How to Recruit Amid Bad PR

It is undeniable that communication-related or PR-related issues are always be considered as the most challenging dilemmas that facing almost companies from global corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises. Just a complaint full of subjectivity, a negative figurative implication about the company, a hostilely deluded public opinion by the media that if public relations department does not administer proficiently, it will be a huge potential to initiate a strong wave of public criticism and solemnly destroy the company’s reputation. Once companies find themselves in a bad PR situation, they will expect to encounter numerous troubles and difficulties not only in the marketing department but also in all parts of the organization. 

HR is one of the indirective departments that suffering disastrous outcomes brought by bad PR. In other words, if the organization takes disgraceful methods of communication or undergoes a media crisis, it is evitable that recruiters have to confront many arduous challenges in the hiring process. 

So, what are the major problems? What actions should be taken to solve all of them? In the below essay, there are some feasible solutions established based on an excellent HR leader’s point of view.

Firstly, pausing the recruitment process.

It’s necessary that the organization facing bad PR temporarily put hiring on pause for a short period. It takes time for the company to discover the root of problems, carefully take the company’s flaw and misbehavior into account. From minor explosive problems that happen in an instant such as costumer’s unsatisfaction, company’s unwise actions or inappropriate towards social issues regarding climate, environment, human right,.. to major problems that long-lasting for a long time in any corporate culture like sex discrimination, racism, sexual harassment,… All of these problems can pose a risk of bad reputation that causes disappointment and mistrust among the community, customers, partners and especially potential candidates. It is essential to stick to two key values “Honesty” and “Transparency” in the problem-solving process. The organization has to truly determine to remove all of the company’s impurities by efficacious remedies and transparent processes that have no room for group benefits or negative selfish interests. In the struggle against media pressure, the organization’s transparency and honesty derived from inside are the toughest shields protecting its reputation.

Secondly, monitoring Public Sentiment

Community sentiment is not be determined by the organization’s will, however, it is likely to be transformed and manipulated through the activeness and flexibility in the way the organization dealing with bad press.

As realizing the fact that the organization is engaged in a media crisis, the board of directors should perform proactive measures to cope with perplexing problems. The most effective measure is using online communication and social along with the accelerated velocity of information that has a powerful impact on brand image management. The corporate can implement two following steps.

The first step is to continually control and respond to negative public judgment. If corporate is wrong, don’t hesitate to apologize, hold accountable for rectifying consequences. If corporate is right, remain steadfast, clarify misinterpretation.

The second step is proactively showcasing the company’s core merits, strengths and share proud achievements by combining both classic media (press, television, …) and digital media (forum, social sites, …) Providing community and potential employees with opportunities to envision the company’s operation, strengths, and weaknesses. Visionary candidates tend to evaluate various aspects of problems, so they are likely to be interested in a company that giving employees a 360-degree view.

Thirdly, direct confrontation with long-lasting problems ignored by the whole company.

It could be said that any organizations have their intractable problems that always be overlooked by a large number of individuals. Those problems are like wounds that gash deeply in corporate culture, fester day by day and eventually become an irreparably and unconcealable bruise. Therefore, it is no use endeavoring to hide these problems from potential candidates who are interested in the company. They deserve to comprehend about company’s merits and defects and the truth of í its negative reputation. No one but recruiters who take responsibility for addressing HR-relevant issues. It is recruiters who will provide accurate and objective evaluations and reorient company core values through a transparent and effective problem-solving process

When bad news strikes, HR professionals can play a pivotal role. They should not hesitate to reach out to senior leaders and communications colleagues to talk about how negative coverage may impact the hiring process and to share their recommendations for moving forward.

According to SHRM

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