TUESDAY 10 NOV 2020 4:35 PM


George Theohari, head of content at content delivery platform Speak Media, talks to Communicate magazine about recruitment for junior roles in the PR and comms industry, from the greatest challenges brought by Covid-19 and how employers can overcome them to the skills young people can bring to the table.

What kind of recruitment opportunities are there for junior PR/ comms roles?

I imagine for a lot of young people graduating from university, making their first steps in careers that they’ve dreamed of pursuing, the current landscape will present a bleak prospect. But it’s our responsibility as employers to give them whatever opportunities we can to help them thrive. At Speak for instance, we’ve continued running paid internships this year as per our pre-Covid plans, and are currently focused on building junior talent with new hires to our content team. 

Has COVID had a major impact on your recruitment plans?

Ultimately, as a business we are still thinking about future growth and that means nurturing our talent beyond the immediate crisis. When it comes to recruitment and retention you need to think long-term. There are no quick fixes for developing a truly collaborative and dedicated team.

What are the major challenges around recruitment in the industry at the moment? How can businesses overcome these challenges to keep giving job seekers the opportunities to put a foot in the door?

In our most recent recruitment campaign, the biggest challenge was dealing with the response. We received close to 1,000 applications for a junior content role (where we’d normally expect about 100) – that’s a lot of admin, but as always we reviewed every single application before we started our shortlisting and selection process. 

What skills can young people bring to the table in this climate?

Here at Speak, we produce so much written content and across so many formats, that the core editorial skills of interviewing, writing, editing (ideally honed in a newsroom or similar high-pressure publishing environment) remain totally critical. And this is closely followed by an understanding of all those things (social media, SEO and analytics) that make for an effective multi-channel content producer. A combination of both continues to be the gold standard of talent as far as I am concerned.

What has been Speak Media’s experience of recruitment for junior roles in a post-Covid19 world?

It is important to point out that talent in the industry remains very high. We have been blown away by the standard of applications, and I remain firmly optimistic about the future of communications and content with such incredible talent coming in.