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/Digital PR Recruitment Campaign: Hiring Icks

Digital PR

Digital PR Recruitment Campaign: Hiring Icks

Links & placements


Key features in

CNBC, NY Post, Business Insider

Exposure in

US & ES markets






Digital PR

Our survey campaign on Hiring Icks gained (so far) 59 links and placements for our client in a key target industry across the US and ES territories


Every January recruitment content is prime digital PR real estate, with it being the hottest time of the year for people looking for new jobs and, as a result, journalists covering the topic extensively.

To cater to this, we developed a survey concept around the idea of asking hiring personnel what is most likely to put them off hiring an individual – outside of their experience and knowledge for the role.

The concept of an ‘ick’ has also grown in popularity over recent years – most commonly in the dating scene. Other concepts had also spawned from the topic, such as successful posts on Yahoo covering LinkedIn Profile Icks, giving us evidence that the topic was worth exploring.

By combining the concept of an ‘ick’ to help us standout in a journalists inbox and covering a popular upcoming topic (recruitment) we could create not only an actionable campaign but one that had the hallmarks of one that could be successful.


Our survey gathered answers from 1,200 people and asked hiring managers about various situations.

By first filtering to people who have worked in recruitment or interviewed candidates at some point in their career, we were able to dig into three scenarios: face to face, phone and video call interviews. Each would then uncover a different set of icks that are most common amongst our audience as well as the most common ick overall.

Using dozens of questions, we gave ourselves the ability to use various data-points as hooks in order to give ourselves the best likelihood of success. If one fails, we have other up our sleeve we can use through outreach.

Our data uncovered takeaways and hooks such as:

  • Being late is the biggest ick for hiring managers
  • No eye contact is a red flag during an interview
  • Two or more spoons of sugar is an ick for over 20% of hiring managers

We used a combination of serious but also light hearted angles for our pitching process as a result, but that was all designed during the creation of our survey.

Here we could then go for more serious publications, as well as lifestyle publications too – increasing the poool of journalists we could email who might be keen on the topic.


  • 59 links and placements
  • Pick up in:
  • Exposure for the client in a key industry
  • Extremely high quality US and ES coverage
  • Absolutely 100% white hat with snowballing coverage
  • A campaign that is and will continue to generate links over time and not a one-off shot of link velocity

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