How to find the best PR and marketing candidate

The job market is tight, but that doesn’t mean you should lower your hiring standards. Here are some tips on how to find the talent you need for your agency or team.

You know that hiring the wrong candidate is a costly mistake for your company.

However, hiring only from your personal networks can cause you to miss out on great candidates and could limit the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints in your organization.

Regardless of the talent pool you’re trawling, evaluating candidates in the interview process is crucial.

Adam Winstead, vice president of human resources for GS&F, has five tips for helping you find the right candidate for your job opening:

1. Dig deep into job experience. Winstead suggests you can learn more about relevant work experience on a résumé with a few carefully crafted questions. “For example, ask questions like, ‘Tell me about a time you did this … ’ and then ask the same question in a different form to tell if a candidate answers similarly,” Winstead says. “If they do, chances are they’re being honest with their answers.”

2. Gauge curiosity levels. A good candidate will also use an interview to learn more about a potential employer. “Are they asking follow-up questions?” asks Winstead. “Do they seem intrigued by the conversation? If you answer yes to both of these, chances are they are very interested in the position and will hopefully be passionate about the job.”

3. Ask questions creatively. Winstead says it is a mistake to ask leading questions when trying to assess whether a candidate will be a good fit for your organization.Don’t ask questions based on your company’s values point blank,” he says. “Instead, listen for responses that might align to your organization’s values.” He adds that it is important to see how the candidate answers “situational questions.” These unprompted answers will give you a much better sense of the candidate’s core values and how they might fit in your organization.

4. Tie in scenarios. Don’t be afraid to ask a candidate to complete an assignment, such as a writing test or short project. “If they are engaging and curious,” says Winstead, “chances are they have a high interest in the position.”

5. Inquire about previous managers. This question can help you evaluate how a potential employee might fit in with your current organizational structure and patterns.Asking a candidate about their preferred management style says a lot about the way they work,” he says. “If they prefer to have a structured work environment and their prospective boss gives thorough tasks, then this could be a nice fit.”

What are your tips for finding a great PR candidate, PR Daily readers? Share your thoughts in the comments.



One Response to “How to find the best PR and marketing candidate”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    I used to advertise “Editor—Genius Wanted” or “IT Manager—Genius Wanted.” This attracted the type of candidate I needed, and it saved me the time of reading resumes from candidates who didn’t feel that qualified or who wouldn’t want to work for a company that ran such an ad. It worked very well.

    You might think that a drawback of hiring the super-bright is that they might be super-difficult at getting along with each other. But it’s like a fraternity with superstar athletes: they have so much respect for one another that they get along exceptionally well!

    Are there some genius candidates who’d never answer such an ad? Sure, probably quite a few. But the objective in recruiting is to bring in the exceptionally qualified, so what matters is what you get. not what you don’t.
    The ad tells the truth about what you want, and a result of the ad is that often you get it.

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