Using PR to attract staff in a tight labour market

We all know how tight the labour market is these days.

Everyone wants good staff but there just aren’t enough candidates to fill the roles. Add to this the fact your business may be looking for someone very specialised or that you’re based in a remote, rural area and things become even more difficult.

Of course, one way to try and overcome the problem is just to offer people more cash. However, not only is this expensive but it also doesn’t work in the long-term. What’s to stop another employer coming along and tempting your new staff member away with an even better offer?

Fostering a genuinely positive and beneficial work culture and communicating this clearly and creatively to the wider world can really help attract the staff you need. What’s more it can also help your business to run better.

You can’t fake a great place to work

Of course, if you’re going to plan PR and content around what a great workplace you run, then you need to make sure it is actually as good as you say. One of the first rules of PR is that it’s always easier to promote the truth. So before planning a marketing campaign to attract people to your business ask yourself honestly: ‘How attractive a place is it really to work?’

This in itself is a worthwhile exercise, which may well reveal some areas to work on and generate ideas for how you might be able to improve staff benefits or relations. Useful questions to ask yourself are: ‘What do I least like about working here?’ or, even more scarily, ‘What would I least like prospective employees to know about my business?’ The answer to either question is something you need to concentrate on improving.

Making sure you have a truly enjoyable work culture will also fuel positive PR activity among some of your most valuable brand ambassadors; your staff. There are few things more powerful than a member of your team genuinely telling their friends how great their job is over a few drinks. You can’t fake that kind of advertising or put a price on it.

Spread the news

Once you’re ready to stand on the nearest rooftop and shout about what a great workplace you have, it’s time to do just that. You don’t have to do it literally (although that might make quite a good PR stunt) but there are many, many ways to do it via the media and online.

Talk about what you do

There are lots of great things you can do to specifically promote your business as the best place to work. However, it’s important to remember that more general PR and content will help do this as well.

Have you won a new contract? Developed a world-first innovation? Moved to bigger new premises? Grown turnover by 100 per cent? Then make sure you’re developing content and PR to tell the world about your success. Not only is this great for bigging up your business but it will also make it seem like an attractive place to work as well.

Use the power of social media

An engaging stream of social media posts from your business is one way to project a positive work culture.

Ideally, this will involve multiple members of staff rather than just ‘the boss’ (after all, they would say it’s a great place to work wouldn’t they?). It’s also important to consider which social platforms will work best. Maybe it’s a good idea for the CEO to write a thought leadership piece for LinkedIn but perhaps the intern is more suited to a quick, snappy vid on TikTok.

A day in the life

When you work in a business day in and day out, it’s easy to lose sight of how interesting it is to other people. What is routine to you might be fascinating to someone else and it’s definitely very interesting to prospective employees.

Day in the life blogs are a great way to showcase what you do and why it’s great to work with you. Every company is only as good as the people who work there and content like this really helps to bring your business to life. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the work of your current staff while also appealing to others.

It can be really valuable to talk a little bit about what people do in their spare time outside work. It helps show you’re a company that values work/life balance and can also demonstrate the benefits of relocating to your area. If you can head straight to the beach or up a mountain after finishing work at your office then this is something you should definitely be telling people about.

Pictures, pictures, pictures

It is hard to overstate how important pictures are in all PR and content. People are drawn to pictures much more than to writing and so you need to make sure they are good.

Of course, if you are producing content about the people that work at your business you need to include pictures of them. A blog about how great your day was is nowhere near as powerful if it’s accompanied by a picture of a piece of machinery or a building site. Use a picture of the person who is using the machinery or the team who are working on the site instead. It really will make a difference.

While you’re at it, why not think about shooting a quick video on your mobile phone? Just a quick talking head video posted to social media can have a massive impact.

Show that you invest in your people …

Never miss the opportunity to produce content or PR about staff success stories. Has someone completed an apprenticeship? Have they undergone some professional development training?

Telling these stories demonstrates how much you back and invest in your team.

… and that you’re making the world a better place

The social and environmental credentials of a company matter more and more to potential employees.

If you’re supporting good causes and helping out in your local community then this should be obvious in your content and communications. It shows you’re a business with a purpose and a heart and, surely in that case, a pretty good place to work?

Showing how our healthcare client looks after staff and service users alike

At Platinum Live we are proud to number one of Cumbria’s largest home healthcare providers among our clients.

Although it’s very rewarding, working as a carer is also hard work and recruitment is one of the sector’s great challenges.

We worked with our client to identify its core values and how to project them via a range of external multi-media campaigns.

Our strategy was centred around promoting the excellent care provision they provide, their commitment to nurturing talent, being a living wage employer and promoting all the good they do in various communities.

We deal and handle all incoming media requests for the care firm and use our network to ensure accurate reporting in regional, national, and international media, across digital, print and broadcast.

Platinum Live has delivered a flow of successful media campaigns, gaining coverage across outlets including ITV News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, and an array of local media outlets both digital and print outlets.

Our communications are open and honest about how difficult recruitment can be but always show the great rewards on offer for those who take on the challenge.

Need help? Then get in touch

At Platinum Live we love sitting down with new clients to talk about their needs. If you need help with recruitment PR or any other aspect of creative communications then get in touch with the team hello@platinum-live.co.uk

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