Hiring for the First Time: What Public Affairs Leaders Should Know

 

First time hiring someone for your company? As a Public Affairs Leader, there’s a lot riding on your shoulders. The person/s you choose to fill certain positions will greatly impact the success of the company. Hiring the wrong Public Affairs Officer, for instance, could lead to poorly communicated or unresponsive political engagements. Meanwhile, an inexperienced team member could cost you more in your time and money than you realise.

Don’t let the pressure get to you though. If you are hiring for the first time, there are five things you should know before interviewing your first candidate.

Consider Your Brand’s Image

This should serve as your True North. As much as you want candidates to compete for the position, you too must show your brand as a worthy employer. A recent study shows that close to 70 percent of job seekers refused to take job offers from companies that had an unflattering reputation. Many of these job seekers were even unemployed at the time. This means you should consider keeping a well-scrubbed brand image if you are to attract the right professionals on your side.

At Westminster Search, we help many organizations attract talent that might be put off by an employer until we handle initial misconceptions.

Be Proactive

Most hiring managers do just enough outreach and networking to satisfy a day’s work. But this can lead to a very limited number of prospects and missed opportunities for hiring better talent. Sweat the small stuff and broaden your search horizon by using social media to power your headhunting endeavor. Keep in mind that more than 80 percent of hires would consider resigning from their current station if offered a better position from a reputable company.

One of my favorite sourcing strategies is going pro-actively to the marketplace with a vacancy to ensure that the best and brightest are engaged and enthused.

Hiring is Only Half the Battle

Hiring is one thing, but keeping your employees from leaving is another challenge altogether. A high turnover rate can cost your organization tons of money from having to refill the positions and interview new candidates. Bringing in new people just to interview is an overlooked expense that you must consider as a hiring manager.

Make it easy for employees to stay. Provide the support they need to thrive, and help them resolve internal issues and conflicts that arise in the workplace. Use a tested method of training and make sure they feel comfortable doing the work on their own before leaving them.

This is easier said than done of course. However, we have a track record in helping to improve retention rates. One of the quickest ways to improve retention is to ask former teammates why they left. Not straight away but 3-6 months later. You will get a more honest answer and will find out potential hidden problems.

Propose Improvements

As a hiring manager, don’t be afraid to propose ideas and innovations that could lead to a more streamlined flow of hiring. Even if it costs money, top brass may consider it if the benefits far exceed the costs. Note, however, that every organization operates within budgetary restrictions hence you’ll have to fight for what you need or want.

Being the hiring manager means you are the gatekeeper who decides which talent passes through and which ones are barred from entry. And while hiring for the first time may be taken up as reason to produce subpar results, using the five tips above can simplify the process and make it effortless even for the inexperienced and first-time hiring managers.

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