Why recruiters make good PRs

On the face of it, PR and recruitment may not seem particularly aligned as careers. However, here at Spark we have a sizeable, and growing, contingent of ex-recruiters that have made the transition to PR. In fact, almost one in five of our current employee base having been in recruitment at some stage – myself included. Some would say this is a coincidence, but there are plenty of transferable skills from recruitment that makes PR a fairly natural progression for a recruiter. These same skills are often attractive to PR firms, who would ideally like new employees to hit the ground running.

So, what exactly are the similarities between PR and recruitment? Here are five features that both industries share:

1. Thick skin: any recruiter will tell you that cold calling a prospective client will often end up with some form of rejection, and rarely a polite one. Recruiters have to understand that this is just part of the job. As such, being able to dust yourself off is crucial in recruitment. The same can be said for PR. Journalists are often busy, and will not always be interested in the news you are selling. Learning not to take this personally will stand you in good stead.

2. Confidence on the phone: whether it is the hiring client or the journalist, confidence on the phone is a vital part of both recruitment and PR. A journalist will not be compelled to write a story off the back of a meek pitch, in the same way that a client will not be compelled to look at a CV if you can’t sell it with confidence.

3. Good time management: in both industries managing your time effectively is crucial to success. In recruitment time is money, and in PR you are often confronted with juggling numerous tasks at once with tight deadlines. Both roles require you to maximise the efficiency of your time. If you don’t have this skill you are sure to fall fast.

4. Knowing what is worthy: in recruitment, understanding what is important to the client, and being able to spot that on a CV, is paramount to success. The smallest detail on a CV or in a person’s character can make or break a deal. In PR, being able to spot when a story is likely to catch the attention of a journalist, and when it is going straight to the junk folder is equally important. This can save you a lot of time and effort.

5. Knowing how to celebrate: stereotypically, both PRs and recruiters like to celebrate success, usually with a few beers. In both jobs you encounter a fair amount of stress making sure that your clients and candidates, or journalists and clients, are happy. So patting yourself on the back when things are going well is important.

While there are a lot of similarities between the two jobs, there are also a lot of differences. In the interest of time, I am not going to discuss them all in this blog. Both are fun, and both have their flaws, but if you are a recruiter looking for a career change, be sure to ping your CV over to [email protected].