Successes and Failures: Tips for Successful Hi-Tech Recruitment

By Kador, John | Public Relations Journal, July 1991 | Go to article overview

Successes and Failures: Tips for Successful Hi-Tech Recruitment


Kador, John, Public Relations Journal


Success: "We needed to staff up quickly for a new project. The account team was brainstorming late one Friday evening. Someone mentioned a name well-known in the industry. We phoned him. He was in, agreed to come right over, and we hired him. This guy was so good that two years later, the client hired him away from us. It made the client-agency relationship even more efficient and solid than it was."

Failure: "To handle media relations and heavy editorial contact work, we hired a good technical writer, and pushed him too fast. Maybe if we had taken more time to develop his account service skills it might have worked, but as it was, the skills simply did not match up."

Chilton G. "Chick" Goebel Jr., APR

Senior Vice President/Group Manager

Ketchum Communications, Philadelphia, PA

Success: "We wanted a candidate with substantial experience on the agency as well as client side, whom we could charter to build an office. We were assisted in the process by a headhunter who did substantial prescreening, preliminary interviewing and reference checking. We were presented with an excellent candidate. We made sure she had all the support she needed, including access to all our senior people, and it worked out beautifully."

Failure: "We have learned there is a risk of expecting too much too soon when we bring someone in at a senior level--account supervisor or higher--from another agency. When we haven't made the time for a really good exploration of aspects of cultural fit, it has not been a positive experience. When we have taken the time to bring the person into the environment, the process has been much more successful."

John A. Miller, Chairman & CEO

Miller Communications, Inc., Boston, MA

Success: "When I have a recruitment opportunity, I frequently turn to trade press editors. Recently, I let editors know I was interested in hiring a person with certain skills. One of the editors I deal with told me about an individual whose skills he respected. Even though that person did not have formal public relations experience, he had good communication and marketing skills and hi-tech knowledge. We called, set up an informal meeting, and went from there."

Failure: "I took a chance and hired someone who not only had no public relations agency experience, but came from an organization that had never worked with a public relations agency. It's hard to make that kind of situation work."

Sharon VanSickle, Public Relations Principal

Karakas, VanSickle, Ouellette Advertising & Public Relations, Beaverton, OR

Success: "I was making a sales pitch at a company and one of its employees was assigned to take me around the plant. I was very impressed with him. We didn't get the account and three months later I heard that the company was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I called and inquired about the employee, got him on the phone, and asked him if he had ever considered working for a public relations agency. We hired and trained him and he turned out to be an excellent account executive. The point is, keep your eyes open for anyone who might be ideal for a job, whether you have a slot or not; whether they are looking or not."

Failure: "I hired a very good technical person with demonstrated writing skills. What I didn't look at were his work habits. I found out that while his end product was excellent, he took forever to get there. …

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