aren’t just CVs with fancy fonts? Do you screen and interview everyone?
  • The Right Fit Formula: What questions do you ask candidates to see if they’ll then rock our PR world?

Industry Network

  • Beyond LinkedIn: Sure, you know LinkedIn, but what about a network built over years of experience and deep connections?
  • Trend Savvy: How do you stay ahead of the PR curve and discover top talent? Let’s test their industry knowledge.

Diversity and Inclusion (DE&I)

  • Beyond the Checkbox: Have you or your team undergone any D&I training? How do you actively cultivate a diverse candidate pool? Diversity isn’t a slogan, it’s a commitment.
  • Inclusive Journey: What’s your recipe for fostering and promoting D&I throughout the recruitment process?

Communication and Reporting

  • Keeping You in the Loop: How often will we chat during the search? Don’t leave us in the recruitment blind spot.
  • Reports, Reports, Reports: What kind of updates and reports can we expect? Regular communication is key to a happy partnership.

Timeframe

  • From Search to Success: Real talk, what’s the typical timeframe for landing the perfect PR pro?
  • Urgent SOS: How do you handle those “we need a PR wizard unicorn on roller-skates yesterday” situations?

Success Rate and Guarantees

  • PR Placement Prowess: What’s your success rate for PR, social media, digital, and marketing roles? We’re looking for a proven track record, not guesswork.
  • Beyond Placement: Do you offer any guarantees or follow-up support after we finally find the perfect PR match?

Client References

  • Testimonials of Trust: Can you connect us with other companies you’ve worked with, especially those in the PR arena? We like real-world validation.

Cost and Terms

  • Fees and Fine Print: Finally let’s talk money! What are your fees and terms of service? 
  • Contingent, Retained, or…? Demystify the recruitment model jungle! We need clarity, not confusion. And sometimes you might just be surprised by cost savings and different working models!

Post-placement Support

  • Beyond the Handshake: What kind of support do you offer after the candidate joins our team? A successful placement needs a strong foundation.
  • Oops, That Didn’t Work Out: Lastly, how do you handle situations where a placement doesn’t pan out? Let’s talk backup plans.

Firstly by asking a PR and comms recruiter these key questions, you gain a deeper understanding of their experience, process, and ability to meet your specific needs. So this empowers you to make an informed decision and makes sure that your PR & comms, social media, digital and marketing recruitment journey is not just successful, but truly extraordinary.

Finally remember, the right PR & comms recruiter isn’t just a vendor, they’re a strategic partner. By investing time in asking the right questions, you will then cultivate a collaborative relationship that amplifies your brand voice and lands you the talent you need to tell your story to the world.


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