Nick Church, digital marketing executive at leading graduate recruitment agency Give A Grad A Go, shares his top tips for spotting a great PR and marketing graduate.
Marketing and PR are integral parts of any business. Whether your organization is a burgeoning start-up trying to put a stamp on the market or a global brand wanting to bolster supporters, PR and marketing are important for creating the ‘face’ the public sees. Recruiting at graduate level can be hugely beneficial for a business looking to grow a dedicated marketing team. At Give A Grad A Go, we work with graduates on a daily basis, so thought we’d take the opportunity to share some of our top tips for spotting the graduates mostly likely to get people talking about you – for all the right reasons.
Probably the most important attribute any solid PR or marketing graduate will have is an ability to communicate clearly and effectively. While the most obvious choice would be someone who is confident, engaging, and not afraid to put themselves forward, this may not be the best person for the specific role you are looking to fill. These attributes are important to consider, but the responsibilities of a PR or marketing person can be hugely varied and you need to determine if they possess the specific skills relevant to the position you are looking to fill. You may find that their ability to write a killer subject line or bring clarity to a client brief actually take precedence over their personal charms.
Keeping track of what others in the industry are doing is key for any business wanting to keep a step ahead of competitors. Commercially aware graduates will have knowledge of the latest industry trends and how they may be applicable within different markets – a vital part of assessing the PR and marketing strategy of any business.
A graduate who takes time to pursue extracurricular learning outside what is strictly required of them is definitely an employee you want on your payroll. Not only does this demonstrate their dedication to a task but it can be great for enhancing their skillset for the work environment. For example, a graduate who runs their own blog and has good hands-on experience of using a CMS and writing engaging content is developing highly useful skills within PR and marketing.
There are obvious benefits to taking on graduates with previous experience. While it suggests candidates will be more ‘work ready’ and therefore more likely to fit into the role more quickly, it’s important to ensure you’re scrutinising their experience in the right way. Be sure to look out for evidence of past successes, both professionally and personally – this way you know you’re taking on someone who has the determination needed to drive your business forward.
With such a variety of roles in the sector, it’s fair to say there really is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for finding the right candidate. While there are some small assessments you can use to spot the best of the bunch, it ultimately comes down to ensuring your team and business needs match up with what the candidates bring to the table. If you are attracting graduates with good academics, relevant experience, and genuine interest in the sector and your business goals, then you are certainly on the right track.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing, B2B content marketing agency and proud HubSpot partner agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on email@example.com.
Keen on targeting the PR community? Learn about sponsorship opportunities here.