If you’re thinking about your career options, do you know what the current market is like for internal communicators? What are employers looking for, what is the value of internal comms professionals and is now a good time to be one?

Wayne Reynolds is a Director at specialist communications recruiter Birchwood Knight. I asked him to write a guest post for Diary of an internal communicator to shed some light from a recruiter’s perspective on some of these topics. You can follow them @birchwoodknight on Twitter. Thanks Wayne, over to you….

I recently confessed to a colleague that finding outstanding internal communications people was getting harder. As a specialist corporate communications recruiter Birchwood Knight has seen more demand for internal communicators so far in 2012 than any other corporate communications discipline, the first time this has ever happened.

My colleague reminded me that lobbying government has been around for centuries, PR for decades and that internal communications is still a relative newcomer. Communicators who show promise early in their careers are often encouraged into external relations by Communications Directors who themselves come from a background in media relations, lured by the ‘glamour’ of talking to the media and increased exposure to the senior leadership team.

Rising value of internal comms
But the value of internal communications is unquestionably on the rise. If, as so many organisations claim, people are really their greatest asset then ensuring they’re informed, engaged and on message is key. Increasingly, more and more communications bosses have significant internal communications experience, placing additional emphasis on its importance and encouraging those with promise to specialise in this growing communications discipline. 

Hiring companies universally want people who can write well for different audiences and channels, often under pressure. Project management skills, for example developing a new intranet site, and change communications skills are also in high demand.

Executive communications is moving up the list of desirable experience, driven by a greater focus on the personal profile of CEOs and other board members.  Multi-nationals who use English as their international business language are always looking for effective ways to engage employees across different cultures, and those with practical experience of innovating using new channels, especially social media, is frequently asked for.

In short, it’s a good time to be an outstanding internal communicator.

Post author: Wayne Reynolds.

Thank you for your thoughts Wayne. What do you think of what he’s written? Is there anything which surprises you or a skill that is missing that you’d expect recruiters to look for? I was struck by his revelation that 2012 has seen more demand for internal comms professionals than ever before and wonder if that is a trend that will play out throughout the year? Feel free to comment below and thanks as ever for stopping by, Rachel.