Public Relations Idol…or is that Idle?

Public Relations Idol…or is that Idle?

Ana Mangahas

Ana Mangahas

 

We had a flurry of activity with the recent Firefly London account coordinator search. Something not quite akin to PR X-Factor, but shows how seriously we take hiring decisions. There’s a long tradition at Firefly of giving candidates professional competency tests in areas like literacy, creativity, critical thinking or problem solving; alongside everybody’s favourite, personality profiling. We all know what it’s like to be on the ‘doing’ end of these tests. But evaluating them can be an interesting and sometimes gob-smacking experience.

Writing tests that feature typos galore and poor attention to detail obviously don’t make the cut.  Another test asks the candidate to ‘write down up to 20 uses for a rubber band’ in under two minutes, as a quick measure of lateral thinking. Responses ranged from ‘a top’; ‘a dog lead’; and the inspiring, ‘to choke someone’.

But for those who think tests as a means of talent assessment represent an unnecessary step, think again. Firefly received more than 300 applications for the two account coordinator roles posted. As a means of further qualifying candidates with already strong CVs, (fair) testing is a vital step. In a business where so much rests on one’s ability with the written and spoken word, you’d hope a PR candidate wouldn’t choke at the first sign of a challenge.

How would you fare on the rubber band challenge?

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