Opinion: From our Readers - Look beyond the CV to find talented staff

With regard to your article 'Digital skills in short supply' (News, 15 January).

I agree, but rather than counting CV buzz words, which is potentially misleading and short-sighted, our job as recruiters is to advise on market conditions and come up with realistic solutions and advice.

If we find there is a reduced volume of a specific skill available, then it's time to look outside the box.

Firstly, we need to acknowledge - and advise our clients - of the need to perform a more open search, possibly, of redefining their search.

Not all of the industry's key talent will be actively job-hunting, which is where targeted search - headhunting - comes into play.

Secondly, reputable recruiters can draw on their considerable knowledge of a candidates skill set, obtained through face-to-face meetings, networking and generally keeping in touch with talented individuals over the long term.

The CV acts as a door opener, a reference, but we would be selling ourselves - and our candidates short - if we judged them solely on their CVs.

At the senior end of the market in particular, clients are asking more and more for an integrated offering, rather than pure digital comms; candidates who have an understanding of 'traditional' PR skills as well as social media expertise.

Talent, in large numbers, is out there, you just need to look past the CV to find it.

Kelly Hopkins, senior consultant, Hanson Search.

- Training can prevent loss of reputation Danny Rogers is right in his article 'Even the paragons of PR can drop the ball' (Opinion, 15 January).

A company suffering from negative publicity does not necessarily mean it is a bad communicator.

Often it means that staff have not been sufficiently trained to cope with a crisis that appears to happen without warning.

Schedules are busy, training takes time and crisis manuals are too long to read.

However, the fact remains that a day of company training is a far lower price to pay than the loss of a good reputation.

We only have to look at the cases of Perrier, Enron and Tyco to see what the potential cost of losing that reputation is.

Catherine Worboys, consultant, Curtin&Co, London.

- Email letters (200 words maximum) to prweekletters@haymarket.com.

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