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Think outside your inbox – using PR to recruit candidates

Think outside your inbox – using PR to recruit candidates

Finding the right candidate for your vacancies can be a full-time job. Many organisations trust in recruitment agents to help find their perfect match, but what if you are the recruiter and you’re struggling to reach your target audience?

Are you an inbox addict? According to a study commissioned by Adobe over the course of our careers we will spend over 47,000 hours checking our emails, equating to five years of our lives. So many of us rely on who we can send emails to but sometimes that just isn’t enough.

We look at the strategies you could implement to help build your client pipeline, grow your brand presents and promote your successes within the industry.

Industry specialist events

Specialist events are brilliant for strategic partnerships, growing your client base and raising your brand awareness, they are also excellent speaking opportunities. Contributing to an article or publication, submitting research findings and offering to speak at industry events are all ways that employers can offer up industry knowledge and different approaches to work that will raise their organization’s profile.

The very best candidates want to work for people who inspire them and are seen to be making waves in their industry. Events are an excellent way to leverage thought leadership.

 Showcase yourself

Whether it’s through social media or company spokesmen, one of the best ways to communicate what it’s like to work at your company is through employees. Let your candidates see the office! If you can’t host a physical event why not run a virtual option? Short digital assets and videos can help you bring your culture and environment to life.

Just one look of those artwork-covered walls, and your candidate knows this is a company that values creativity and the place for them.  Let the picture do the talking for you and incorporate a creative campaign alongside your communication efforts to ensure you increase your reach.

Thought leadership

Frequently companies think that PR should be leveraged to promote company news; everything from new hire announcements, office openings and website launches, to rebrands, new products or services, and acquisitions.

While some of these events may be deemed newsworthy, PR can be the most powerful tool to raise a company’s profile, communicate the brand and culture messaging, and continually position internal experts as industry thought leaders. Most importantly, when public relations are leveraged effectively, employers can extend their ability to reach top candidates and attract them into their business. All too often, this is an opportunity that is missed when it comes to recruitment and hiring, because many companies only focus on pushing out as many “look how great we are” press releases on their websites or industry news as they can.

Beyond the business pages

Organisations within the recruitment industry are making waves by implementing new technologies, whether it is incorporating blockchain technology for CV verification like APPII, or if it is virtual interviews and augmented reality to immerse yourself in the company offices. Making yourself stand apart from your competitors is vital.

Implementing a PR strategy to help communicate your story setting you apart and bringing you outside of just the business pages and into lifestyle or technology publications can help you reach your desired candidates. Partnered with a targeted social media strategy this can be a very effective.

Do you want to use PR to attract the best candidates? Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out how we can support you and your business.


How to use PR to recruit candidates

In a marketplace where recruitment companies offer the same services it is hard for a candidate to define what really differentiates them. Perhaps a good way could be thinking about how each business adds value to customers. From career tips to how to improve their work/life balance, recruitment can add value and help people, it’s all about communicating well. One of the biggest challenges recruiters face is brand awareness and this is where PR can help.

Whether you want to gain brand awareness or engage with busy and hard-to-find candidates, we look at different ways to engage with your audience.

Humanise your brand

Searching for a job can be a fulltime task, not to mention before you even begin the process you need to find the business and recruitment firm which is the best match for you as a candidate. But as recruiters there is plenty you can do to make this decision easier. PR is an excellent way of communicating who you are as a business and what it is you can deliver for your candidates. A recent study confirmed that many UK consumers base the businesses they choose to interact with because of an emotive, core values connection. Tell your story, share your values and attract the right candidates for you.

Use social media to target the right audience

Social media has enabled engagement to a level which would have been impossible a few years ago and recruiters can now have real conversations and start bringing real personality to their brand.

56 percent of recruiters say they find some of their best candidates through social networks, followed by online job boards at 37 percent. Implementing a successful social media strategy can enable recruitment companies to attract promising candidates for their pipeline. So which channels should you focus your efforts?


