PR for recruitment: Using the media to attract the best tech talent
How to use PR to support tech recruitment
According to a recent piece by Forbes, recruiting the right talent is the tech industry’s second largest challenge in 2019 (the largest is market incorporation).
While all industries rely on talented individuals to succeed, the need is particularly high in the tech sector. Businesses crave candidates that are not only technically literate but creative, enthusiastic, flexible, and able to work as part of a team. Some businesses will require talent proficient in certain programming languages, or with a higher level of tech, computing, or mathematical abilities.
Businesses are already feeling the consequences of high recruitment standards and a limited talent pool. According to research by Indeed, 86% of tech hiring managers find it challenging to find and hire technical talent. Further research by Monster found that 65% of tech leaders think that hiring challenges are hurting the industry.
There are many techniques tech businesses can use to overcome recruitment challenges. Joining communities or networks that can promote your job opportunities can help, as can working with specialist tech recruitment consultants (though this can be expensive). Another technique is using PR for recruitment. By placing clever messaging in front of your target audience (top-notch job seekers), you can promote your tech business as an attractive place to work. Keep reading to find out how…
Promote business news
Candidates simply can’t think of you as a great place to work if they’ve never heard of you. If your brand awareness is low, start with some simple or more generic PR to get your name out there. This means promoting relevant business news to the media: client acquisitions, partnerships, moves, mergers, and new hires. Local news is often underestimated and scoffed at. However, it’s a useful tool here since you will usually recruit from your local area. Form positive relationships with your local business journalists, and they’ll probably be more than happy to feature your business news – where appropriate.
Another technique for using PR for recruitment is sponsoring relevant local business awards. This will help get your name out there and will be seen by attendees, judges, and other sponsors.
Once your land any PR coverage, remember to share it across your channels. As well as your social media profiles, consider setting up a press page on your website to host any coverage you secure.
Incorporate your company values
Your company values have an important role to play in the recruitment process. Keeping these front and centre ensures you recruit individuals who match your company culture and fit with the rest of the team. Including your company values in your PR activity is a good way to make this happen.
For example, one of our company values at Luminous is “we are curious”. We’re dedicated to our learning culture, and we even incorporate it into our team meetings and quarterly appraisals. To show off a little (since it’s something we’re proud of), we wrote an article about the importance of creating a learning culture for Norfolk Developer Magazine. We also reviewed a team building app for Real Business magazine to help develop our flexible and friendly working culture.
Thought leadership PR
Thought leadership is a type of PR we favour here at Luminous. It involves promoting the profiles of key figures within your business and showing them off as experts in your field. This could be by writing high-quality, opinion content and placing it in publications trusted by your target audience – along with a description of your business, and (hopefully) a headshot and bio of the author. Alternatively, thought leadership PR may involve providing a meaty quote or comment on a news story that shows you know your industry inside-out.
There are a couple of ways thought leadership PR can help recruitment. Firstly, it never hurts to show off your expertise. Talented employees are more likely to want to work for a leader in their field than a business that doesn’t know what it’s talking about. Additionally, you can use thought leadership to promote your values and what it is that makes your company a great place to work. For example, you might strongly believe that offering staff time off for charity work makes them happier and more hard working. Don’t be afraid to share these sorts of opinions! Business publications are crying out for great content, and many welcome opinion pieces of this sort. The only caveat is that it mustn’t be too self-promotional: focus on providing genuine advice for other businesses.
Entering even ‘generic’ business awards can help your tech business with recruitment – candidates certainly aren’t going to be put off by an award-winning company.
However, you should also consider the points we mentioned above to use business awards more strategically. An award win proves your business’s worth in a particular category, so focus on entering awards that reflect your values and culture. For example, you could enter awards for employee happiness, being a flexible employer, charitable work, or supporting families. Many sector-specific awards even have an ’employer of the year’ category – though you may have to ask staff (nicely) to nominate your company.
Don’t forget your own channels
PR isn’t the way you can use comms to help with recruitment. Your blog and social media should reflect all the things that make your company a great place to work. Share positive news like new hires, cake sales, work social events, or even a quick photo or boomerang of Friday beers and cake in the office. If your tech business is still in the fast-paced, startup stage, show it off – it’s a big turn-on for many candidates.
Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great tools for promoting your company culture as they work best with visual content. However, LinkedIn is the real MVP when it comes to recruitment. Since it’s the most popular platform among job seekers, you can’t afford to neglect LinkedIn. Candidates use it to research what it’s really like to work at the companies they’re applying for, as well as connecting with current employees they may know.
As well as posting things like blog posts and business news, don’t be afraid to show a little personality on LinkedIn. Focus on what’s unique about working for your company rather than any other. That could be conferences or events you host, away days, charities you support, or opportunities for progression within your tech company. Your tone and messaging should reflect your business and its values, as well as being attractive to candidates.
Using PR for recruitment might not sound like the obvious choice, but it makes a lot of sense. Even the best businesses would be nothing without the talented individuals who make up their workforce. This is particularly true for businesses in the tech and digital space.
Still have more questions about how to use PR and comms for tech recruitment? Get in touch.