WE Communications Blog: Alan VanderMolen
The future of a strong PR industry depends on a bench of expertise that is broader and deeper than ever before. This theme reverberated around the Holmes Report’s Independent PR Forum in Miami. Today, agencies and corporate brands need talent that can deliver on every facet of the communications spectrum from traditional media relations to analytics. So, how are agencies planning for the industry of tomorrow? Hiring adaptive, non-traditional, passionate people (and keeping them) will be critical to drive brands forward and set their stories in motion.
WE’s Alan VanderMolen, president international, joined the panel discussion that addressed the question – how should we get the talent we need today…recruit or reskill? VanderMolen emphasized the importance of clearly outlining a firm’s strategy and vision to help attract talent as well as providing a diversity of options for employees to expand their skills sets and grow professionally.
Not surprisingly, the conversation turned from how to what, in terms of what companies today are looking for. Attitude dominated the discussion. Panelists leaned into the idea that attitude, curiosity and the ability to learn on the job are more important than hiring based on the existing skill set. At the same time, digitally native talent like millennials – who also offer fresh perspective and creativity in problem solving – were highly revered as candidates to pursue and groom.
Companies looking to engage their employees, nurture curiosity and fine-tune attitudes need to keep in mind two simple ideas to support hiring and retention. First, invest heavily in employee development. Bring in outside perspectives and keep up with the market in terms of what skill sets they need to learn. Second, simply ask for feedback. Employees are happiest when they are listened to.
Today, the conversation at #PRovoke16 will dig into the craft of communication– from data to integration and creative disruptors. And, on Wednesday, VanderMolen will moderate a discussion on Stories in Motion, with a stellar bench of panelists, including Andrea Duvall, PR Manager, Emerging Brands for Brown-Forman, Jackie Price, CEO & Co-Founder of End Game, Alfredo Richard, SVP Corporate Communications for NBCUniversal Telemundo, and Aaron Tabas, Director of Storyworks, BBC Worldwide North America. Tune in and check it out!