Facebook is seen as a good ‘face of the company’ platform to provide some personality. Using Facebook for recruiting is a very effective way to reach candidates that are “passive” or not searching for a job, but open to the right opportunities. Job seekers are likely to follow the career pages of an industry-specific business. Not only because they are interested in what the company is about, but also because they are hoping the company would be advertising any possible job openings. Facebook also has the functionality to post jobs for your company page now. By utilising this function, you can let your most loyal followers aware of your latest hot job on the market.

Tip: To start a successful campaign, start telling your story using engaging posts and videos. Make sure you follow brand guidelines and find some inspiring content to share on a weekly basis.


Although all social media platforms can be used for different purposes in the recruiting process, it’s safe to say that LinkedIn is more professional, and business focused and an excellent way to network with the candidates you’re searching for. LinkedIn is also more relevant to recruiting, as candidates can highlight their resume, skills, experience, connections, and general influence in the field. Recruitment companies should routinely post relevant and engaging content for their followers such as blog posts, articles, videos, and pictures to show their knowledge of the job hunting process, new client wins and partnerships positioning themselves as though-leaders and an excellent way of endorsing your network to the candidate search pool.

Tips: Post on LinkedIn pulse: With over 500 million members and two new users joining every second it is a massive potential channel for readers of your social media marketing material.

The power of sharing content

What type of insights should agencies and recruiters post to position themselves as a specialist or a thought leader?

Establishing yourself as an expert in your domain can be vital to gain potential clients and candidates who will inherently trust you more, and a great way to kick-start this is sharing content across your network. It is important to remember this isn’t just for company channels but as individual recruiters as well. Thought leadership is a great way to achieve that cut-through, by sharing high-quality content such as industry body articles, tips to finding your next role, preparing for an interview or perhaps a topical industry relevant new article will help your audience understand you and your business. From the importance of wellbeing at work to flexible working options and inspiring business women, sharing interesting content is important to build your brand and show who you are. The though leader content can be shared on you blog as well as LinkedIn Pulse and your other social channels.

Create market guides that fit into your brand and beliefs

Creating market guides are an excellent way of sharing and promoting evergreen content about your recruitment firm. An example could be a whitepaper about flexible working and why should employers be open to change. People researching or interested in the topic will find out more about your agency and will potentially get in touch. Make sure that you include your advice and what you recommend as a business. What’s worst than someone telling you what to do and not doing it themselves?

Do you need help to attract candidates to your business or increase your brand awareness? Talk to our award-winning team today to find out how we can support you and help achieve your business goals.

The PHA Group wins Media Employer of the Year Award

February 18th 2015 will long be a date that sticks in the mind of The PHA Group employees for all the right reasons.

On a star-studded evening, hosted by Pathfinders at Soho’s Ham Yard Hotel, the company scooped the biggest prize in their ten year history as they claimed the prestigious ‘Media Employer of the Year’ award.

It was vindication of the journey and hard work that the company from the top down have undergone and the ethos that has been established over the best part of a decade.

Credit must also be paid to runners up, Brandfuel, who were extremely magnanimous in defeat as the judges revealed there was little to separate the two companies, who were by far and away this year’s outstanding candidates.

PHA's Director of PR Stuart Skinner collects the award

PHA’s Director of PR Stuart Skinner collects the award

Particular areas of praise included the firm’s staff appraisal process, high retention rate, and consistent ability to convert interns into full time staff, something I have particular experience of.

It is difficult to argue that the award was deserved as I have seen first-hand the work and personable nature of the company on a daily basis. Being just days short of my year anniversary (a date which is naturally in everyone’s diaries) has meant that I have been one of the main beneficiaries of the businesses’ numerous schemes and internship programmes. Yes, this was my first year at the company and we claimed victory but to suggest a correlation would be too much… I was just delighted to be involved in the entry process as my experience has been a wholly positive one.

