The Highs and Lows of Hiring: How to Land a Communications Job

It’s no secret that trends in the job market change from year to year. So what exactly is it like to hire employees in 2018? What should job searchers seek in a potential employer?  At our recent DC Communicators event, our panel of industry experts dove into the highs and the lows of recruiting. We are sharing our headlines for recruitment in 2018.

1. “Potential employees need to wear many hats. Show that you take initiative.” – Amy Repke, Vice President, Communications & Marketing at the Community Associations Institute

Budgets are slimming, teams are shrinking in size, and job descriptions are expanding. So what does this mean for a job seeker or a recruiter? People in the market for work need to be ready and willing to do a bit of everything. Amy Repke, Vice President, Communications & Marketing at the Community Associations Institute, shared a characteristic she looks for when hiring new talent. “We need our team to be flexible, adaptable and wear several hats. I need someone who is capable of shifting gears at any minute to get the most important thing done.” Hiring managers are often in need of one employee that can bridge all gaps. A one trick pony will no longer be able to get the job done in today’s office space. Employees need to bring skills that can transcend across traditional silos.

2.  “Hiring managers need to sell themselves and the company. An interview goes both  ways.” – Heidi Parsont, CEO of TorchLight Hire

The job market for communications professionals in the DC area is very competitive. The market is moving faster than job offers are being given out. “Interviews are no longer a one way street,” shared Heidi Parsont, CEO of TorchLight Hire. “If you like a candidate, don’t wait, hire them. I don’t always say that, but in 2018 waiting is too late. People often have many offers at once today.”

Throughout the interview process, recruiters need to communicate about the hiring timeline as job-seekers need to make decisions quickly. You should provide a window into the company and its culture. Tell the candidate your uniqueness. Why is your company better than others in a competitive market?

3. “Always hire people smarter than you.” – Jade Floyd, Vice President of Communications of The Case Foundation

Companies are constantly evaluating their performance and how to get better. Employees should do the same. Seek to hire lifelong learners that are eager to continue their professional development. Jade Floyd, Vice President of Communications of The Case Foundation said, “Always look for talent that is smarter than you and talent that has a passion to be a lifelong learner.” Jade shared that we need to hire people smarter than ourselves, but not be intimidated by them. We select candidates for a reason. Bring people to your team that will lift everyone up.

4. “Be a solutions provider versus a problem solver.” – Kristen Wesley, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Mathematical Association of America

Enthusiasm is key in not just the hiring process but over the employee’s tenure at the company. Kristen Wesley, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Mathematical Association of America told us that she looks for a solutions provider during an interview, “I don’t care where a problem comes from, I care about our solutions. I care about the go-getter who brings those solutions to the table.” It is crucial to show your all-in attitude during an interview.

How Proof Strategies Can Help

If you or your company is interested in learning more about hiring in the communications industry, check out Mimi Carter’s recent blog: How to Recruit Top Talent in the Communications Field.

Be sure to join us at the next DC Communicators event this Fall. We are a a network of communications and marketing professionals in the Washington, DC, metro area who are interested in emerging trends in earned, paid and digital media. Founded by Mimi Carter in 2013, the group meets quarterly at the National Building Museum to network and discuss such trends. If you’re interested in learning more about the Proof Strategies team and our DC Communicators events fill out the contact form below.

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Shelby Burns

Digital Strategist

Shelby’s love for communications and the digital world has blossomed into a passion for the public relations industry as a digital content creator. A native Floridian, Shelby spends her spare time exploring the DC area. She loves planning outdoor adventures in the nearby National Parks, discovering new restaurants, and visiting all of the local museums.

About Proof Strategies

With 275+ awards for client work and industry leadership, the independently owned Proof family of companies (Proof Strategies, Inc., Proof, Inc., Proof Experiences, Inc.) has over 165 staff members in offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Washington, D.C., and annual fee income of $30 million. As a brand steward to some of North America’s most respected and well-known companies, the firm’s strategic approach is guided by data-driven research, deep subject expertise, smart creative and meticulous measurement. A corporate leader in the age of climate change, Proof Strategies, Inc. has been carbon neutral since 2008.

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