Scope Ketchum and The Communication Group are the latest
consultancies to formally address the industry-wide problem of staffing
by creating a dedicated human resource post. In an industry where every
member of staff is expected to earn their keep by generating fee income,
the appointment of such an apparently ’non-productive’ member of staff
is a measure of the seriousness of the current skills shortage.
Experienced PR practitioners are like gold dust and it is only by
continuing to plough back profits into attracting and training new
talent that the industry will continue to grow.
This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing money at potential recruits. Cash
benefits ranked a poor second to overall job satisfaction for
consultancy and in-house staff in the 1998 PR Week Salary Survey. The
lesson being that if consultancies want to attract and keep good staff
in a competitive market they need to devote more time, energy and
resources to training and development. The appointment of a human
resources director is an investment which will pay dividends.