The PHA representatives celebrate the win.

The PHA representatives celebrate the win.

While ‘Bra packer to Junior Account Executive’ is unlikely to be the title of my impending autobiography, it does highlight the importance that the company place on the person behind the CV. Ensuring the job is done to the best of your ability is of course paramount in any profession but I do believe that the culture of a workplace is equally crucial and can further fuel success. From the approachability of the company partners, to the strong sense of team, right through to Friday massages and drinks…The PHA Group have their staff’s best interests at heart.

It is equally important that this award is not seen as the end of the journey but merely the beginning of it. It is always nice to be recognised in this nature but it is worth pondering why we were victorious and how such high levels of staff satisfaction can be maintained and even improved upon. The accolade is not to be underestimated and while PHA are ruled out of winning the award in the future, we will have great pride in handing the award to next year’s worthy winners. Now in true Ab Fab style, let the champagne flow!

Director of PR, Stuart Skinner, was understandably delighted with the accolade: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award. We have won prizes before for commercial growth, and for client campaigns, but this award genuinely means the most. This one is all about the people in the company and they are the most important asset we have and what drives the business forward.”

For more information on working at The PHA Group click here.

How an internship kickstarted my PR career

You devote three years of your life studying, partying and allegedly ‘finding yourself’ at university, spending a decent chunk of your parents’ hard-earned cash… but hurrah, you earn yourself a solid degree and the world is now your oyster, right? Wrong.

With greater competition for jobs than ever before, it will lead many of us to undergo internships. The very word has mixed connotations depending on your experiences; for some, it can bring back harrowing memories of receiving no pay and performing horrendous tasks, yet for others, it can be the gateway to a full-time job that they have always craved. I am fortunate enough to say that I am in the latter.

I began my PHA journey back at the end of February, lending an extra pair of hands for the UFC Fight Night in London. A baptism of fire, you may think, but one that I enjoyed immensely. My two weeks came to an end, I thought I had done everything asked of me with perhaps a dash of aplomb and received those dreaded words that have let me down before from companies and women alike; ‘I’ll be in touch’. Safe to say I wasn’t taking anything for granted. Low and behold, I received a phone call on the Monday afternoon asking me to come back, this time for a month’s paid internship. Happy days!

An internship gave me a way in to the world of PR.

This developed into a further three month’s paid internship, all the while being made to feel extremely welcome and a part of the PHA family. The culture and the people of the place meant that I quickly knew that a full-time job here was my aspiration and made sure I did everything in my power to make this happen. Graduates on internships are certainly a two-way street. There will be organisations out there that are merely looking for free labour but on the other side, candidates have to show competency and more importantly enthusiasm to convince that they could be a long-term fixture.

The Times’ this week in their University Guide highlighted the importance of internships and their ability to increase employability and they’d be right. All the way through your studies achieving good grades is constantly drummed into you as an absolute must, yet the minute you graduate, employers are hammering on about having suitable work experience. There doesn’t appear to be enough guidance at universities to help graduates overcome, what can be, a substantial bridge between education and employment. While it is extremely tempting to enjoy the rigours of Jeremy Kyle, Philip Schofield and co during the four months of summer you enjoy while at university, I would advise to make the most out of your time off in the form of internships.

I believe it speaks volumes for PHA when nearly half of the workforce began as interns, many of which are now in senior and management roles. It provides excellent motivation and inspiration that it could perhaps be me in that position someday and also gives those members in authority a sense of empathy, with the likes of myself, who are on the first rung of the ladder.

The journey from internship to a fully-fledged member of the team is not always an easy one but I must admit mine has been quite serene. Engaging with colleagues in more social settings has been crucial and has helped me feel truly part of a developing business. It may have taken me longer than I initially imagined finding suitable employment going via telesales and packaging women’s underwear, but in the danger of sounding hugely clichéd, it has been worth the wait!