The first thing is to clearly understand why the particular position at a PR firm is attractive to a candidate in the corporate arena, as well as the trade-offs for both sides.
Often, the variety of work at a PR agency can be a draw for candidates, who, at corporations, spend most of their time serving one client. It's important to understand the ramifications of this attribute, though. Working for several clients simultaneously can be exhilarating and fulfilling, but the candidate must understand the ways this change will impact them personally and professionally, beyond just excitement.
In the end, candidates must recognize the characteristics of PR-agency work and decide if the fit is right. In general, the person who makes the smoothest transition from a corporation to a PR firm typically has experience working with or managing agencies or has friends in agency environments.
Such a person is also insatiably inquisitive and open-minded about new experiences, is consultative by nature, can lead and collaborate, knows when to use which of these skill sets, and - as with all candidates, regardless of background - is a good cultural fit.
Barbara Kuklock is VP of HR at Padilla Speer Beardsley.
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