If you pay attention to business news, you’ve probably seen endless headlines describing new employee recruitment or retention challenges. Right now, it’s “quiet quitting,” which is a catchy phrase for overburdened and underappreciated employees no longer working beyond their job description. A year ago, everyone talked about “The Great Resignation,” when employees left their jobs in droves to take advantage of better opportunities. While these two trends are distinct, they both emerge from an evolving employment environment that places the employee experience at the forefront. Now more than ever, employers need to cultivate the best environment possible to attract and keep the best talent.
Ideally, employers would focus their efforts on fair and equitable compensation while sustaining positive and supportive environments. Some could go even further by creating generous employee perks like unlimited vacation time or flexible work hours. However, many employers don’t realize that public relations can also play an essential role in employee retention and recruitment. Adding those marketing efforts to the more tangible employee benefits like pay and perks can go a long way towards building a more attractive employee experience. Here’s how.
PR Raises a Company’s Public Profile
Everyone wants to work at a great company that does cool work. What’s even better is when that cool company gets public attention for the great things it does. Earned media provides important external validation that can raise a company’s public profile, establish a good reputation in its market or industry and boost employee morale. After all, employees can talk about a work initiative until they’re blue in the face, but it just won’t have the same clout as a well-placed media story.
Sustained media coverage — even in smaller community outlets — makes a company more recognizable. As a result, employees will be prouder of where they work because their friends, family and community know what they do. And when potential employees see that positive coverage, they’ll know cool things are happening and may be more likely to apply for an open position in the future.
PR Can Be Egalitarian
A growing number of employees resist strict hierarchical office structures and desire more egalitarian working relationships. Fortunately, the right PR strategy can help underscore the value a company places in its employees by telling stories about their accomplishments instead of highlighting only the business or its executive team. Employee-centered PR promotes the company by promoting its team.
Beyond shaping the stories a company tells publicly, this approach can also influence the type of PR content a company produces. Rather than simply pitching company-centered stories to the media, they can promote their team by placing employee-authored articles in industry magazines, booking team members on relevant podcasts or sending a rising star to give a keynote address at an industry event. Not only does this approach display a company’s trust in its team to represent them publicly, but it also provides its team with meaningful career development opportunities.
Besides leveling the employee landscape, employee-centered PR also gives organizations a human face, making them more relatable. Putting the team front and center in public-facing marketing will make employees feel more seen and appreciated. At the same time, people outside the organization gain insight into an exciting company that obviously values its team’s expertise.
PR is More than Corporate Vanity
People often mistake PR for corporate vanity. In reality, PR is a technique for positioning a company’s message to an audience. Many times that audience is potential customers. But in a competitive recruitment and retention environment, PR can also be a fantastic tool for targeting current and future employees. Telling the right stories in the right places can boost the employee experience while making the organization more attractive to potential and prospective employees. After all, if an organization wants to hire the best employees, it must diligently curate its public image at all times.
Be Prepared to Meet the New Trend
We’ll undoubtedly see more urgent news stories about a future crisis in hiring and retention. In the meantime, employers should optimize their compensation models and perks to create an attractive environment for their employees. Sharing those new developments with the public, along with the other incredible things their team is up to, should also play a critical role in their overall recruitment and retention strategy. That way, when a pithy new phrase is coined during the next hiring challenge, employers can rest secure in the knowledge that the environment they’ve created for their employees is second to none.