Larry Brantley, President of Chaloner & Associates, brings more than 30 years of experience in the communications, marketing and design world to his role at Chaloner. a national executive search firm specializing in communications, public relations and marketing recruitment. He’s worked with brands such as JCPenny, HP, EDS, Texas Instruments, ConocoPhillips and many others to place executive level talent in the marketing and communications roles. PRSA Boston recently had the opportunity to ask him for a few insights into the current job market.
Q: What are some of the key trends you are seeing in the hiring process these days?
A: Firms are now offering signing bonuses, relocation packages, enhanced benefit plans and increased compensation plans. It is a candidate market. Employers are having to compete for talent. It has not been this kind of employment climate since the late 1990s.
Q: What skills should PR and Communication professionals be looking to refine / develop as they start a job search?
A: We all need to be proactive in developing our knowledge in online content creation and management. Social media is key to all PR professionals. Whether you create online content or manage crisis communications, it impacts all of us in a world where everyone uses mobile communications on a regular basis. It is a qualifier in resume screening.
Q: There was a time when communications and digital marketing jobs were separate. Is that still the case? If not, are you seeing employers who are looking for candidates with both sets of skills?
A: Employers are looking for people who are multi-faceted in their skills and ability to do more for their company. It is imperative that we, as candidates, are able to multi- task and spin many plates at the same time. Larger firms may separate traditional communications and digital communications to different teams. However, small to mid-sized companies expect individuals to do both.
Q: Are employers paying more attention to diversity in the hiring process?
A: Employers are ideally looking to have a balanced approach to life experiences, cultural perspectives and gender views in their business. We do not have the same constraints that affirmative action required in the 90s, but our customers and clients look to see that our business reflects the market in which we live. We approach all candidates as “talent”, not male/female, gay or straight, Jewish, Muslim or Christian. The only consideration for us is who is the best qualified candidate to perform the job function. Our salary range budgeted is the same for all.
Q: How important is experience vs. an ability to adapt and learn?
A: Both are critical to the success of a new hire; however, adaptability is a critical component into cultural fit in an organization. You can have all the experience in the world, but if you are inflexible, you will be out the door.
Q: What mistakes should a candidate avoid in the interview process?
A: We do our best to prepare a candidate for an interview with our clients. We share a little background on the individuals you may be meeting to help you be relaxed and familiar with who you meet. There are in my opinion some important things to consider-
- Don’t regurgitate everything listed on your resume. The resume helped to get you in the door but now they want to get to know you.
- Let the interviewer lead the conversation. Don’t come in with your own discussion plan.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not.
- Thank the contact for their time and opportunity to meet.
About Fast 5
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