Attract Top Talent in 2021 With These 6 Public Relations and Strategies

Megan Redzia - 10/22/2021

Public relations and social media strategies can help your organization overcome today's post pandemic hiring challenges. Find out how.

Employers are facing more talent shortages and recruitment challenges than ever before. With record job losses during the pandemic, many staffing professionalsattracting_top_talent believed that the talent pool was going to be strong this year. The reality we have seen, however, is very different. Recruiters and HR professionals across all industries are struggling to find qualified candidates. According to a GetApp survey, 56% of recruiters fear they have job openings that they’ll never be able to fill.

To overcome the post-pandemic hiring challenges, organizations need to look beyond their typical recruitment methods. In this blog post, we’ll share how public relations and social media can help you attract top talent.

Four Factors Impacting Recruitment in 2021

In order to develop strategies to overcome hiring challenges, we need to first understand the factors impacting recruitment this year. Here are the top four.

  • Increased Departure Demand – A record 3 million people quit their job in August 2021. Why? There is pent-up turnover demand fueling voluntary separations. Employees are citing burnout, the desire for better compensation and benefits, and the need for a work/life balance as key reasons for seeking new jobs. Studies show that many employees have also felt disconnected from their company during the pandemic.
  • Skills and Geography Mismatch – Although there is an abundance of job openings, job seekers are having a hard time finding positions that fit their professions and skillsets. In addition, the pandemic motivated a lot of people to relocate. A Wall Street Journal analysis of U.S. Postal Service change-of-address data shows people from dense urban cores moved to suburbs as well as smaller metros, and from suburbs of large metros to smaller metros, small towns and rural areas. This has created a geographic mismatch meaning there are too many job seekers relative to vacancies in some places and too few job seekers in some other places.
  • COVID-19 Fear – Among the unemployed, concern about COVID-19 is the most commonly cited reason for a lack of urgency in looking for work, according to an Indeed survey. Employees are concerned about vaccination and the safety of returning to an in-person working environment.
  • Childcare Responsibilities – There was an excess job loss among parents of young children, specifically mothers, during the pandemic driven by childcare challenges. Parents are still concerned with how potential school and daycare closures would impact their ability to fulfill job responsibilities.

Boosting Recruitment with Public Relations and Social Media

Integrating public relations and social media with your recruitment strategy create more opportunities for the right candidates to be exposed and attracted to your organization. They are also two of the most cost-effective tools you can use to address pandemic challenges and job seeker preferences resulting from COVID-19 changes. Here are six ways public relations and social media can boost your recruitment efforts this year.

Fine Tune Your Messaging

The foundation to any successful PR strategy is message development. Even organizations that have been in existence for many years often need refining when it comes to their messaging, especially to remain relevant in today’s post pandemic world. The messages developed through a public relations strategy communicate who your organization is, what it stands for, and the value it brings to your target audience. These key messages should be used throughout your website, on your social media profiles, and in your recruitment efforts to establish consistency and build recognition.

Improve Your Digital Presence

Your company’s website is likely the first place a candidate will go when they see a job posting. It’s critical to make sure your website has enough of the right content to help them evaluate if your company is a match for their needs and skills. Your public relations team can help you craft compelling content for website pages such as Careers and About Us that tells a strong story about your organization. This content should directly address how your organization is approaching some of job seeker’s top concerns that we mentioned earlier in this blog – benefits, work/life balance, COVID-19 safety, and childcare support.

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and keeping it updated regularly can also enhance recruitment efforts. LinkedIn posts about employee recognitions, awards, announcements, media coverage, and events can attract talent using the platform to vet opportunities. Don’t forget about third-party profiles such as Glassdoor and Indeed. Your social media strategy should include crafting appreciation posts for positive reviews and comments that address negative concerns.

Enhance Online Visibility

Candidates are bound to look beyond your owned properties to see what you’re all about. Google will likely be their next research stop. Media coverage secured through a public relations program will help to improve your search engine results and ensure that the news you want to be found, is read first. Media coverage also provides invaluable third-party validation for your company and its leaders. To learn more about the SEO benefits of public relations, read this blog.

Build Credibility Through Awards

Awards and recognitions help to validate your company’s strengths in key areas. Start by defining your recruitment goals and company strong points, and then develop a list of relevant awards with their submission deadlines. For example, if you are looking to attract creative talent by showing candidates you are ahead of the curve, then consider applying for an award like Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. If you’re hoping to alleviate the work/life balance concerns that are top of mind this year, seek out awards in the category of best places to work. You should also identify awards that are a fit for the members of individual employees to showcase the people behind your company.

Shout from the rooftops about awards you were able to secure. They make terrific content for your website and social media pages where candidates will be conducting research.

Spotlight Cultural Differentiators

Company social media pages are a great place to showoff what makes your culture unique. By posting content about your policies, images of your workplace and team, COVID-19 procedures, and other benefits, you can attract employees that are a fit for your organization. For example, if your leadership is in support of a hybrid workforce model, content about this approach will spark the interest of employees looking for more of a flexible in-person schedule. If your office environment is very creative and your social imagery showcases that rather than people in suits and ties, you’ll likely get applications from people who are a match for your culture. Ensuring your social media content accurately conveys the culture you have established or are looking to build, will ultimately save you and candidates a lot of time.

Target the Right Candidates

We’ve talked a lot about the passive ways to attract the right talent, but there are also active ways you can use social media as part of your recruitment efforts. Social recruiting is the process of advertising jobs, recruiting candidates and connecting with potential employees through social media.

As a generation of digital natives moves into the workforce and millennials transition into leadership roles, your company is missing out on a big pool of talent if it doesn’t leverage social recruiting. Each social media platform offers tools for social recruiting, but it’s critical to evaluate the type of talent you are looking to hire and then build a social recruiting strategy that will get in front of them.

The competition for finding the right talent is stiff in today’s market. By leaning on public relations and social media, you can stand out from the crowd and attract and retain talent. If you’re struggling to hire quality candidates, we’d love to discuss how we can help increase your company’s visibility, enhance its online presence, and promote its company culture and values. Email me at

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