Name: Samantha Glazer
Company: SG Search and Select
Job title: Director
What does your day-to-day job involve?
My day varies on a daily basis. After taking the office dog for a walk I tend to have a quick look through my in box – screening the applications that have come in over night and making sure that everyone receives a reply. I then make my calls to brief all candidates going on interviews and finish chasing feedback from the previous day.
Some days I am out of the office interviewing candidates and or visiting clients – those days I usually feel like I am racing against the clock as appointments are usually too close together in times, and too far apart in location!
On an office based day, I spend time looking for candidates, writing and posting ads and carrying out new business, which isn’t something I particularly like. It has improved since the production of my video.
I am usually giving general career advice too, and keeping in touch with recently placed candidates, and clients, to ensure that all is good. Being my own boss, I also have to do the boring admin bits.
I really don’t think it is essential to be a graduate in order to get a job in PR – I wish more clients thought that too.
Is it essential to be a graduate to get a job in PR?
I really don’t think it is essential to be a graduate in order to get a job in PR – I wish more clients thought that too. I truly believe that someone who is bright but chooses not to go to university will appreciate the opportunity more, will be more eager to learn and will also be more willing to start at the bottom. Some agencies have started to take part in Government apprenticeship schemes, which are an excellent way in.
I respond well to candidates who can give examples of their roles and campaigns worked on.
What do you look for in PR hires?
I look for people who have genuine reasons for wanting a new role. People who understand the industry and people who present themselves well – in terms of CV, in person and on social media. I respond well to candidates who can give examples of their roles and campaigns worked on. Giving a generic overview of what an AD (for example) does is really not enough. I also think it is important for a candidate to be responsive to me and put their trust in me.
How do you find PR talent?
Having worked in the industry for many years, a lot of the time talent finds me. I am very active on social media and regularly source candidates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I value referrals and do reward for anyone who is placed with a generous retail voucher to the person who recommend them.
I also have a team of resourcers who I brief to headhunt specific talent.
PR is changing, it has become more integrated and digital
Has much changed in how PR practitioners are recruited in the last five years?
Social Media plays a much bigger part – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have all become very valuable tools. LinkedIn however is over populated with recruiters, meaning candidates have become less responsive as the novelty has worn off. PR is changing, it has become more integrated and digital, so progressive agencies and brands need to be more flexible by looking at more diverse skillsets and backgrounds.
Clients do try and recruit for themselves, however often revert to using recruiters, as they then should be presented only with the very best candidates and waste far less of their time.
Which sector or discipline is the most difficult to recruit and why?
Healthcare is very difficult – People tend to work in specialist areas and do not change. Agencies know how hard good talent is to find and really look after their staff.
Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
I read Gorkana, The Holmes Report and PR Week regularly. I also follow my clients’ blogs to keep up with their news and views. I read Sarah Stimson’s words of wisdom and other recruitment people. I scroll through LinkedIn and Twitter at various moments throughout the day and do tend to click on ad-hoc links.
Don’t be pushed into taking something that you really don’t believe is right for you
What are your tips for seasoned PRs looking to move jobs?
Remember your CV is of great importance – it must be well written and not generic. You must realise how the landscape is changing and how PR is becoming more integrated. Be confident about your achievements and strengths, and what makes you stand out from someone else. Be clear about why you are leaving your current role and what you are looking for in your long-term career. Don’t be pushed into taking something that you really don’t believe is right for you. I also tell my candidates that I would rather give them great advice, listen to them and not place them – but look after them so they will recommend me, rather than place them in a role, that ultimately they won’t be happy in.
What are your tips for aspiring PRs?
When advertising entry level roles, the graduate CVs come through in abundance – a vast majority of them are rejected for the following reasons – typos; badly presented; poor grades, no work experience or internships completed, no presence on social media. Some get to phone interview stage and are then rejected for lack of knowledge or enthusiasm. My tips for the expiring PR’s is to realise that your CV will often still be the first thing that someone will see – it needs to be creative, well written and sell you well. You need to take an interest in the industry, read industry news and engage in social media conversations. Your LinkedIn profile needs to look good, think about people you have met, make quality connections, get recommendations, engage. You need to be active on Twitter and have a private or clean Facebook profile.